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Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 21 June 1940 (USA)
Charlie tries to discover the identity of a strangler who strikes multiple times on a cruise ship bound from Honolulu to California.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »


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Charlie's investigation of a phony psychic during the 1939 World Exposition on San Francisco's Treasure Island leads him to expose a suicide as murder.

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When Charlie's old friend from Scotland Yard is murdered when they attend a police convention in New York, Chan picks up the case he was working on.

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Mary Whitman, an old friend of Charlie's in Reno for a divorce, finds herself accused of murdering the woman her husband planned to marry after the decree became final.

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Charlie Chan investigates apparent poisonings at a mystery mansion in the Mojave Desert.

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On the trail of a singer who killed the man she loved in Honolulu, Charlie finds her stabbed to death when he ultimately catches up to her in Rio.

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Charlie visits a wealthy country home in England. Suspects in the murder range from a housekeeper, to a stableman, to a lawyer.

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Although Charlie and Lee are in Monaco for an art exhibit, they become caught up in a feud between rival financiers which involves the Chans in a web of blackmail and murder.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Suderman
Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
James Ross
Professor Gordon (as Leo Carroll)
Dick Kenyon
Cora Witherspoon ...
Susie Watson
Mrs. Pendleton
Mr. Walters
Mrs. Walters
Leonard Mudie ...
Gerald Pendleton
James Burke ...


On a cruise ship from Honolulu to San Francisco, the famous Chinese detective encounters four more murders while trying to figure out the murder of a Scotland Yard friend. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


CHAN'S BEST FRIEND MURDERED!... and clutched in his fingers... thirty pieces of silver! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 June 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan auf Kreuzfahrt  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A remake of Charlie Chan Carries On. See more »


When Charlie and the authorities hear Mrs. Pendleton scream from the next room, they beat on the locked door and the set walls quiver. See more »


Charlie Chan: To speak without thinking is to shoot without aiming.
See more »


Follows Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

Thirty pieces of silver.
28 June 2002 | by (Corrales, NM) – See all my reviews

Producer John Stone and Director Eugene Forde's last Chan films. By now Stone had done over a dozen and Forde had directed four. Sidney Toler (who appears to be ill in portions of the movie) is supported by #2 son Jimmy and #7 son Willie (Layne Tom, Jr. who was once cast in `Charlie Chan at the Circus' as #2 son Charlie Jr. and in `Charlie Chan in Honolulu' as #5 son Tommy). Lionel Atwill and Leo G. Carroll both add to the drama but Charles Middleton is best remembered in the Flash Gordon films as the Emperor Ming. Cora Witherspoon provides great comic relief. Don Beddoe is credited as playing `James' Ross but introduces himself to Chan as `Frederick' Ross, weight 168 lbs, 5'10', and he will admit to being 35.

Fast-paced who-done-it set primarily aboard a ship bound between Honolulu and San Francisco. A 'round the world cruise by ten travelers has been beset by a series of deaths by strangulation. It is clear from the beginning of the film that the guilty party is a man dressed in a dark hat and raincoat with dark classes and a full beard. But none of the passengers look like that.

Scotland Yard Inspector Duff is sent to investigate only to die as the film opens. Interesting subterfuge will keep the viewer off balance and probably unable to keep up with Chan until all is revealed at the end. `Man can more safely search for gold if world think he dig ditch.' Recommended.

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