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Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Horror | 13 January 1939 (USA)
While Charlie is distracted with the birth of his first grandchild, son Jimmy impersonates his father in order to investigate a murder aboard a freighter in the harbor.

Writers:

Charles Belden (original screenplay), Earl Derr Biggers (based on: the character "Charlie Chan" created by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan
Phyllis Brooks ... Judy Hayes
Victor Sen Yung ... James Chan (as Sen Yung)
Eddie Collins Eddie Collins ... Al Hogan
John 'Dusty' King ... Randolph (as John King)
Claire Dodd ... Mrs. Carol Wayne
George Zucco ... Dr. Cardigan
Robert Barrat ... Captain Johnson
Marc Lawrence ... Johnny McCoy
Richard Lane ... Joe Arnold
Layne Tom Jr. Layne Tom Jr. ... Tommy Chan
Philip Ahn ... Wing Foo
Paul Harvey ... Inspector Rawlins
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Storyline

With Charlie Chan distracted by the imminent birth of his first grandchild, young Tommy Chan persuades his older brother Jimmy (eager to be a detective) to take Pop's place when a call comes in directing Charlie to investigate a murder aboard a freighter. Charlie eventually learns of this and boards the ship to straighten out its slew of suspects, a cargo hold full of wild animals, and two well-meaning but ineffectual sons. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan em Honolulu See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Among other actors considered and tested for the new Charlie Chan were Cy Kendall, Walter Connolly, J. Edward Bromberg, Noah Beery Jr., Michael Visaroff, and Leo Carillo. Kendall and Connelly had played Chan on radio. See more »

Goofs

Jimmy Chan's new calling card reads, in part "...Associated with Charlie Chan, Private Detective...". Charlie is not a private detective, rather a Lieutenant on the Honolulu Police Department. See more »

Quotes

Al Hogan: Just as I thought - familiarity breeds attempt.
See more »

Connections

Follows Charlie Chan in Paris (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938) ***
29 January 2009 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

This was the first Chan film in which Sidney Toler took over the main role from Warner Oland, and he is immediately masterful and acceptable in the part of the Asian detective. I didn't expect to enjoy Toler, not only since I am an Oland fan, but because my first exposure to him was through seeing one of his later mediocre Monogram Chan quickies from the '40s. But this debut has Toler in fine and confident form.

The film begins with a humorous dinner at the Chan home, with Charlie's wife and 10+ children. We quickly establish who the detective is and where he comes from, and then we see that his enthusiastic #2 son Jimmy (well played by Victor Sen Yung) is as excited about being a detective as his older #1 brother Lee had been in the Oland series. When a call arrives for Chan to investigate a murder aboard a small freighter, son Jimmy intercepts and decides to impersonate his dad to get some quality sleuthing in. Some fun happenings ensue before Charlie Chan himself gets wind of it and ultimately joins Jimmy on board to handle the case.

This is an all-around entertaining chapter in the series, with assistance too from George Zucco, as one of the mysterious suspects aboard the ship who collects criminal brains. There are some annoying bits by one of those typical "silly 1930s funnymen" used for comic relief in the mix, but what makes it all work is how effortlessly Sidney Toler and Sen Yung slip into their roles formerly undertaken by Warner Oland and Keye Luke, as the new father and son. *** out of ****


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