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Charlie Chan in Rio
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Reviews & Ratings for
Charlie Chan in Rio More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Efficient mystery with colorful performances from Toler and Yung

Author: csteidler from Minnesota
6 October 2012

"Gee, Pop," Jimmy Chan says, "She doesn't look like a murderess." Number two son and his famous father share a table with the local police captain in a Rio nightclub, watching Lola Dean sing and dance—and waiting to arrest her for a murder back in Honolulu.

–Alas, Lola herself is murdered before they get the chance, and the Chans begin sorting through the usual suspects—a couple of romantic rivals, a secretary, a fiancé, a psychic who gives his clients spell-inducing cigarettes and also owns a recording machine….

A solid supporting cast fill their roles nicely, particularly Victor Jory as Marana, the psychic who offers his clients a "psychognosis" and is certainly up to something fishy. Kay Linaker also stands out as the purposeful personal secretary.

Sidney Toler and Sen Yung are excellent as usual as Charlie Chan and son Jimmy. The local policeman is played, as in multiple other Chan films, by Harold Huber—more restrained this time around, he's an actual detective rather than simple comic relief.

Iris Wong is cute as Lola's maid, Lili. Of course, Jimmy tries to impress her with his detective skills—"The case is in the bag. It's a cinch!"—and they have a little romance.

A memorable climax involves Mr. Chan volunteering to undergo Marana's coffee-and-cigarette hypnosis: Chan puffs and puffs, that little smile on his face, nothing happening, while the gathered suspects wait and wait….

No wasted motion in this one—short and sweet. The plot is unexceptional but the production and performances are absolutely solid: for simple entertainment value, this is one of the series' best.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

murderer kills murderer

Author: Chris Gaskin from Derby, England
22 November 2005

I've just seen Charlie Chan in Rio for the first time and found it enjoyable like all of the Chan movies I've seen.

In this one, Chan and his No 2 son are in Rio to arrest a murderer but she is then murdered herself, so he leads the investigation for this. After gathering clues including drugged cigarettes, the murderer is revealed...

This includes a couple of rather catchy songs and No 2 son learning to dance.

Charlie Chan is played well by Sidney Toler and is joined by Sen Young, Richard Derr and Victor Jory.

If you like a gold old mystery, then you will like this. Excellent.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Relaxed feel and nice to look at

Author: Jeff ( from Jacksonville, FL
16 March 2002

Charlie Chan in Rio moves like lightening, is very relaxed and has some great sets. Chan solves the murder of a murderess in Rio. The plot is swift and the murder is basic. Jimmy Chan has a very solid, physical fight scene and Toler as Chan flows nicely with the role. Harold Huber is actually decent in his role and doesn't stand out like a sore thumb like in his other Chan films. A very smooth effort.


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Fun to watch

Author: LeRoyMarko from Toronto, Canada
13 May 2001

Good mystery film about the famous detective Charlie Chan. He's in Rio to put under arrest Lola. But she's murdered before he can arrest her. Interesting murder case follows and like other Charlie Chan's movies, an array of suspects are in the room. Everybody seems to have a perfect alibi.

Good performance by Victor Sen Yung who plays Number Two Son. Toler is once again good in the role of Charlie Chan. Funny remarks here and there punctuate the script. Like this one: «This is very exciting». The lady to answer: «So is parachute jumping, but I don't like it».

Like other films in the series, lights go out for a second or two and there's one dead person!

Out of 100, I gave it 77. That's **½ on a four stars rating system.

Seen at home in Welland on VHS. Marko Roy - May 13th, 2001.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Is That Cigarette a Name Brand?

Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
1 August 2008

Globe-trotting Charlie winds up in Rio for this so-so entry. It's an uncommonly attractive cast and a lively, well-produced first half, before the pace slows down during the sleuthing second half. Being in Rio gives Hollywood a chance to sample the South American rhythms popular at the time, and the ladies a chance to model high-fashion wear, circa 1941.

Note presence of New York débutante Cobina Wright, the Paris Hilton of her day, as Grace, the statuesque adversary of the brassy, low-class Mary Beth Hughes. Their nightclub spats amount to versions of the class struggle over proper table etiquette. And, of course, where there's Chan Sr. there's going to be a Chan Jr. Here Sen Young's sometimes silly Jimmy Chan nonetheless pairs up with the charming Iris Wong to make the proverbially cute couple.

