7.5/10
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Charlie Chan's Secret (1936)

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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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.

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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.

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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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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)
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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

Final film of Arthur Edmund Carewe. NOTE: He would suffer a stroke and ultimately commit suicide in 1937. 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: Hasty deduction like ancient egg. Look good from outside.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Charlie Chan at the Race Track (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A solid entry in the series with excellent supporting players
14 June 2008 | by bob.deckerSee all my reviews

I've worked my way recently through about 10 of the films in the Chan series and this is one of the most compelling I've seen yet -- largely due to the good chemistry between Warner Oland and Henrietta Crosman, who is one of the more memorable of the leading ladies in the series. True, the Chan family is missing -- except when viewed briefly in a photograph at the film's very end -- and the San Francisco location isn't very convincing; it is hard to place the "ancient" house where much of the action takes place in a city where most everything was burnt to the ground in 1906. Nevertheless many of the typically alluring elements of the Chan films are present in full force -- society ladies in long dresses, a shady pair of mediums, séances that come to a screaming end, pitch black scenes in secret rooms, and odd applications of 1930s technology. Jonathan Hale is a welcome presence and the comic relief supplied by Herbert Mundin as the butler stops short of being annoying, which is more than one can say for some of the later entries in the series. All in all quite satisfying.


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