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Black Magic (1944)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  19 August 1944 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 958 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 ...
Helen Beverly ...
Norma Duncan / Nancy Wood (as Helen Beverley)
Jacqueline deWit ...
Justine Bonner
Geraldine Wall ...
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:

Weirdest case of the screen's top sleuth! 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 33rd of 47 Charlie Chan movies. 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

Police Sgt. Matthews: Charlie, about that bullet?
Charlie Chan: You can keep secret?
Police Sgt. Matthews: Of course!
Charlie Chan: So can I.
See more »

Connections

Follows Behind That Curtain (1929) See more »

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User Reviews

Routine & Rather Dated
20 June 2001 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This is mostly a routine Charlie Chan mystery with only a couple of points in its favor. While there are a couple of interesting clues to the crime, the characters, dialogue, and action are all stereotyped or dated, and often dull. The beginning seems to hold some possibilities: a man is murdered at a seance, and although he was apparently shot, no trace of the bullet can be found. The police are baffled, and of course call in Charlie Chan to solve the crime. Charlie is assisted this time not by one of his sons, but by his daughter Frances. Unfortunately, it never really takes off from there.

The phony medium setting offers some opportunities for comedy, but most of those do not work too well. The climax has a bit of suspense to it, and the eventual solution has a couple of creative points in it, but there are a lot of listless stretches to sit through before you can get there.

Overall, "Meeting at Midnight" (or, "Charlie Chan in Black Magic") is not one of the better mystery films around.


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