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The Jade Mask (1945)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 823 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 7 critic

Charlie Chan looks into the apparent murder of a scientist in a spooky mansion.

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(original screenplay), (character)
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Inspector Chan investigates a group of travelers, one of whom is a saboteur.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mantan Moreland ...
Edwin Luke ...
...
...
Harper
Janet Warren ...
Jean Kent
Cyril Delevanti ...
Al Bridge ...
Sheriff Mack (as Alan Bridge)
Ralph Lewis ...
Officer Jim Kimball
Dorothy Granger ...
Stella Graham
Edith Evanson ...
Louise Harper
Joe Whitehead ...
Dr. Samuel R. Peabody
Henry Hall ...
Inspector Godfrey
Jack Ingram ...
Lloyd Archer
Danny Desmond ...
Bellboy
Edit

Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A MYSTERY MANSION...Where death lurks in every dark corner and a mad genius runs loose!

Genres:

Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 January 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan in the Jade Mask  »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The thirty-seventh of forty-seven Charlie Chan movies. See more »

Goofs

The key to identifying the murderer is an ear remaining from a broken plaster life-make, reputedly as identifiable as a fingerprint, yet when we earlier see an intact life-mask, the face is precise but the ears are generic globs. See more »

Quotes

Harper: Strange safety vault, eh, Roth? Both doors wide open to anyone finding that panel in the hall.
Roth: Like a spider's web, sir. Easy to get into; impossible to get out of.
Harper: [Sarcastically] And I'm the spider, huh?
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Golden Eye (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Among the Best of the Chan Monogram Films--But That's Not Saying Much
10 June 2007 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

Loosely based on novels by Earl Derr Biggers, 20th Century Fox's Charlie Chan series proved an audience favorite--but when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor the studio feared audiences would turn against its Asian hero. This was a miscalculation: actor Sidney Toler took the role to "poverty row" Monogram Studios, where he continued to portray the character in eleven more films made between 1944 and his death in 1947.

20th Century Fox had regarded the Chan films as inexpensive "B" movies, but even so the studio took considerable care with them: the plots were often silly, but the pace was sharp, the dialogue witty, and the casts (which featured the likes of Bela Lugosi and Ray Milland) always expert. The result was a kindly charm which has stood the test of time. Monogram was a different matter: Chan films were "B" movies plain and simple. Little care was taken with scripts or cast and resulting films were flat, usually mediocre at best, virtually unwatchable at worst.

Released in 1945, THE JADE MASK is one of the very few Monograms that approaches the quality level of the 20th Century Fox series. This largely due to the expert cast and witty script, both of which are a bit unusual for Monogram. In this particular tale, Chan--who now works for the government during World War II--is called upon to investigate the murder of a scientist working with potentially beneficial but distinctly deadly gasses. Sidney Toler's Chan is always enjoyable, and he is aided in this by the local sheriff (Alan Bridge, who has the best lines in the film) and the inevitable Birmingham Brown (Mantan Moreland.) Fans of the 20th Century Fox series are likely to find Monogram's Chan a significant disappointment and newcomers who like the Monogram films will probably consider them third-rate after encountering the Fox films. Even so, THE JADE MASK is unexpectedly good, and I think most Chan fans will find it enjoyable.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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