Charlie is the intended murder victim here, and he avoids death only by chance. To find the murderer (since, of course, murder does occur), Charlie must outguess Scotland Yard and New York City police.
John G. Blystone
A Pathe serial in ten chapters of two-reels each: Dan Winterslip, a wealthy man in Honolulu, has not spoken to his brother, who owns a hotel next to Winterslip's estate, in over twenty ... See full summary »
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 (email@example.com)
A true yawner and a bad film even for the Chan series. I like a good Charlie Chan film or even a reasonably good one, but this one falls way short of the mark. Charlie is enlisted to help figure out the murder of a scientist working for our government when someone in the house has stolen the plans for another power. The mystery is very pedestrian and the acting doesn't fare much better. The only saving grace for me in the film was the presence of Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown. He gives the film a little comedy and has some good scared faces, but after that the pickings are rather slim. Benson Fong is here as Tommy Chan and pairs up with Chan's daughter of all things. What about Sidney Toler? He is pretty decent but looks like he is straining to carry the film. What I noticed most was the way the film was shot. Chan director Phil Rosen, of whom I generally like most of his entries, uses lots of long shots with no action(like Charlie's initial walk into the house from outside). Why? The film is only 64 minutes long for crying out loud! Shots like that tell me the director had to fill time up because the script was even weaker than he was accustomed to. This probably isn't the worst Chan film ever made, but up to now it is the worst I have sat through unfortunately.
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