Detective James Lee Wong is on the scene as archaeologist Dr. John Benton, recently returned from an expedition in China where a valuable ancient scroll was recovered, is murdered while giving a lecture on the expedition.
All the passengers on an airplane headed for San Francisco are drugged, and when they wake up, it is discovered that a quarter-million dollars is missing. Charlie Chan--and, of course, his #1 son--must discover the identity of the person who doped the passengers and stole the money. Written by
The Charlie Chan series ended with The Sky Dragon in which murder and a robbery are committed in a passenger airline while in flight. The ultimate of locked room homicides. Unfortunately for the ones who did this caper they had Charlie Chan and son Lee on board. After that they hadn't a chance.
Roland Winters and Keye Luke bring in Tim Ryan of the SFPD who is more than happy to assist the local authorities. Pilot Milburn Stone and co-pilot Joel Marston and hostesses Noel Neill and Elena Verdugo are also suspects. Gracing the cast as she always does is Iris Adrian playing a burlesque queen who was a passenger. She's traveling with brother-in-law Lyle Talbot on a mission of her own.
The guilty party is one who is rather quick on the trigger. In that it's easy to figure out who it is. How the robbery was done was a bit more clever and it involves an accomplice or two.
Keye Luke who was number one son while Warner Oland was Charlie Chan returns for the final film. I had the pleasure of seeing Keye Luke on Broadway in the original cast of Flower Drum Song, my first Broadway show. Ironically he played a traditional Chinese father in that show.
If they had only put a real surprise in the ending this would rate a notch or two higher. As it is The Sky Dragon is a fine film to conclude the series.
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