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Charlie Chan at the Opera (1936)

Passed | | Mystery | 8 January 1937 (USA)
A dangerous amnesiac escapes from an asylum, hides in the opera house, and is suspected of getting revenge on those who tried to murder him 13 years ago.

Writers:

Scott Darling (screen play), Charles Belden (screen play) (as Charles S. Belden) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warner Oland ... Charlie Chan
Boris Karloff ... Gravelle
Keye Luke ... Lee Chan
Charlotte Henry ... Mlle. Kitty
Thomas Beck ... Phil Childers
Margaret Irving ... Mme. Lilli Rochelle
Gregory Gaye ... Enrico Barelli
Nedda Harrigan ... Mme. Anita Barelli
Frank Conroy ... Mr. Whitely
Guy Usher Guy Usher ... Inspector Regan
William Demarest ... Sgt. Kelly
Maurice Cass Maurice Cass ... Mr. Arnold
Tom McGuire ... Morris
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Storyline

Gravelle, a former baritone believed dead after an opera house fire, has been languishing in a mental institution for the past seven years, an anonymous amnesiac. When he fortuitously sees a news story about his former wife's current appearance at the local opera, his memory returns. He escapes, and, disguised in costume, seeks revenge for a failed attempt on his life years earlier. When the guilty parties are found stabbed to death, Charlie Chan and son Lee try to find out if the dangerous fugitive is the one responsible. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A fiendish killer lurks at the opera! Weird! Thrilling! The Master Minds of Crime Match Wits Against Each Other!

Genres:

Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 January 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan en la ópera See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in Minneapolis Saturday 5 September 1953 on WTCN (Channel 11), in Detroit Monday 14 September 1953 on WXYZ (Channel 7), in Omaha Friday 13 November 1953 on WOW (Channel 6), in Phoenix Wednesday 18 November 1953 on KOOL (Channel 10), in New York City Monday 11 January 1954 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Portland OR Thursday 28 January 1954 on KOIN (Channel 6), in Indianapolis Friday 29 January 1954 on WFBM (Channel 6), in Cincinnati Wednesday 3 February 1954 on WLW-T (Channel 5), in Dallas Thursday 25 March 1954 on KRLD (Channel 4), in Los Angeles Friday 23 April 1954 on KNBH (Channel 4), and in San Francisco Wednesday 20 April 1955 on KRON (Channel 4). See more »

Goofs

When they characters are all gathered in the dressing room after the murders and they are questioning Childers, he says he knew Madame Barelli well. What he actually meant to say Madame Rochelle (or Madame Lilli as she was being referred to). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sanitarium Guard 1: What's the mater Joe? Nervous?
Sanitarium Guard 2: Aw this job gives me gooseflesh. You're new here, but in a couple of months you'll get as jumpy as me.
Sanitarium Guard 1: Hey I've worked around sanitariums before, it's not so bad. I like the cuckoos myself. They're the same as anyone else only they're smart enough to admit they're nuts.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credit: Warner Oland vs. Boris Karloff See more »

Connections

Followed by Charlie Chan in The Chinese Cat (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Carnival: March Funebre
Music by Oscar Levant
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charlie Chan at the Opera (1936) ***
21 February 2007 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

Generally considered the best in this series, and I would agree that it's up there somewhere. Boris Karloff (the screen credits read: "Warner Oland vs. Boris Karloff" -- cute!) is a mental patient with amnesia who escapes the sanitarium when he remembers that he was formerly an opera singer who was once locked in his dressing room during a fire and left for dead. He then returns to the opera house to sing again and settle a score, with the famous Charlie Chan on the murder trail.

A brisk and enjoyable installment, playing up big Karloff's infamous reputation as a bogeyman, yet I have to say he sometimes comes off as humorous while mouthing the words to the dubbed opera vocals. Though his contemporary rival, Bela Lugosi, is often slammed for overacting, Boris is no slouch himself in this department here, over-expressing and hamming it up all over the place. Charlie's number one son Lee (Keye Luke) is somewhat underused this time, for some reason. In his place seems to be William Demarest, who is entertaining in this movie, running around as a frazzled American cop also struggling to solve the case and keep up with master detective Chan (Demarest does his own stunts which includes one really impressive comedic fall). With Demarest's occasional quips toward competitor Chan, it felt like this particular entry was more heavy on the "Asian stereotype charge" than usual. But in the end, it's still Charlie Chan who remains most respectable and more brilliant than everyone else. *** out of ****


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