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The Shanghai Cobra (1945) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 28% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
George Callahan (screenplay) &
George Wallace Sayre (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Shanghai Cobra on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 September 1945 (USA) See more »
Charlie Chan at his best in his most thrilling adventure!
Someone is attempting to steal radium stored in a bank. Death by cobra venom connects a number of murders. Charlie investigates. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Bland Story Until 'Tommy' & 'Birmingham' Go To Work See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan

Mantan Moreland ... Birmingham Brown

Benson Fong ... Tommy Chan
James Cardwell ... Ned Stewart

Joan Barclay ... Paula Webb

Addison Richards ... John Adams
Arthur Loft ... Bradford Harris
Janet Warren ... Record Machine Operator
Gene Roth ... Morgan (as Gene Stutenroth)

Joe Devlin ... Taylor
James Flavin ... H.R. Jarvis
Roy Gordon ... Walter Fletcher
Walter Fenner ... Police Inspector Harry Davis
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andy Andrews ... Patrolman Outside Joe's (uncredited)
George Chandler ... Joe, Coffee Shop Owner (uncredited)
Cyril Delevanti ... Detective Larkin (uncredited)
John Goldsworthy ... Inspector Mainwaring (uncredited)
Stephen Gregory ... Samuel Black (uncredited)
Karen Knight ... Switchboard Supervisor (uncredited)
Mary Moore ... Rita, Laundry Clerk (uncredited)
Paul Newlan ... Big Bank Guard (uncredited)
Diane Quillan ... Phone Operator (uncredited)
Bob Reeves ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Jack Richardson ... Letter Carrier (uncredited)
William Ruhl ... Mr. Grey (uncredited)

Directed by
Phil Karlson 
Writing credits
George Callahan (screenplay) &
George Wallace Sayre (screenplay)

George Callahan (original story)

Earl Derr Biggers (characters)

Produced by
James S. Burkett .... producer
Cinematography by
Vincent J. Farrar  (as Vincent Farrar)
Film Editing by
Ace Herman 
Art Direction by
Dave Milton (uncredited)
Set Decoration by
Vin Taylor (uncredited)
Production Management
Glenn Cook .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eddie Davis .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Tom Lambert .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Mario Castegnaro .... transparency shots (uncredited)
Ray Mercer .... photographic effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Al Nicklin .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Music Department
Edward J. Kay .... musical director
William A. Wilmarth .... music mixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Ron Ormond .... technical director (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Charlie Chan in the Shanghai Cobra" - USA (informal title)
See more »
64 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Australia:A | UK:A | UK:PG (video) | USA:Approved (Certificate #10989)

Did You Know?

The thirty-fourth of forty-seven Charlie Chan movies.See more »
Errors in geography: A building supposedly located in Washington, D.C. has the California state flag flying from its flagpole.See more »
Paula Webb:[as Chan leaves Ned and Paula in the restaurant] Must you go, Mr. Chan?
Charlie Chan:Oh, quite necessary. Besides, much better for you to have dinner with young detective than with old detective.
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15 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
Bland Story Until 'Tommy' & 'Birmingham' Go To Work, 19 June 2007
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States

This Charlie Chan entry was more mystery-oriented than most of the Monogram Pictures versions, which tended to rely more on humor. The earlier Warner Oland-Chan films were like this one with the emphasis more on serious issues. I liked both Oland and Sidney Toler in the role of Charlie Chan, so I have no complaints either way.

As usual, it's Charlie's assistants: "Birmingham Brown" (Mantan Moreland) and "Number Three Son Tommy" (Benson Fong) who need to be rescued. They also try to help but usually wind up in trouble. Charlie has to solve the murder and help his buddies. It's a good thing because "Tommy" and "Brimingham" are the ones who add spice to this story, which was flat until the halfway mark.

This is kind of strange story and nothing was stranger than this jukebox that was rigged as a camera, with somebody behind it. It's hard to describe but it very cool, and something - technology-wise, that seemed to be way ahead of its time.

None of the Monogram Chan movies in the 1940s were "classics" but they all were entertaining and offered something different. This movie is typical: boring for some viewers, fascinating for others, lulls that shouldn't be there, but a good mix of humor, suspense and mystery.

In a nutshell, Charlie is called to Washington to help a Federal guy with a baffling case. Charlie owed him a favor so he is cashing in. It seems three people have been killed with cobra venom and the prime suspect is a guy that got caught in Shanghai eight years ago but now is not recognized. Only Charlie would know who the guys is, hence, they need him. (The suspect, "Jan Van Horn" was badly burned when the Japanese bombed the city, as the time of his arrest.)

Anyway, all three recent victims of the cobra bite worked for Sixth National Bank but the police have no clue. No wonder they always need Chan's assistance. Most of the officers shown in these movies are clueless about anything.

The story, even at a little over one hour in length, is slow in the first half hour and could use some punching up, but once Charlie's kid and "Birmingham Brown" go down to the sewers to investigate, the film is fun. Anyway, it's not like you waste half the day watching it. Charlie Chan movies are usually a fun way to spend a little over an hour.

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