7.0/10
1,164
38 user 10 critic

Black Magic (1944)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 19 August 1944 (USA)
Charlie searches for a murderer amidst numerous ghosts conjured up by a strange variety of spiritualists and occultists.

Director:

Phil Rosen

Writers:

Earl Derr Biggers (characters), George Callahan (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland ... Birmingham Brown
Frances Chan Frances Chan ... Frances Chan
Joseph Crehan ... Police Sgt. Matthews
Helen Beverly Helen Beverly ... Norma Duncan / Nancy Wood (as Helen Beverley)
Jacqueline deWit ... Justine Bonner
Geraldine Wall Geraldine Wall ... Harriet Green
Ralph Peters ... Officer Rafferty
Frank Jaquet ... Paul Hamlin
Edward Earle ... Dawson, Police Lab
Claudia Dell ... Vera Starkey
Harry Depp Harry Depp ... Charles Edwards
Charles Jordan Charles Jordan ... Tom Starkey
Dick Gordon ... William Bonner (as Richard Gordon)
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Storyline

Because Charlie Chan plans to return to Honolulu, he no longer needs the services of Birmingham, who gets a job as butler for William and Justine Bonner, two apparently phony psychics who regularly host occult activities in their home. When Charlie's pretty daughter Frances attends a séance out of curiosity, Mr. Bonner is shot, and she becomes an immediate suspect. Charlie postpones his trip home to help with the investigation, which is made problematic when no bullet can be found in the wound and a hypnotized Mrs. Bonner is compelled to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of a downtown building. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Chan stalks a fiendish murderer! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meeting at Midnight See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 33rd of 47 Charlie Chan movies. See more »

Goofs

When Charlie first declares himself psychic to Sgt. Matthews, we can see the pole held by a stagehand that makes a white handkerchief flutter over Charlie's head. See more »

Quotes

Birmingham Brown: You know, after being here, I could have an elegant time in a cemetary reading tombstones at midnight.
See more »

Connections

Follows Charlie Chan in Shanghai (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

 
More Comedy Than Mystery
12 February 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This late-entry Charlie Chan movie gets marks simply for the entertainment, not for a deep-thinking suspenseful "whodunnit." It's just fun to watch with an always-smiling daughter (played by Frances Chen) replacing number-whatever-son and the eyes-popping-out-of-the-head Mantan Moreland adding humor, although of his humor is a bit stupid (and insulting to black folks, I'm sure). However, Moreland is a likable guy so it's hard to get annoyed at his silliness.

The story is a familiar one of the day, about the occult (seances) and, thankfully, another that exposes the mediums as crooks.

These Sidney Toler-Mantan Moreland collaborations, as opposed to the early Warner Oland/Charlie Chan movies, replied more on comedy and gimmicks rather than brains, and once you accept that, you just go along with an entertaining hour of lamebrain fun, especially when Chan starts to put people down with his sarcasm.


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