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Black Magic (1944)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  19 August 1944 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 902 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 11 critic

Charlie searches for a murderer amidst numerous ghosts conjured up by a strange variety of spiritualists and occultists.

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(characters), (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mantan Moreland ...
Frances Chan ...
Frances Chan
Joseph Crehan ...
Police Sgt. Matthews
Helen Beverly ...
Norma Duncan / Nancy Wood (as Helen Beverley)
Jacqueline deWit ...
Justine Bonner
Geraldine Wall ...
Harriet Green
Ralph Peters ...
Officer Rafferty
Frank Jaquet ...
Paul Hamlin
Edward Earle ...
Dawson, Police Lab
Claudia Dell ...
Vera Starkey
Harry Depp ...
Charles Edwards
Charles Jordan ...
Tom Starkey
Dick Gordon ...
William Bonner (as Richard Gordon)
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Storyline

Because Charlie Chan plans to return to Honolulu, he no longer needs the services of Birmingham, who gets a job as butler for William and Justine Bonner, two apparently phony psychics who regularly host occult activities in their home. When Charlie's pretty daughter Frances attends a séance out of curiosity, Mr. Bonner is shot, and she becomes an immediate suspect. Charlie postpones his trip home to help with the investigation, which is made problematic when no bullet can be found in the wound and a hypnotized Mrs. Bonner is compelled to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of a downtown building. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SCIENCE TRAPS A KILLER! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 August 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan in Black Magic  »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title card on the DVD, which comes from the original negative, bears the original title, "Black Magic", but revisionists have superimposed "original title: 'Meeting at Midnight'" across the bottom of the screen. They've got it backwards. "Meeting at Midnight" was the new title attached to the film, about five years after its original release, in order to avoid confusion with Orson Welles' Black Magic (1949). See more »

Goofs

When Charlie first declares himself psychic to Sgt. Matthews, we can see the pole held by a stagehand that makes a white handkerchief flutter over Charlie's head. See more »

Quotes

Birmingham Brown: You know, after being here, I could have an elegant time in a cemetary reading tombstones at midnight.
See more »

Connections

Follows Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

Kind of dull but acceptable
19 March 2002 | by (Jacksonville, FL) – See all my reviews

Charlie Chan in Black Magic combines some decent suspense with average characters. The movie apparently is lower budget and doesn't stand up as well against Charlie Chan at Treasure Island and Charlie Chan's Secret, the other Chan movies with seances. The Monogram Chans are pretty much built around Charlie and his skills while the rest of the action often deteriorates into comedy. The great settings of the earlier Chans are greatly missed. Charlie Chan in Black Magic does have some nice elements and the missing bullet theory is pretty clever. The plot isn't as dull as other Monogram Chans even though the characters are pretty standard and forgettable. The acting is wooden in spots, especially Frances Chan as (drum roll) Frances Chan. She's great to look at and a nice change of pace from the bumbling Chan sons but her acting isn't the best. Mantan Moreland does his standard coward routine as the Jar Jar Binks of Chan movies. He's a funny guy given shameful material. The atmosphere isn't as good as other Chans but is passable, as is the rest of the movie even though the seance idea has been done and the movie is pretty forgettable.

6.1/10


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