7.0/10
1,048
34 user 10 critic

Black Magic (1944)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 19 August 1944 (USA)
Charlie searches for a murderer amidst numerous ghosts conjured up by a strange variety of spiritualists and occultists.

Director:

Writers:

(characters), (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Frances Chan ...
Frances Chan
...
Helen Beverly ...
Norma Duncan / Nancy Wood (as Helen Beverley)
Jacqueline deWit ...
Justine Bonner
Geraldine Wall ...
Harriet Green
...
Officer Rafferty
...
Paul Hamlin
...
Dawson, Police Lab
...
Vera Starkey
Harry Depp ...
Charles Edwards
Charles Jordan ...
Tom Starkey
...
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 duke1029

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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actress Frances Chan didn't have to stretch too far in this role. She played a character named . . . Frances Chan! 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

Frances Chan: Who do you think killed Mr. Bonner?
Birmingham Brown: Spooks.
Frances Chan: Silly, they can't hurt anyone.
Birmingham Brown: No? But how come they're scarin' me to death?
See more »

Connections

Follows Charlie Chan's Courage (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

 
More Comedy Than Mystery
12 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This late-entry Charlie Chan movie gets marks simply for the entertainment, not for a deep-thinking suspenseful "whodunnit." It's just fun to watch with an always-smiling daughter (played by Frances Chen) replacing number-whatever-son and the eyes-popping-out-of-the-head Mantan Moreland adding humor, although of his humor is a bit stupid (and insulting to black folks, I'm sure). However, Moreland is a likable guy so it's hard to get annoyed at his silliness.

The story is a familiar one of the day, about the occult (seances) and, thankfully, another that exposes the mediums as crooks.

These Sidney Toler-Mantan Moreland collaborations, as opposed to the early Warner Oland/Charlie Chan movies, replied more on comedy and gimmicks rather than brains, and once you accept that, you just go along with an entertaining hour of lamebrain fun, especially when Chan starts to put people down with his sarcasm.


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