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Mary Whitman has gone to Reno to obtain a divorce. While there she is arrested on suspicion of murdering a fellow guest at her hotel (which specializes in divorcers). There are many others at the hotel who wanted the victim out of the way. Charlie comes from his home in Honolulu to solve the murder. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
This film was first telecast in New York City Wednesday 7 April 1954 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Los Angeles Saturday 31 July 1954 on KNBH (Channel 4), and in San Francisco Tuesday 7 June 1955 on KRON (Channel 4). See more »
When Charlie is examining the police photos of Mrs. Bentley's body, they show her beauty mask tied around her head. But the mask was untied by the desk clerk to identify the victim, before the police are ever called. See more »
Great assembly of B movie actors in top-notch mystery
Sweet but sorrowful Pauline Moore arrives in Reno for her divorce. At the hotel she quickly meets Ricardo Cortez, suave doctor, and Phyllis Brooks, a kind of "social director" at the hotel, who urges her into the lounge for a drink. Also on the scene are Robert Lowery, earnest young socialite, and Kay Linaker, a more serious-minded guestand the vulgar and tipsy Louise Henry, the would-be future husband of Moore's current spouse, who manages to insult all of the other characters within the space of about two minutes. Not surprisingly .
The nasty woman is shortly thereafter found murdered in her room. Pauline Moore isunfortunately for herfound standing over the still-warm body; on the plus side for Moore, however, is her old friendship with the great Charlie Chanwho on hearing of her arrest immediately drops everything in Honolulu (he has been working in the police lab on an Easter egg) and flies over to Nevada to assist. He is accompanied by Kane Richmond, Moore's estrangedyet basically solidhusband.
It's a nice ensemble cast, a good mix of suspects. Keeping an eye on them all is Sheriff Slim Summerville, who goes by the name of "Tombstone," is suspicious of everyone, and is pretty much clueless. He is good comic relief, as is
Sen Yung, back as Jimmy Chan, now a student at USC who borrows a car and sets out for Reno when he gets word that there's a case on. Along the highway, he gets highjacked and loses his car and his clothes .And one of the funniest scenes in the Chan series has got to be the moment when Jimmy, picked up by the cops, walks out under the lights in a police lineup wrapped in a blanketand his recently-arrived pop is in the audience with the Reno chief.
Once released, Jimmy has a cute romance with hotel maid Iris Wong. "Does honorable father think you're too young to smoke?" she asks as he (amateurishly) lights up a cigarette. "Oh no, I'm no kid," Jimmy insists. "I help him solve his cases." Of course, he has a few ideas on this case as well .
Sidney Toler is fine at the center of it all, bantering with suspects, flattering the sheriff, tut-tutting Jimmy. Eventually, he gathers all of the suspects together for a climactic scene that is quite suspenseful and nicely satisfying.
Very enjoyable. It may be a formulaic series entrybut at this point they sure had the formula down right.
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