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City in Darkness (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 1 December 1939 (USA)
While in Paris for a reunion on the eve of World War II, Charlie finds that the murder of an hated businessman leads him to a conspiracy to smuggle arms to Germany.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Richard Clarke ...
Tony Madero (as Richard Clark)
...
Marcel
...
Antoine (as Pedro De Cordoba)
...
Charlotte Ronnell
...
Prefect of Police J. Romaine
...
Petroff (as Douglas Dumbrille)
...
Belescu
...
Louis Santelle (as Leo Carroll)
...
Pierre
Louis Mercier ...
Max
George Davis ...
Alex
Barbara Leonard ...
Lola
...
Landlady
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Storyline

Chan goes to Paris for a reunion with friends from World War I. There he investigates the murder of a munitions manufacturer who was supplying arms to the enemy. At the end Charlie preaches to us about the dangers of peace conferences. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

PARIS! BLACKOUT!...but there's no blackout for crime...and the great detective is commandeered!

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan na Cidade das Trevas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in Detroit Monday 21 December 1953 on WXYZ (Channel 7), in New York City Saturday 30 January 1954 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Los Angeles Sunday 23 May 1954 on KNBH (Channel 4), and in San Francisco Thursday 16 June 1955 on KRON (Channel 4). See more »

Goofs

When Harold Huber is thrown from the raised doorway of the hotel steps by the bouncer, the mattress on the cobblestones can be seen in the shot. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Chan: Confucius say; "A wise man questions *himself*, a fool *others*".
See more »

Connections

Followed by Charlie Chan in Rio (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Breach in the blackout regulations
13 June 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of the few Charlie Chan movies that does not have one of his eager beaver sons trying oh so earnestly to help, Charlie Chan In The City Of Darkness refers to the fact that the well known city of lights is actually in darkness due to blackout regulations. During the course of the film, a breach in those regulations actually saves Sidney Toler's life.

Harold Huber takes the place of the sons here and provides us some comic relief. Huber who normally played oily villainous types must have welcomed a change in casting.

Toler is in Paris ironically celebrating a reunion of intelligence service officers from the last World War as a new one beckons. The film, released in 1939 after war had been officially declared was set in that period in 1938 when the United Kingdom and France went to the brink before capitulating to the Nazis at Munich.

During the first of a Parisian blackout the French prefect of police in Paris is up to his ears in work and just can't get to the murder of Douglass Dumbrille in a timely fashion. This provides his loyal secretary who wants to make his bones as a detective an opportunity. Good thing Huber had Sidney Toler around to show him the ropes.

Dumbrille was one of those international men of mystery and intrigue and being that has a host of enemies who would like to do him in. There's a nice array of suspects including a couple of sneak thieves played comically by Louis Mercier and George Davis who might look good for it as well. In fact with regularity Huber keeps declaring he's solved the case only to have Toler give him another Confucian aphorism about staying cool.

During the course of the film an international smuggling and spy ring is broken up. As for the murderer, a rather different fate awaits him than that of the normal course of perpetrators that Charlie Chan usually brings in.

Toler and Huber keep this film entertaining at all time, a good entry among the Charlie Chan features.


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