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Charlie Chan in The Chinese Cat (1944)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 20 May 1944 (USA)
Charlie Chan investigates the locked-room murder of a chess expert.

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(original screenplay), (character)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Thomas P. Manning
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Webster Deacon
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Det. Harvey Dennis
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Catlen (as Anthony Ward)
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Carl Karzdas / Kurt Karzdas
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Salos
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Gannet (as Stan Jolley)
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Mrs. Manning
Jack Norton ...
Hotel Desk Clerk
Luke Chan ...
Wu Song
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Storyline

Thomas P. Manning, businessman and chess expert mysteriously shot in a locked room, dies clutching some chess pieces. Police are baffled, and finally abandon the case. Six months later, victim's daughter Leah Manning, stung by a scurrilous book about the case, enlists the aid of Charlie Chan and Number 3 Son. Additional murders follow, leading to a climactic confrontation in a seemingly deserted "Fun House." Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"MUST CONFESS. HONORABLE SON...This Is My Most Baffling Case!"


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 May 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murder in the Fun House  »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its earliest documented telecast in New York City Sunday 15 August 1948 on WCBS (Channel 2); on the West Coast Chan Fans got their first chance at it in San Francisco Tuesday 15 November 1949 on KPIX (Channel 5) and in Los Angeles Thursday 21 September 1950 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »

Goofs

The character played by Cy Kendall is identified as Webster Deacon in dialogue, but George Deacon in a newspaper insert. See more »

Quotes

Birmingham Brown, Taxi Driver: Free speech is gon' get me in trouble yet.
See more »

Connections

Follows Charlie Chan in Rio (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Okay Chan mystery passes quickly
18 November 2016 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

A man playing chess is shot by an unknown hand. The dying man sweeps the chess pieces off the board–but leaves a bishop standing. A clue?

Charlie Chan is eventually recruited to investigate, but he only has 48 hours before leaving town on government business. In that short time, his investigation leads to artsy figurines hidden in bread loaves, and opens secret compartments concealing diamonds in those same figurines.

Sidney Toler is steady as always in this modest Chan mystery. Benson Fong is energetic as son Tommy Chan, and the father-son back-and- forth includes the usual amount of moderately amusing banter:

Tommy Chan: "Pop, I got a case that will knock your hat off." Pop Chan: "Can remove hat without assistance, thank you."

Joan Woodbury is sadly wasted as the murder victim's stepdaughter. You'd think Woodbury would add some zip to a picture like this, but unfortunately she's stuck as a helpless hand-wringer rather than the spunky fast-talker she so often played. However, Woodbury's blandness is nothing compared with that of her detective boyfriend (Weldon Heyburn), who simply has nothing interesting to say or do the whole picture. Poor guy!

Thank goodness for Mantan Moreland, who livens up his scenes as taxi driver Birmingham Brown. Fong is also fun as the number three son (although he sure smiles a lot, even when he's just discovered a dead body).

Overall, it's not much of a plot but the familiar lead characters are always watchable.


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