22 user 12 critic

Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 21 June 1940 (USA)
Charlie tries to discover the identity of a strangler who strikes multiple times on a cruise ship bound from Honolulu to California.


Eugene Forde


Robertson White (screen play), Lester Ziffren (screen play) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan
Marjorie Weaver ... Paula Drake
Lionel Atwill ... Dr. Suderman
Victor Sen Yung ... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
Don Beddoe ... James Ross
Leo G. Carroll ... Professor Gordon (as Leo Carroll)
Robert Lowery ... Dick Kenyon
Harlan Briggs ... Coroner
Cora Witherspoon ... Susie Watson
Kay Linaker ... Mrs. Pendleton
Charles Middleton ... Mr. Walters
Claire Du Brey ... Mrs. Walters
Leonard Mudie ... Gerald Pendleton
James Burke ... Wilkie
Richard Keene ... Buttons


On a cruise ship from Honolulu to San Francisco, the famous Chinese detective encounters four more murders while trying to figure out the murder of a Scotland Yard friend. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Along the moonlit decks of a gay luxury liner a pair of happy lovers stroll... and so does... THE DEADLIEST KILLER ON THE HIGH SEAS! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Johnstown PA Tuesday 20 October 1953 on WJAC (Channel 6); it first aired Philadelphia Thursday 26 November 1953 on WPTZ (Channel 3), in Dayton OH Wednesday 9 December 1953 on WLW-D (Channel 2), in Cincinnati Tuesday 15 December 1953 on WLW-T (Channel 5), in Phoenix Wednesday 30 December 1953 on KOOL (Channel 10), in Detroit Monday 4 January 1954 on WXYZ (Channel 7), in Indianapolis Friday 30 April 1954 on WFBM (Channel 6), in New York City Saturday 8 May 1954 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Los Angeles Saturday 12 June 1954 on KNBH (Channel 4), and in San Francisco Thursday 7 July 1955 on KRON (Channel 4) (previously scheduled but not shown Friday 1 July 1955). See more »


When Charlie and the authorities hear Mrs. Pendleton scream from the next room, they beat on the locked door and the set walls quiver. See more »


Charlie Chan: To speak without thinking is to shoot without aiming.
See more »


Followed by The Shanghai Cobra (1945) See more »

User Reviews

The Old Man With A Beard
19 October 2009 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

The killer in this story appears to be a beggar, a person with a white beard, glasses, black pointy hat, and black coat. The beggar relates in some way to one of some ten suspects. In actual practice, there are about six or seven genuine suspects, since a few of them can be easily ruled out.

"Murder Cruise" is one of the better films in the Charlie Chan series. Production values trend above average. And the B&W lighting is quite effective.

My only real complaint is the film's plot. At a certain point, the viewer can fairly easily identify the killer, despite the fact that the underlying mystery is complex and clever. It's one of those whodunits wherein the murderer is relatively easy to spot, but the motive and underlying story are rather opaque. A slight change in the plot could have prolonged the suspense a bit longer.

The story's ending is amusingly hokey. The killer tries to strangle one last victim, and the woman screams and screams. Rather than killing her quickly, the murderer talks to her long enough for the police and Charlie Chan to arrive in time to save her.

Despite a plot that is a bit too revealing too soon, "Murder Cruise" is an enjoyable whodunit. If only all the Charlie Chan movies were this high in quality. In the words of Charlie Chan ... "Thank you so much".

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Release Date:

21 June 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan auf Kreuzfahrt See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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