The Chinese Ring (1947) - News Poster

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CHARLIEs not on Bluray but you Chan get him on DVD

TCM: Spotlight Charlie Chan Collection (Dark Alibi / Dangerous Money / The Trap / The Chinese Ring)

Am I allowed to like this? There really isn't any getting around how utterly un-pc this series was. Yet it has aged as well as the Sherlock Holmes stuff from this period. Maybe even better. I always preferred Warner Olands Chan above Sydney Toller or Roland Winters but it's fascinating to think that all three men made careers out of playing Chan. In fact both Oland and Toller played the character repeatedly until their respective deaths. By all accounts this is an important set as four of the films have never been available before. That leaves only two Chan films currently unavailable on DVD (Shadows Over Chinatown and The Red Dragon) the real question is how long until we get one  big box set option. No extras which is a real disappointment here.

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[DVD Review] TCM Spotlight: The Charlie Chan Collection

Charlie Chan definitely has a place among the pantheon of famous fictional detectives. He is certainly one of the more controversial ones. Although Chan is undoubtedly a hero, many Asians resent the character as an ethnic stereotype. Chan is polite and soft spoken, never lacking an appropriate old Chinese proverb to suit the occasion.

The character of Charlie Chan was created by Earl Derr Biggers in 1923 as a rebuttal to the “Yellow Peril” stereotypes so common in literature of the day, such as Fu Manchu. Biggers lived in Hawaii and resented the unflattering Asian clichés so he invented a benign Chinese Investigator working for the Honolulu Police Force. He wrote several Chan novels. The honorable Chinese Detective became so popular that he was soon adapted into film. There were many Chan films, starting in the silent film era. Early films actually starred Chinese actors but the Audience didn’t respond to Asian Leading men.
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