Famous detective Charlie Chan is called out of retirement to help a San Francisco detective solve a mysterious series of murders. With his bumbling grandson as his sidekick, Chan also ... See full summary »
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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
Famous detective Charlie Chan is called out of retirement to help a San Francisco detective solve a mysterious series of murders. With his bumbling grandson as his sidekick, Chan also encounters an old nemesis known as the Dragon Queen who is the prime suspect. Written by
This is not a great movie, yet my wife and I laughed ourselves into pain. The great Peter Ustinov spins his previous role in oriental parody from "One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing"; Richard Hatch creates the most incompetent bumbler in decades of motion picture bumblers with some hilarious slapstick results; Lee Grant is a gorgeous grandmother; Roddy McDowell is the supercilious butler in a motorized wheelchair; and Michelle Pfeiffer is a ditzy Goldie Hawn clone - as well as being luminously beautiful and excellent at playing a brainless idealist just perfectly designed for the klutzy Lee Chan Jr. It is designed for fans of Charlie Chan, and it is a parody, but a loving one. The topical references are side-splitting; it helps to be old enough to have been an adult in 1981. The references to other movies abound, some subtle some obvious. The visual humour is on the level of slaps with a halibut but fun nonetheless. I gather the movie was a critical and box office flop. Even I missed it back then but I find it a guilty pleasure to disagree with almost everyone else on earth (except my wife, and that is what counts for more!): I enjoyed this idiotic little movie. And the dog deserved an Oscar.
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