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
Sir George hires Hillary Gatt to find out more about Eric who wants to marry Lois. Gatt is murdered and the couple, married, run off to India. Old friend John Beetham sympathizes with the bride who sees that her hubby is a liar and drunk. John and Lois fly to San Francisco. Eric shows up and tries to kill John, but Scotland Yard and Lt. Charlie Chan intervene.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Bad Acting By Lead Gilbert Emery, Helped By Bad Script, Sink This Chan Movie
When Fox decided to make "Behind That Curtain," the studio picked as leads Warner Baxter, Lois Moran and Gilbert Emery. Of the three, Emery's role was the most important, since his actions kept the story moving to its eventual outcome in San Francisco. Although the scriptwriters gave Gilbert Emery terrible lines for his part as an upper class Englishman, Emery can take all the credit for his strange pseudo-British accent as he slowly enunciates every word of dialogue, pausing at every chance to lend gravity to the moronic dialogue. At about the 80 minute mark, Emery's character discusses a plan with Charlie Chan of the SFPD. In one exchange, both actors talked in exactly the same way, as if they memorized their dialogue phonetically. Unlike E.L. Park, the actor who played Chan, for Emery English was not a second language, but it sure sounded that way. At 90 minutes, this movie is about 30 minutes too long. Had the producer just cut out Emery's part entirely, this movie would have been much better. The story would still have been a mess, with the characters played by Warner Baxter and Lois Moran traveling in the desert with camels, for no reason I can see, except to save money on sets. Lois Moran has the best scene in the picture, as she runs through San Francisco while passersby look at her. This apparent cinema verite look at 1929 San Francisco is interesting, but not long enough. Maybe if there were more running scenes with Lois Moran, they could have renamed the picture "Run, Lois, Run." It is beyond me how Gilbert Emery could continue to have a career in Hollywood, while John Gilbert was almost laughed off the screen for having a voice with the wrong pitch for the roles John Gilbert first played in talkies.
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