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Charlie Chan in the Secret Service (1944)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  14 February 1944 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,102 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 7 critic

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

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(original screenplay), (characters)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mantan Moreland ...
Arthur Loft ...
Gwen Kenyon ...
Inez Arranto
Sarah Edwards ...
Mrs. Hargue
George J. Lewis ...
Paul Arranto (as George Lewis)
Marianne Quon ...
Iris Chan
Benson Fong ...
Tommy Chan
Muni Seroff ...
Peter Laska
Barry Bernard ...
David Blake
Gene Roth ...
Luis Philipe Vega (as Gene Stutenroth)
Eddy Chandler ...
Lewis (as Eddie Chandler)
Lelah Tyler ...
Mrs. Winters
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Storyline

A scientist working on an important new invention which will protect Allied shipping from U-boat torpedoes has been assigned Secret Service security protection. Amazingly, despite the fact that his laboratory and experiments are located on the upper floor of his Washington mansion, he decides to host a cocktail party for friends on the first floor. Even though several of his guests are foreign nationals with shadowy pasts, he refuses to allow his bodyguards to attend because their presence might offend them. When he is killed by unknown means before joining them, the resultant summary investigation includes Honolulu detective Charlie Chan and children Tommy and Iris, later joined by Birmingham Brown, the chauffeur of one of the guests. When a preliminary autopsy reveals the scientist was electrocuted, Charlie and his associates must decide which of the suspects and red herrings is the guilty party. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The screen's most daring sleuth!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

14 February 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan and the Secret Service  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$75,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film to introduce Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown. See more »

Goofs

While we are supposed to be in Washington D.C., when Charlie Chan leaves the office building you see the California state flag outside. See more »

Quotes

Tommy Chan: Hey, Pop.
Charlie Chan: Quiet. Detective at work.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Dangerous Money (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"When alibi pushed at me, always suspect motive in woodpile."
8 September 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This first Monogram Charlie Chan film is a little tougher to enjoy than the prior 20th Century Fox films. For one, Sidney Toler's depiction of Chan is more abrupt and almost mean spirited at times. Music is used more frequently, but seems out of place, as when a dramatic score is used when Chan casually strolls to a taxi. Offsetting these points is the introduction of two new members of the Chan Clan, the film now revealing there are fourteen! offspring. Benson Fong joins the action as Number #3 son Tommy, and Marianne Quon is introduced as Number #2 daughter Iris. Mantan Moreland also joins the cast as Birmingham Brown, although his character has not been fully developed at this point.

The mystery involves the murder of a World War II scientist and inventor who has developed plans for a new torpedo. The cast of suspects is a varied lot, and as Charlie closes in on the killer, the killer himself is murdered. Charlie uses a ruse to flush out the second murderer, but somehow it seems contrived, as there is nothing in the film to lead up to the second killer's identity. Other guests are built up to seem more suspicious, such as Paul Arranto, confined to a wheelchair but who can actually walk. It's as if one of Charlie's own lines in the film can be used to describe the solution - "Explanation too perfect to be true".


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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