A Pathe serial in ten chapters of two-reels each: Dan Winterslip, a wealthy man in Honolulu, has not spoken to his brother, who owns a hotel next to Winterslip's estate, in over twenty ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The sound premiers of Boris Karloff and Charlie Chan
The first half of "Behind That Curtain" is a excellent example of the drawbacks of early talkies. Except for Warner Baxter, all the actors indulge in over-enunciation to the extent that they often sound as if English is not their first language. The camera is nailed down in one long interior scene after another with the occasional mike boom shadow crossing faces. The second half, however, is a strong improvement. The lead actress learns how to properly emote and there are a number of excellent exteriors in the desert and in downtown San Francisco of 1929. Also livening events in the last half are cameo appearances by Boris Karloff and the character Charlie Chan, both in their first talkie appearances. Chan is played for once by an actual Asian person and Karloff has a good scene where he has to pretend to be mute, giving a glimpse of his later masterful work as Frankenstein' monster. He is also given the horrible line, "the desert gives and the desert takes away" but imparts a wonderful sense of mystery to it.
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