The mystery involves a dead nightclub performer, a slick-talking swami (Victor Jory), a cup of coffee, and a funny looking cigarette. Note how Charlie is ably assisted by the captain of the Rio police (Harold Huber). Usually the cops of the period were depicted as bumbling, at best, or comically foolish, at worst. But with WWII on the horizon, South America became an important sphere of influence, and the captain is treated with unusual respect. In passing, something should be said about the dewy-eyed Kay Linaker as the personal assistant. She died just a short time ago. This programmer shows what a lovely and capable screen presence she was. Her career may never have made the big time, but the big-time talent was definitely there.

Recommended for guys who like to ogle well-upholstered girls.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Remake of "The Black Camel"

Author: admjtk1701 from New York, NY
16 April 2000

This film is a remake of the Warner Oland film, "The Black Camel". This is a short, at one hour, fun film. But it doesn't compare to the original. We do get to see Jimmy Chan dance in a night club in the opening. Victor Jory has the role played by Bela Lugosi in the original. Harold Huber is another police detective. It's good. But see "The Black Camel" first.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not Exactly Carnival

Author: pbalos from Panama City, Panama
5 July 2000

in Rio, but a really well thought out Chan film. A very interesting and familiar array of characters.One can almost feel the breeze coming in off the S.Atlantic.One of the better films for Jimmy Chan (Victor Sen Yung).It's easy to watch over again.

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A must for fans of Victor Sen Yung

Author: gridoon2016
6 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you like Victor Sen Yung as Charlie Chan's "Number Two Son", you'll probably enjoy this film. This time he has one of his largest parts, which includes a couple of very funny scenes (being hypnotized - and "interrogated" by his father, trying to reconstruct the crime and testing his theories), as well as an exciting fight scene with a crook. And he looks quite handsome. The film is rather static (90% of the action takes place indoors, and apart from some music at the start there is nothing else to suggest Rio - it could have been set in any city), but fairly well-paced, and also has the minor novelty of a sympathetic murderer. My favorite Chan line: "Prefer not to walk across before coming to bridge". **1/2 out of 4.

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Entertaining But Far Fetched

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
15 January 2016

The classic whodunnit with all kinds of interesting character actors posing as suspects. A woman is murdered. She has been seen by a psychic-psychologist who uses caffeine and special cigarettes to make her tell the truth about having committed a murder. There are clues all over the place and Chan, his son, and a police detective attempt to get to the bottom of things. While so much of the byplay among a group of socialites is interesting, I can't take my mind off the cigarette thing. No one commenting on this seems to be wary of such a thing. What are these cigarettes? If they don't exist in some context, then the whole plot is, as number one son says, "Hooey!" I was interested to see Truman Bradley appear. He was the host of "Science Fiction Theater" which was one of my favorite shows as a child. Victor Jory is also in this as the aforementioned psychic. Good cast. Good acting. Cigarettes..........

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"Watch out, Pop, he's oily and slippery."

Author: bensonmum2 from Tennessee
6 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Charlie Chan travels to Rio to arrest a woman wanted for murder in Honolulu. But before he can take her into custody, she's murder. As is usual for a Chan film, there are no shortage of suspects.

Charlie Chan in Rio is another nice entry in the series. The mystery itself may be a little run of the mill, but it's fun enough to watch Chan get to the truth. I will say, however, that this one doesn't play fair, with Chan privy to information not available to the viewer. But then again, I suppose that's the case with most of these movies. Highlights for me include: a nice cast (especially Victor Jory, Mary Beth Hughes, and Kay Linaker), rock solid cinematography, and excellent lighting. I've recently watched several 30s and 40s B mysteries and have really noticed these movies are not created equal. A big studio B looks a million times better than its Poverty Row counterpart. Overall, a solid 7/10 from me.

One more thing before I end this, I've complained in the past about the comic relief provided by Victor Sen Yung's Jimmy Chan. In Charlie Chan in Rio, some of it actually works. His wooing of Lili is even tolerable. I also appreciate that Harold Hubert's comedy was toned down. He's downright annoying at times in Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo.

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