IMDb > The Trap (1946)

The Trap (1946) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Earl Derr Biggers (character)
Miriam Kissinger (original screenplay)
View company contact information for The Trap on IMDbPro.
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 »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A weaker Chan but OK See more (19 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 (character)

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?

When Madge says to Mrs. Weebles, "Lots of evil has come out of the sea - the whirl for instance," she may be referring to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in which a sorry wreck of a man escapes drowning in the oceanic whirl that takes his ship and fellow crewmen. In this way Madge may be wittily dismissing both Mrs. Weebles and her views on temperance as ancient, ruined, out-of-date, stuck in the past, hearkening back to a darker time (the prohibition era) and of no current public interest or value.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Impresario Cole-King (Howard Negley) accuses his press agent, Rick Daniels (Larry Blake), of being "callused" when Rick suggests dumping the body of the first murder victim at the beach. The word obviously meant is "callous".See more »
Birmingham Brown:Jimmy's just gotten murdered. I just got it over the telephone.
Charlie Chan:What? Where? Where call come from?
Birmingham Brown:Uh, uh, 126 Malibu Drive. There's a whole lot of girls there and say they just got murdered.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Follows Charlie Chan in Reno (1939)See more »


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A weaker Chan but OK, 21 February 2015
Author: Panamint from United States

"The Trap" has an OK mystery plot and an unusual Chan locale- the beach, literally on the beach itself. And there is some fine photography of the California coast.

Toler is noticeably tired in this, his last film. In fact at least one scene is performed by Mr. Toler while sitting down, most likely due to fatigue and illness; otherwise he is almost entirely stationary and standing. However he manages to carry his acting weight in his scenes.

I believe that this is one of the best of Sen Yung's efforts in Chan films, most likely because he is allowed to just act for the most part except for one extended (but plot enhancing) sequence of buffoonery. Tanis Chandler is very French and very attractive, and her performance is competent. Barbara Jean Wong is cute and gives a good performance. But Rita Quigley's performance is...well...the best word to describe it is "terrible". Ms. Quigley gives a career-destroying bad performance that hurts the film, but you could regard it as laughable and so find it endurable on that basis.

Since we get a little gem of a Minerva Urecal performance, fine seacoast cinematography and a decent mystery plot I will give this a "6" rating but you certainly should not expect a classic, traditional Chan film.

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