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)
I'm pretty sure there wasn't a Chan film made that I didn't like: I preferred Oland to Toler and Fox to Monogram but am more than happy (maybe even keen!) to watch a Toler Monogram effort. They all transported you to a world of more or less cultured baddies, each hiding a thousand secrets which Charlie (and us of course) has to work his way through. Usually, as in this case, to find the murderer from a roomful of shifty twitching eyes.
Electrical scientist murdered and the secret plans stolen, Charlie with a little ... help from offspring Tommie and Iris has to decide which of the house guests did it. The Monogram house's hanging drapes and thick carpets lend a nice atmosphere to the mystery. Only gripes: the incongruously brash and childish music track and the continual visual reference to a Watching Evil Eye from a Dark Place.
Watched from the Chanthology DVD and with the widescreen TV set to mild zoomview meant it was like the first time again for me seeing this, an experience I'd have to recommend and one I want to repeat with the other titles in the set.
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