Eccentric scientist Harper lives in a spooky mansion with all the trimmings: hidden lab, secret panels, inscrutable butler, and greedy relatives with unusual talents. When Harper seems to be murdered, Charlie Chan (with the uninvited help of No. 4 son) tries to answer such questions as Where's the body? How can a dead man walk? And how can a secret murder be done in full view of detectives and witnesses? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Charlie Chan, played by the inimitable Sidney Toler, plays cat and mouse with a murderer. At a spooky mansion, light and shadows, combined with dreary music and an effective script, create a suitably mysterious atmosphere. The screen story also contains considerable humor.
The acting is generally wooden, except for the performance of the wonderful Mantan Moreland. The film's editing and production values are weak. At one point you can see the shadow of the crew's microphone. But then, Charlie Chan movies, in general, are not known for their high technical quality.
I was disappointed with the solution to the mystery, and that's my main complaint with this film. Still, watching "The Jade Mask" is not a bad way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon, if your expectations are not too high.
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