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Charlie Chan's Secret (1936)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 10 January 1936 (USA)
The heir to a huge fortune is presumed drowned, then shows up, is then murdered.

Director:

Gordon Wiles

Writers:

Robert Ellis (screenplay), Helen Logan (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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More Like This 

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When a friend of Charlie's is found kicked to death by his own race horse on board a Honolulu-bound liner, the detective discovers foul play and uncovers an international gambling ring.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
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Charlie visits a wealthy country home in England. Suspects in the murder range from a housekeeper, to a stableman, to a lawyer.

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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.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Warner Oland, Boris Karloff, Keye Luke
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Hired to investigate forged bonds, Charlie is thwarted by the murder of his undercover agent, but the arrival of son Lee helps him uncover the true culprits.

Directors: Lewis Seiler, Hamilton MacFadden
Stars: Warner Oland, Mary Brian, Thomas Beck
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When a prominent official is murdered at a banquet honoring Charle Chan, the detective and son Lee team up to expose an opium-smuggling ring.

Director: James Tinling
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

While investigating the theft of antiquities from an ancient tomb excavation, Charlie discovers that the body of the expedition's leader concealed inside the mummy's wrappings.

Director: Louis King
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When a strategically important new aerial guidance system is stolen, Charlie traces it to the Berlin Olympics, where he has to battle spies and enemy agents to retrieve it.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
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While visiting the circus with his family, Charlie is recruited by the big top's co-owner to investigate threatening letters that he's received.

Director: Harry Lachman
Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, John McGuire
Certificate: Passed Crime | Mystery | Thriller
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The unsolved murder of a Hollywood actor several years earlier and an enigmatic psychic are the keys to help Charlie solve the Honolulu stabbing death of a beautiful actress.

Director: Hamilton MacFadden
Stars: Warner Oland, Sally Eilers, Bela Lugosi
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Returning from European exile where she avoided testifying against her criminal associates, a former singer with a tell-all diary is murdered to ensure her silence.

Director: Eugene Forde
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Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Mystery
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Although Charlie and Lee are in Monaco for an art exhibit, they become caught up in a feud between rival financiers which involves the Chans in a web of blackmail and murder.

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Comedy | Crime | Horror
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Charlie's investigation of a phony psychic during the 1939 World Exposition on San Francisco's Treasure Island leads him to expose a suicide as murder.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Sidney Toler, Cesar Romero, Pauline Moore
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warner Oland ... Charlie Chan
Rosina Lawrence ... Alice Lowell
Charles Quigley ... Dick Williams
Henrietta Crosman ... Henrietta Lowell
Edward Trevor Edward Trevor ... Fred Gage
Astrid Allwyn ... Janice Gage
Herbert Mundin ... Baxter
Jonathan Hale ... Warren T. Phelps
Egon Brecher Egon Brecher ... Ulrich
Gloria Roy Gloria Roy ... Carlotta
Ivan Miller Ivan Miller ... Inspector Morton
Arthur Edmund Carewe ... Prof. Bowen (as Arthur Edmund Carew)
Edit

Storyline

An ocean liner sinks off Honolulu and Allen Colby, heir to millions, is presumed dead...but local sleuth Charlie Chan is not so sure, and flies to San Francisco to investigate further. Somehow, the missing Colby is there ahead of him...but is knifed in the back before seeing anyone. Further events revolve around spiritualist Mrs. Lowell, her family of suspicious characters, and the spooky, untenanted Colby mansion, where the body turns up during a seance! Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

San Francisco is the scene of Chan's newest and most baffling mystery!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 January 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chanova skrivnost 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's earliest documented telecast took place in Philadelphia Thursday 18 February 1954 on WPTZ (Channel 3); it first aired in Cincinnati Saturday 10 July 1954 on WLW-T (Channel 5), in Dayton Wednesday 29 December 1954 on WLW-D (Channel 2), and in San Francisco Thursday 25 August 1955 on KRON (Channel 4). Earlier telecasts in Detroit, New York City and Los Angeles have not yet been documented. See more »

Goofs

When the camera dollies back from Charlie working with his forensic kit, its shadow can be clearly seen. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Chan: [to psychic] Most fortunate gift to be able to cross bridge to dwelling place of honorable ancestors before arriving.
See more »

Connections

Follows Charlie Chan in Shanghai (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

Where Was Keye Luke?
18 April 2010 | by malvernpSee all my reviews

"Charlie Chan's Secret" (1936) is unique. Its predecessor is "Charlie Chan in Shanghai" (1935)---which featured Keye Luke in his usual role as Number One Son. All the remaining Warner Oland films in the series up to his final entry, "Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo" (1938), also had Keye Luke in the cast. However, "Charlie Chan's Secret", as others have pointed out, does not have Keye Luke on board. Rather, his "place" was taken (sort of) by the comic British actor, Herbert Mundin. Why did Keye Luke not appear in this film? Everyone seems to have missed him.

In the new DVD of "Charlie Chan's Secret", the extended commentary on the film fails to explain the cause of Keye Luke's absence-----only the fact that he does not show up in the film.

Is it possible that Keye Luke's void could be due to the fact that he was loaned by Twentieth Century Fox to Warner Brothers Studio around the same time to appear in the small but pivotal supporting role as Paul Muni's son in the classic Pearl Buck epic "The Good Earth" (1937)? Such loan out arrangements were not uncommon between studios in this period.

In any event, "Charlie Chan's Secret" survives his absence very nicely and emerges as a solid entry in the series with its own particular charm and entertainment value. But it does illustrate how the chemistry between Warner Oland and Keye Luke was very special and without doubt one of the greatest strengths of the "Charlie Chan" films.


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