When a troupe of showgirls with their impresario and press agent vacation at a Malibu Beach resort, two of them are garroted. Charlie takes on the case assisted by Number Two Son Jimmy and faithful chauffeur Birmingham Brown.
Victor Sen Yung
Princess Mei Ling pays a visit to the Chan residence, where upon being admitted by man-of-all-work Birmingham Brown she refuses to give her name, but hands Birmingham her ring to show to Charlie. While Chan is being summoned, a mysterious figure shoots a dart at the beautiful Princess who manages, before she dies of poison, to scrawl the name "Captain K" on a handy piece of paper. When the police arrive, Charlie has to admit that he does not know the identity of his murdered visitor, but that he means to find out. What he learns is that Mei Ling has brought with her to America the sum of one million dollars, in order to buy airplanes for the Chinese struggle for freedom. Someone has stolen the money, and someone may be trying to divert the planes into enemy hands. Can the famous detective, despite the fact that his Number Two Son has unaccountably changed his name from Jimmy to Tommy, who used to be his Number Three son, and despite the fact that Charlie, who used to be a Honolulu ... Written by
Princess Mei Ling visits Charlie Chan's house with need of the great detective's help. Before she can meet with him she is killed by an air gun, but is able to scrawl "Capt K" on a sheet of paper in hoping to give Chan a clue to her killer. Chan, teaming up with police sergeant, Bill Davidson, finds the apartment where the princess is residing and finds that her trip to America was to purchase a fleet of airplanes to aid in China's defense from invaders. Captain Kong, who was captain of the ship that the princess traveled on, and Captain Kelso, who was the supplier of the planes for the princess, are both determined to see that Chan and Davidson make no further progress on the murder case, which has also added the princess' maid and a mute Chinese boy who may have seen the killer. Obviously by the time the Monogram Chan films were at this stage they were pretty routine and boring and this film is no exception, despite being Roland Winters debut as Chan. The film really lacks a mystery aura as seen in any other Chan film with a storyline that does little in the way of entertain. Victor Sen-Yung last the least to do of any son in any Chan film and Moreland lacks much of the humor he usually does, but does seem more involved with solving the case. Rating, 3.
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