An X-ray machine reveals the presence of a corpse in an Egyptian sarcophagus. It is not that of the ancient high priest. Instead the body is that of the archaeologist who was thought to be on a trip to the Upper Nile, but is now found murdered.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Despite having Stepin Fetchit, this is still one of the better Charlie Chan films
Of the dozens of Charlie Chan films, this stands as one of the best--even though it sadly co-stars the biggest walking negative stereotype in movie history, Stepin Fetchit. Once again, Fetchit plays a rather sub-human part but at least he's a little less degrading than usual and the rest of the film is exceptional.
This film is very much like a combination of a Chan film and a mummy film--and because of the interesting backdrop the film seems far fresher and more interesting than most in the series. Charlie has been sent to an archaeological dig by a French museum. It seems the museum is justifiably angry because items from the tomb belong to them but someone has been selling them to collectors and other museums. Naturally, when Chan arrives people begin to die and it's up to Charlie to get to the bottom of it.
Despite not having any of the Chan children (particularly the ever enjoyable Keye Luke as "Lee"), this is a dandy film with some interesting twists and a mystery that is a tad over-complicated but fun to unravel. As far as my feelings about Fetchit, in this film he didn't act that much different than the Birmingham Brown character from the later Chan film, so perhaps I am just being a tad oversensitive. It's just that in so many prior films Fetchit was the living embodiment of all the negative Black stereotypes--so bad that seeing him once again kind of made me cringe.
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