IMDb > Black Magic (1944)
Black Magic
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Black Magic (1944) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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7.1/10   926 votes »
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Up 19% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Earl Derr Biggers (characters)
George Callahan (original screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Black Magic on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 August 1944 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
SCIENCE TRAPS A KILLER! See more »
Plot:
Charlie searches for a murderer amidst numerous ghosts conjured up by a strange variety of spiritualists and occultists. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(31 articles)
Actress Beverly Dies
 (From WENN. 25 July 2011, 9:16 AM, PDT)

'Corpse Bride' Co-Director Mike Johnson To Helm 'Oz Wars,'
 (From The Playlist. 16 December 2010, 12:56 PM, PST)

Putrid Panels - Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950's
 (From Planet Fury. 20 November 2010, 5:22 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
"Commissioner, that was a strictly private murder, to which I was not invited." See more (31 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland ... Birmingham Brown
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)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Darby Jones ... Johnson (uncredited)
George Morrell ... Man at Elevator (uncredited)
Dick Rush ... Policeman (uncredited)
Crane Whitley ... Bonner (uncredited)

Directed by
Phil Rosen 
 
Writing credits
Earl Derr Biggers (characters)

George Callahan (original screenplay)

Produced by
James S. Burkett .... producer
Philip N. Krasne .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alexander Laszlo 
 
Cinematography by
Arthur Martinelli 
 
Film Editing by
John F. Link Sr.  (as John Link)
 
Art Direction by
Dave Milton 
 
Set Decoration by
Albert Greenwood  (as Al Greenwood)
 
Production Management
Richard L'Estrange .... production manager (as Dick L'Estrange)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bobby Ray .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Sam Gordon .... props
 
Sound Department
Max M. Hutchinson .... sound (as Max Hutchinson)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
George Booker .... grip
Earl Crowley .... still photographer
Dave Smith .... camera operator
Monte Steadman .... assistant camera
Joe Wharton .... gaffer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Harry Bourne .... wardrobe
 
Music Department
David Chudnow .... musical director
 
Other crew
Marie Messinger .... script girl
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Charlie Chan in Black Magic" - USA (informal alternative title)
"Charlie Chan in Meeting at Midnight" - USA (informal alternative title)
"Meeting at Midnight" - USA (TV title)
See more »
Runtime:
67 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Australia:PG | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (2004) | USA:Approved

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:
Crew or equipment visible: 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:
Charlie Chan:Very low spirits in Bonner seances. All come from basement.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
"Commissioner, that was a strictly private murder, to which I was not invited.", 15 September 2004
Author: classicsoncall from United States

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".

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