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The Trap (1946) More at IMDbPro »


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Up 35% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Earl Derr Biggers (based on the character created by)
Miriam Kissinger (original screenplay)
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Release Date:
30 November 1946 (USA) See more »
It's The HEIGHT of FRIGHT! (original poster) See more »
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. | Full synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Sidney Toler's swan song See more (21 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan

Mantan Moreland ... Birmingham Brown
Victor Sen Yung ... Jimmy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
Tanis Chandler ... Adelaide
Larry J. Blake ... Rick Daniels (as Larry Blake)

Kirk Alyn ... Seargent Reynolds
Rita Quigley ... Clementine
Anne Nagel ... Marcia
Helen Gerald ... Ruby
Howard Negley ... Cole King
Lois Austin ... Mrs. Thorn
Barbara Jean Wong ... San Toy

Minerva Urecal ... Mrs. Weebles
Margaret Brayton ... Madge Mudge
Bettie Best ... Winifred

Jan Bryant ... Lois
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walden Boyle ... Doc Brandt (uncredited)

Directed by
Howard Bretherton 
Writing credits
Earl Derr Biggers  based on the character created by &
Miriam Kissinger  original screenplay

Produced by
James S. Burkett .... producer
Cinematography by
James S. Brown Jr.  (as James Brown)
Film Editing by
Ace Herman 
Art Direction by
Dave Milton (uncredited)
Set Decoration by
Raymond Boltz Jr. 
Makeup Department
Harry Ross .... makeup artist
Production Management
William A. Calihan Jr. .... production manager (as William Calihan Jr.)
Glenn Cook .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Harold E. Knox .... assistant director (as Harold Knox)
William A. Calihan Jr. .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Tom Lambert .... sound
Editorial Department
Richard C. Currier .... supervising editor (as Richard Currier)
Music Department
Edward J. Kay .... musical director
Other crew
Dave Milton .... technical director
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
68 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Did You Know?

This was Sidney Toler's final film. Stricken with cancer during his last few films, he was so physically weak during shooting that he could hardly walk or say his lines coherently.See more »
Continuity: The chemical used on San Toy is initially referred to as chloroform but is later changed to ether.See more »
Ruby:You can't quarrel with a lapdog.See more »
Movie Connections:


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Sidney Toler's swan song, 23 March 2014
Author: binapiraeus from Greece

Sadly, this is one of the weakest Charlie Chan movies (though even at that, it provides good, average B movie entertainment) - and even much more sadly, it was the last film that Sidney Toler could finish before he died. There are moments where it's obvious that he struggles with his fatal disease; which makes the whole thing even more sad, but also increases enormously our respect for this great actor who gave everything literally until the end.

The story is somewhat confused, the movie seems like it's been done hastily (perhaps because Sidney Toler didn't have much time left?); and the hysterical crowd of 'bathing beauties' certainly tends to go on the audience's nerves, even though they display the latest and most daring bikini fashion of the time. There's a variety troupe on holiday at the seaside, and it becomes clear very soon that the 'star' of the group is SO unsympathetic that sooner or later she WILL be killed... But first it's one of the other girls' turn, whom shrew Marcia blackmails into stealing papers from another girl's trunk (threatening that she'll reveal that the girl is under age), so that she can blackmail the other one, too, whose husband seems to have a dark past. The little girl is strangled, and her Chinese colleague San Toy (one of the few nice girls of the troupe) calls on her friend Jimmy Chan for help - in somewhat of a confusion, so that Birmingham, who picks up the phone, is under the impression that Jimmy has been murdered!

So he and Charlie haste to the beach house, where they soon catch an intruder: Jimmy, who found the paper with the address on Birmingham's desk! No need to say that Charlie is immensely relieved; but now he's in the middle of a murder case, of course - and, as was to be expected, the next day on the beach the body of hated Marcia is found... Now everybody starts accusing each other, some of the girls get fits of hysteria - and Charlie, together with his two assistants, tries to make head or tail of the whole muddled case.

As I said before, this movie certainly isn't among the better Charlie Chans - but it's our last opportunity to see our beloved trio Sidney Toler - Sen Yung - Mantan Moreland together; so let's just enjoy the jokes and the suspense, and laugh and let's be entertained by them once more...

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