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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Delightful Chan mystery old fashioned fun

Author: mlraymond from Durham NC
19 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the most entertaining of the later Charlie Chan films, with Roland Winters obviously enjoying himself in the role of the famed detective. The mystery is clever enough to hold up until the final revelation of who done it, with many humorous and atmospheric scenes leading up to the finale.

The low brow Forties humor may not appeal to all modern viewers , but for die-hard Chan fans, such priceless moments as well meaning Number Two son Tommy and nervous chauffeur Birmingham ending up in jail, after attempting to apprehend a supposed crook ,who turns out to be a respectable citizen, are what make these Monogram Chan movies so much fun. Milton Parsons turns in one of his patented undertaker performances as an evasive mortician questioned by Chan, with a very funny bit by a pretty Asian receptionist, who responds to Charlie's polite greeting in his native language with a beaming, " I'm sorry, but I do not speak Chinese." The slightest hint of parody lurks beneath such classic moments as a suspect who had much to gain, being found over a dead relative ,holding the murder weapon; a faintly suspicious butler, and a mysterious figure in black creeping around the various murder scenes.This is a thoroughly enjoyable old mystery, with plenty of atmosphere and laughs for Charlie Chan devotees.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly entertaining Charlie Chan mystery.

Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
23 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With the franchise slowly coming to an end, SHANGHAI CHEST actually has what it takes to make more than a few Chan fans happy. There seems to be more humorous moments thanks to #2 son Tommy(Victor Sen Young)and manservant/chauffeur Brimingham(Mantan Moreland); even Roland Winters as the fabled detective seems more relaxed...but to no avail for there is only to be one more movie in the mystery series. Vic Armstrong(John Alvin)argues with his Uncle the Judge Wes Armstrong(Pierce Watkins)over a plea for money. Vic has wasted away a $30,000 inheritance and is upset his uncle won't loan him money. The Judge actually wants to take his nephew out of his will. As Vic goes to confront his elder, he walks into a darkened room to answer a ringing telephone; he is then knocked out while his uncle lays on the floor with a knife in his back. Secretary Phyllis(Deannie Best)hears the scuffle on the phone and summons the police. When the lights come on there of course stands Vic with the bloody knife in his hand. Oh gee, someone save this man about to be wronged. Hire famous detective Charlie Chan to find the real killer. Other players: Tim Ryan, Russell Hicks, Philip Van Zant and Olaf Hytten.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

"Sometimes muddy waters when stirred sufficiently bring strange things to surface."

Author: classicsoncall from United States
11 October 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Forged fingerprints in a Charlie Chan film were used as recently as 1946 in "Dark Alibi", six movies prior to "The Shanghai Chest". The same gimmick is used here again, this time with the fingerprints of a man who's been dead for six months. The prints are found at the scene of three murders, all of the victims having had some connection to the man who was sentenced to death for murder himself. But that may have been a frame up; the man, Tony Pandello may in fact have been innocent, and someone is out for vengeance.

Roland Winters portrays Inspector Charlie Chan in this 1948 Monogram release. Continuity in the later Monogram films seems to have fallen apart completely, as Victor Sen Yung appears as Number #2 Son Tommy, contrary to his introduction in earlier 20th Century Fox and Monogram movies as Number #2 Son Jimmy. Mantan Moreland is Chan chauffeur Birmingham Brown. In a jail scene, Birmingham and Tommy are released from the lock up, and in the next cell is Willie Best, appearing under his own name. Willie appeared in the Chan film "Red Dragon" as Birmingham's cousin Chattanooga Brown.

In typical Chan fashion, the murderer revealed at the end is a surprise, having been a trusted aide of the first murder victim. But the case is wrapped up neatly by Charlie; he outwits the villain, who did all of his dirty work in the dark of night in garb reminiscent of The Shadow.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: utgard14 from USA
22 March 2014

Charlie Chan (Roland Winters) must prove the innocence of a deeply stupid man (John Alvin) who puts his fingerprints all over a murder weapon. Contrived mess of a mystery with particularly weak writing, even for Monogram. Winters is terrible as Chan. I can't stress that enough. Mantan Moreland and Victor Sen Yung are back playing buffoonish comic relief sidekicks Birmingham and Tommy. There's nothing to recommend about this one. If you're a Charlie Chan completist, I suppose you should at least try it. If you're new to Charlie Chan films, please don't let this or any of the Roland Winters movies be your first. As a matter of fact, avoid all of the Monogram movies until you've seen the far superior Fox movies first.

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4 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Watch a Warner Oland Chan instead!

Author: admjtk1701 from New York, NY
20 April 2000

Another great title let down by a poor script, low budget, and mostly bad acting. This film has Tim Ryan as police Lt. Mike Ruark, whom Chan calls, "Lt. Mike". Overall, it is annoying rather than endearing. Tim Ryan is credited with "additional dialogue". If only he came up with better words. Watch a Warner Oland Chan instead.

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