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
Although Charlie Chan's daughters appeared with him in previous films (including Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938) and Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)), this is the only film in which a daughter (Frances) plays the assistant role usually done by one of Chan's sons (Lee, Jimmy, Tommy). See more »
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 »
Likable and intriguing 40's Charlie Chan B-Pic that has more of a Film Noir feel to it.
'Black Magic' otherwise known as 'Meeting at Midnight' is yet another 1940's Charlie Chan B-movie produced by B-studio Monogram Pictures.
This time around Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) investigates a seemingly impossible murder at a Seance, one where his daughter Frances (Frances Chan) is attending and also his friend & Chauffeur Birmingham Brown (Mantan Moreland) has just started a new job as a Butler leaving them both as suspects along with many of the others at the Seance table.
The DVD case which I bought says that 'Black Magic' is regarded as one of the best Chan Movies of the series..Not quite sure whether they include the 20th Century Fox produced episodes which I haven't yet seen or merely the Monogram produced ones.
Having seen a few of the Monogram Produced Episodes now, I have to agree that 'Black Magic' is probably the best that I've seen so far, The Acting and dialogue is better and not so stilted, there is also more Comedy than in previous Chan episodes of the Monogram era, some of it again rather distasteful especially portraying African American Moreland as an Idiot for laughs.
The budget is still low, and the production is still rather creaky but again you have to expect it from a B-Studio, just take it for what it is and you should Enjoy.
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