This interesting short documentary is available as an extra feature on the recently (2006) issued DVD of CHARLIE CHAN IN Egypt. It concerns a Chinese cop in Honolulu who flourished from 1898 through 1934 by the name of Chang Apana.
While there is little doubt that the idea of a pidgin-speaking police officer in Honolulu was the inspiration for Earl Derr Biggers' character of Charlie Chan, Apana was not, of course, Chan. He was a tough, beat-pounding cop who has become something of a legend in Honolulu, and this documentary, which includes interviews with his grandson, with the curator of the Honolulu Police Department and other experts, is a well-done piece. It's worth your time to look at it if you're looking at the movie it accompanies.
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