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Charlie Chan's Secret (1936)

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

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(screenplay), (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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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.

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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.

Director: Eugene Forde
Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Virginia Field
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Charlie Chan
... Alice Lowell
... Dick Williams
... Henrietta Lowell
Edward Trevor ... Fred Gage
... Janice Gage
... Baxter
... Warren T. Phelps
Egon Brecher ... Ulrich
Gloria Roy ... Carlotta
Ivan Miller ... Inspector Morton
... 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

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Release Date:

10 January 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chanova skrivnost  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 Charlie is searching the house while using a flashlight, the beam of light is not from the flashlight, angle is wrong and his wrist is exposed in the beam of light. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Chan: Fingerprints very valuable if detective can catch owner of fingers.
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Connections

Followed by Charlie Chan at the Olympics (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Comic Relief in "Secret" Is Great!
14 July 2008 | by See all my reviews

I'm always a pushover for spooky old house mysteries, and this is one of the best, not so much for the intriguing puzzle itself but for the creepy noir atmosphere conjured up by Rudolph Maté's superlative cinematography (reminiscent of his work on Dreyer's Vampyr) and the marvelously bizarre background created by Hogsett and Cramer.

I like the screenplay and I love the cast too, especially Herbert Mundin, one of my favorite character actors. For once he has a major role and even figures most inventively at the climax. Warner Oland dispenses his customary bon mots with ease, while Gloria Roy steers a remarkably skillful line in making her "used" medium a sympathetic oddball.

My only quarrel is with director Gordon Wiles, the art director that William K. Howard and Jimmy Wong Howe had all the trouble with on Transatlantic and for which, after fighting Howard and Howe all the way, he then won the industry's big award! Mr Wiles was obviously not a man open to experimentation unless someone forced him into it. Left to his own devices, Wiles always preferred the safe, conservative approach. His record as a director is not an impressive one and Charlie Chan's Secret is the highlight of that 11-picture interlude from which he was rescued by Albert Lewin for whom he designed The Moon and Sixpence, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Private Affairs of Bel Ami.


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