During WWII several murders occur at a convalescent home where Dr. Watson has volunteered his services. He summons Holmes for help and the master detective proceeds to solve the crime from ... See full summary »
Charlie is the intended murder victim here, and he avoids death only by chance. To find the murderer (since, of course, murder does occur), Charlie must outguess Scotland Yard and New York City police.
John G. Blystone
When three employees of a bank are found murdered with cobra venom, Charlie Chan connects the homicides to a case he had worked in Shanghai in 1937. Even though he arrested the alleged murderer, whom later escaped from the police, Charlie wouldn't be able to recognize him because, at the time of his apprehension, his badly burned face and hands were swathed in bandages. Although Chan believes he is now involved with a gang that is stealing valuable radium from a bank vault, utilizing tunnels that connect to the area sewer system, his new identity remains a mystery. When a detective disguised as a bank guard is found dead in a tunnel by Birmingham, Charlie knows he's on the right track. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Low Budget Means Mystery Missing, But Secret Room Provides Surprise
If you're volunteering to watch a Charlie Chan movie, you already have some idea of what's in store, and as this is one of the late ones done at the Poverty Row Studio, Monogram, you may also know it's not heavy on either production values or a complex script.
That said, director Phil Karlson sets up the first five minutes as if this were a dynamic, lurking-in-the-shadows film noir, and immediately slips from dark, shadowy streets into a brightly-lit diner where the juke-box is also a one-way television which connects to a secret room somewhere else in the city; what's not to like? Sounds like the start of a fascinating mystery! Unfortunately, the remainder of the film doesn't develop many more startling innovations or follow up much with the television, getting lost somewhere as the script pages went missing, perhaps
There are, however, character treats along with way, such familiar folks as George Chandler as a cynical soda jerk and familiar-face Addison Richards as a suspicious bank guard; the 64 minutes are well-spent for the average "B" movie fan--but this ain't The Maltese Falcon although almost any hour spent with Charlie Chan can be unadulterated escapism.
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