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Charlie Chan in The Chinese Cat (1944)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  20 May 1944 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 975 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 6 critic

Charlie Chan investigates the locked-room murder of a chess expert.

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Writers:

(original screenplay), (character)
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Title: Charlie Chan in The Chinese Cat (1944)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Mantan Moreland ...
Benson Fong ...
Ian Keith ...
Dr. Paul Recknik
Sam Flint ...
Thomas P. Manning
Cy Kendall ...
Webster Deacon
Weldon Heyburn ...
Det. Harvey Dennis
...
Catlen (as Anthony Ward)
John Davidson ...
Carl Karzdas / Kurt Karzdas
Dewey Robinson ...
Salos
...
Gannet (as Stan Jolley)
...
Mrs. Manning
Jack Norton ...
Hotel Desk Clerk
Luke Chan ...
Wu Song
Edit

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
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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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The thirty-second of forty-seven Charlie Chan movies. 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

Charlie Chan: [to a semi-conscious Tommy] How you feeling?
Tommy Chan: My head seems to be spinning.
Charlie Chan: Oh. Then you're all right. Everything back to normal.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Docks of New Orleans (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another well-done Chan
14 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Son Tommy replaces his brother Jimmy, and for the better. Jimmy's bug-eyed, constantly interrupting persona was somewhat over the top, and Benson Fong's Tommy plays the role of sidekick just straight enough to take the cringe out of the character. Much of the comic relief is transferred to Mantan Moreland's Birmingham Brown, and Moreland was the man to carry it off. Unlike most of the Chan comic relief characters, Birmingham's antics are generally set apart from Charlie's detective work, and don't interfere so much with the unfolding of the mystery. And Moreland himself was just a better actor than the Chan sons or the various other characters who played the role.

The fun house is a classic crime setting, and its use here - though done on the cheap - fits right in to the series. The plot doesn't play out like many Chan movies - a good guy isn't revealed to be a bad guy, As a result, the end is less a reveal than a long action/danger scene. Nice change-up from the usual Chan. And while many prefer Warner Oland, Sidney Toler is Chan to me in this episode - one step ahead, as always.


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