Paul Manderley, eccentric historian, and his wife, descendant of the Borgias, live in an isolated castle-like mansion in the Mojave Desert. When a guest suddenly collapses, Charlie Chan is invited to stay. As the standard mystery-mansion props come into play, and all means of outside communication are sabotaged, it becomes evident that one of the inhabitants has access to poisons and is prepared to use them... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lucy Manderley is the obvious suspect when two guests are seemingly murdered at Manderley Castle, located in the Mojave Desert. Her husband Paul is a mysterious recluse who stands to lose his $20 million dollar estate if it can be proved he is mentally unfit.
Charlie Chan has a lot to piece together in this brisk mystery. Number Two Son Jimmy Chan is on leave from the army to help out his "Pop". If at all possible, try to view the Chan films in the order that they were released, the continuity is amazing. It was in the prior "Charlie Chan in Rio" film that Jimmy received his military papers.
Ethel Griffies and Milton Parsons are on hand from "Dead Men Tell" and perform admirably, particularly Ms. Griffies as the amazingly accurate psychic Madame Saturna - "The stars never lie".
The funniest line in the film comes from Sidney Toler's Chan character, responding to son Jimmy's choice of a suit of armor for a disguise - "What has canned outpost observed?" My compliments to the writer of that line, I can't get it out of my head!
Keep an eye out at the hotel stop where Charlie boards his ride for Manderley Castle, the sign overhead states "Rooms 50 cents". Better get an early reservation!
This is an enjoyable film with a fine cast, and well worth your time. Give it a try.
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