Charlie Chan investigates the theft of government radar papers (the laboratory is located in the same building as a radio station!) with the help of Number Three Son Tommy and comic sidekick Birmingham Brown. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Scarlet Clue finds our intrepid oriental detective Charlie Chan now working for the federal government on a spy case. He's trailing a suspect, but when Sidney Toler requests help from the local police, they bungle it and the suspect winds up dead. He certainly now can't help Toler find who's behind the plot to steal radar secrets.
But the roads seem to lead to a local radio station with a whole bunch of suspects from ham actors, to shifty technicians, and an owner who's right out of Rebecca. A few more murders occur before we find out who the master spy is.
Charlie is now breaking in number 3 son Benson Fong and if possible he's a bigger dunce and hence a bigger foil for Charlie's fortune cookie wisdom than before. By now Mantan Moreland as chauffeur Birmingham Brown has joined the series and his stereotypical role is one reason the series doesn't get much air now. But one thing this film does do is feature Ben Carter who worked a nightclub act with Moreland and two of their routines get into the film. They're pretty funny I will say.
What I also found fascinating here is that since this film was made in 1945, made for Monogram and hence made in a matter of days, I'm not sure whether the folks behind the spy ring are Communists or Nazis. It was left vague and I'm certain that was done deliberately.
So you might want to see the film and see if you can figure out who was running the radio spy ring.
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