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Castle in the Desert (1942)

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

Director:

Harry Lachman

Writers:

John Francis Larkin (original screenplay) (as John Larkin), Earl Derr Biggers (character)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan
Arleen Whelan ... Brenda Hartford
Richard Derr ... Carl Detheridge
Douglass Dumbrille ... Paul Manderley (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Henry Daniell ... Watson King
Edmund MacDonald ... Walter Hartford
Victor Sen Yung ... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
Lenita Lane ... Lucy Manderley
Ethel Griffies ... Madame Saturnia
Milton Parsons ... Arthur Fletcher
Steven Geray ... Dr. Retling (as Steve Geray)
Lucien Littlefield ... Gleason
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Storyline

Paul Manderley, eccentric historian, and his wife, descendant of the Borgias, live in an isolated castle-like mansion in the Mojave Desert. When a guest suddenly collapses, Charlie Chan is invited to stay. As the standard mystery-mansion props come into play, and all means of outside communication are sabotaged, it becomes evident that one of the inhabitants has access to poisons and is prepared to use them... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...a poison arrow whizzes past... as Charlie Chan opens the gate to his most baffling adventure!


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 February 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan in Castle in the Desert 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

The film was completed in 1941 and bears a 1941 copyright statement, even though its actual copyright date and release date is February 1942. See more »

Goofs

Wilson the butler replies to Mrs. Manderley by saying "Very good, sir." See more »

Quotes

Lily, Mme. Saturnia: There's death out in that desert.
Jimmy Chan: Huh? What do you mean? I mean how do you know?
Lily, Mme. Saturnia: The stars! They see everything!
Jimmy Chan: In the daytime?
Lily, Mme. Saturnia: [With disdain] No, at night!
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Trap (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Man without enemies like dog without fleas."
10 March 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) is summoned to a mysterious castle in the Mojave Desert where a bizarre masked man (Douglas Dumbrille) lives with his wife, a descendant of the famous Borgia family. There are also several other guests at the castle. When one of them is poisoned, Charlie must investigate with meddlesome son Jimmy (Victor Sen Yung).

The last of the 20th Century Fox Charlie Chan films is one of the weirdest. The plot, at its heart, is a simple old dark house mystery. But the setting here, a castle in a desert, is different enough to keep things somewhat fresh. Also the eccentric characters help out a lot. It's an enjoyable entry in the Fox series. Not the best or worst but somewhere in the middle. Sadly, the quality would drop considerably when the series moved to Monogram a couple of years later.


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