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Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 6 September 1940 (USA)
An escaped convicted murderer hides out at a New York wax museum where he hopes to get plastic surgery, which will help him revenge himself on Charlie Chan.

Director:

Lynn Shores

Writers:

John Francis Larkin (original screen play) (as John Larkin), Earl Derr Biggers (based on the character created by: Charlie Chan)
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More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Mystery
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When Charlie's old friend from Scotland Yard is murdered when they attend a police convention in New York, Chan picks up the case he was working on.

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On the trail of a singer who killed the man she loved in Honolulu, Charlie finds her stabbed to death when he ultimately catches up to her in Rio.

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Charlie Chan investigates apparent poisonings at a mystery mansion in the Mojave Desert.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Director: Eugene Forde
Stars: Warner Oland, Drue Leyton, Ray Milland
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan
Victor Sen Yung ... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
C. Henry Gordon ... Dr. Cream
Marc Lawrence ... Steve McBirney
Joan Valerie ... Lily Latimer
Marguerite Chapman ... Mary Bolton
Ted Osborne Ted Osborne ... Tom Agnew (as Ted Osborn)
Michael Visaroff Michael Visaroff ... Dr. Otto Von Brom
Hilda Vaughn ... Mrs. Rocke
Charles Wagenheim Charles Wagenheim ... Willie Fern
Archie Twitchell ... Carter Lane
Eddie Marr Eddie Marr ... Grenock (as Edward Marr)
Joe King ... Inspector O'Matthews
Harold Goodwin ... Edwards
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Storyline

A wax museum run by a demented doctor contains statues of such crime figures as Jack the Ripper and Bluebeard. In addition to making wax statues the doctor performs plastic surgery. It is here that an arch fiend takes refuge. The museum also houses a statue of Charlie. Frustrated number-two son kicks statue in rear; oops, number-two son wrong in his assumption. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

4 TIMES IN 18 EERIE MINUTES CHARLIE CHAN FACES DEATH! -- Death from a poison dart! -- Death from a streaking bullet! -- Death from a gleaming dagger! -- Death in the electric chair! (original ad - many caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan al museo delle cere See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The wax head near the mummy case appears to be modeled after Clark Gable. See more »

Goofs

When Inspector Matthews comes in through the museum window, his coat is wet from the thunderstorm outside. Seconds thereafter, although his face still has rain dripping from it, his coat is now dry. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Chan: Knowledge short; suspicion long.
See more »

Connections

Follows Charlie Chan Carries On (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Crime in - a wax museum of crime!
14 March 2014 | by binapiraeusSee all my reviews

Dangerous McBirney, who's just been sentenced to death on the evidence Charlie Chan gave, escapes and heads directly for an old acquaintance, Dr. Cream, once a famous facial surgeon (with his 'best' clients being from the underworld), to get a 'new' face from him; but Dr. Cream has gone into another business now: he's the owner of a wax museum of crime - and exactly from there a radio reporter decides to make a broadcast on the infamous Rocke case, where an innocent man was executed, as Charlie had always pointed out; and of course, he invites Charlie as well as his 'antagonist' Dr. Von Brom, who insists that Rocke was guilty.

Now can you imagine a more appropriate setting for a creepy, mysterious murder mystery with more and more complications coming up and confusing us as well as Charlie (and Jimmy, who as usual finds his way in through some rear window) than a 'Crime Museum', full of dummies portraying murderers with guns and daggers in their hands, jail cells, gallows, executioner's axes and electric chairs...? And the ruthless killers, who are after Charlie because he helped convict McBirney, intend to use the latter in a VERY diabolical way...

There are so many different murder cases intertwined here that in the end we really don't know anymore who's who (especially since there's someone here who can 'change' faces) and who's after whom; and so we all (especially Jimmy...) witness some REALLY frightening scenes in this eerie 'House of Wax' - a movie which provides us with absolutely GREAT crime entertainment, a 'must' for every fan of the genre!


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