Charlie is the intended murder victim here, and he avoids death only by chance. To find the murderer (since, of course, murder does occur), Charlie must outguess Scotland Yard and New York City police.
John G. Blystone
I found this to be a fun, if overly complex, updating of the Chan legacy--Charlie is now sixty years old and has been in retirement for ten years. It is a bit jolting to see him roll up to his house at the beginning in a dune buggy wearing a gaudy Hawaiian shirt but it's got a good spirit about it. Ross Martin is certainly not the best choice to portray the great detective but he certainly is credible and grows on you with subsequent viewings. The mystery itself, as I mentioned, is quite confusing on the first go round but becomes clear on a second viewing. I suppose that this complexity is what landed this pilot film on the shelf for so many years before it was finally released. Unlike some other reviewers here, I love the "tacky" 70's feel of this and it adds a certain camp quality that makes it even more fun. The two offspring of Charlie's that appear as his companions here(one son and one daughter)again grow and you and showed promise as potential regular characters. This would have been a good regular series in the mould of McMillan And Wife, Columbo etc. etc. At any rate it is an enjoyable one off that is never less than diverting. In the end maybe it was right this didn't become a series, inasmuch as Ross Martin was not Asian and it was getting to a point where it seemed out of place to have caucasians portraying the great sleuth. Hopefully the latest chapter of Chan,with Chow Yun-phat will rectify this issue! So, if by chance your a fan of Charlie Chan, give this a try and realise it was simply a different take made for an early 1970's audience and enjoy it!
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