7.0/10
1,084
37 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)
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Charlie Chan is an agent of the U.S. government assigned to investigate the mysterious death of an inventor.

Director: Phil Rosen
Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Arthur Loft
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Charlie Chan investigates the locked-room murder of a chess expert.

Director: Phil Rosen
Stars: Sidney Toler, Joan Woodbury, Mantan Moreland
The Jade Mask (1945)
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Charlie Chan looks into the apparent murder of a scientist in a spooky mansion.

Director: Phil Rosen
Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Edwin Luke
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Someone is attempting to steal radium stored in a bank. Death by cobra venom connects a number of murders. Charlie investigates.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Benson Fong
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Charlie discovers a scheme for the theft of government radar plans while investigating several murders.

Director: Phil Rosen
Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Ben Carter
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Charlie's investigation of a phony psychic during the 1939 World Exposition on San Francisco's Treasure Island leads him to expose a suicide as murder.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Sidney Toler, Cesar Romero, Pauline Moore
Dead Men Tell (1941)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A treasure map in four pieces, the ghost of a hanged pirate, a talking parrot, and a ship full of red herrings complicate Charlie's search for a murderer on board a docked ship.

Director: Harry Lachman
Stars: Sidney Toler, Sheila Ryan, Robert Weldon
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While Charlie is distracted with the birth of his first grandchild, son Jimmy impersonates his father in order to investigate a murder aboard a freighter in the harbor.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Sidney Toler, Phyllis Brooks, Victor Sen Yung
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

While in Paris for a reunion on the eve of World War II, Charlie finds that the murder of an hated businessman leads him to a conspiracy to smuggle arms to Germany.

Director: Herbert I. Leeds
Stars: Sidney Toler, Lynn Bari, Richard Clarke
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Charlie tries to discover the identity of a strangler who strikes multiple times on a cruise ship bound from Honolulu to California.

Director: Eugene Forde
Stars: Sidney Toler, Marjorie Weaver, Lionel Atwill
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An escaped convicted murderer hides out at a New York wax museum where he hopes to get plastic surgery, which will help him revenge himself on Charlie Chan.

Director: Lynn Shores
Stars: Sidney Toler, Victor Sen Yung, C. Henry Gordon
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Charlie Chan investigates apparent poisonings at a mystery mansion in the Mojave Desert.

Director: Harry Lachman
Stars: Sidney Toler, Arleen Whelan, Richard Derr
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Frances Chan ...
Frances Chan
...
Helen Beverly ...
Norma Duncan / Nancy Wood (as Helen Beverley)
...
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)
Edit

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:

Weirdest case of the screen's top sleuth! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest documented telecasts of this film (under its original title) occurred in New York City Thursday 22 April 1948 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Los Angeles Tuesday 12 October 1948 on KTLA (Channel 5) and in Detroit SUnday 7 November 1948 on WJBK (Channel 2); since it was re-scheduled in Los Angeles one week later, Tuesday 19 October 1948, it's possible the originally scheduled telecast failed to take place. In San Francisco television viewers first got a look at it Tuesday 22 November 1949 on KPIX (Channel 5). 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

Followed by The Red Dragon (1945) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Commissioner, that was a strictly private murder, to which I was not invited."
15 September 2004 | by (Florida, New York) – See all my reviews

On vacation from his government job and returning to Honolulu, Charlie Chan is compelled to investigate a murder case when Sergeant Matthews threatens to detain daughter Frances (Frances Chan) unless he helps. William Bonner is the victim, a psychic medium who is shot during a seance, but mysteriously, a gun or bullet is never found.

"Black Magic" offers the usual cast of characters/suspects, in this case most of the seance members have an ax to grind with the victim, from cheated business associates to jilted lovers (which is a mystery in itself, as Bonner did not have the personality or looks when it comes to the romance department).

Mantan Moreland gains progressively more screen time in this third Monogram installment to the Chan series, and this is his best appearance so far, although the racial comments continue as in past Chan films - "If spooks bother you, Sergeant will arrest them".

Another welcome break from the standard Chan formula is the replacement of Number #1, 2 or 3 son with daughter Frances - "Beauty of Chan family also have brains". Sadly though, her portrayal is wooden and uncomfortable at times, with repeatedly wasted lines.

We've seen it before - the seance, the lights out, the gunshot and the resolution exposed by Charlie. The frozen blood bullet is an interesting twist, but don't even try to understand the ballistics involved. A lot of liberty is taken to make all the pieces fit, nevertheless, prepare to be entertained by "Black Magic/Meeting at Midnight".


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?