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Charlie Chan in the Secret Service (1944)

Charlie Chan is an agent of the U.S. government assigned to investigate the mysterious death of an inventor.

Director:

Phil Rosen

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland ... Birmingham Brown
Arthur Loft ... Inspector Jones
Gwen Kenyon ... Inez Arranto
Sarah Edwards Sarah Edwards ... Mrs. Hargue
George J. Lewis ... Paul Arranto (as George Lewis)
Marianne Quon Marianne Quon ... Iris Chan
Benson Fong ... Tommy Chan
Muni Seroff Muni Seroff ... Peter Laska
Barry Bernard Barry Bernard ... David Blake
Gene Roth ... Luis Philipe Vega (as Gene Stutenroth)
Eddy Chandler Eddy Chandler ... Lewis (as Eddie Chandler)
Lelah Tyler ... Mrs. Winters
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Storyline

A scientist working on an important new invention which will protect Allied shipping from U-boat torpedoes has been assigned Secret Service security protection. Amazingly, despite the fact that his laboratory and experiments are located on the upper floor of his Washington mansion, he decides to host a cocktail party for friends on the first floor. Even though several of his guests are foreign nationals with shadowy pasts, he refuses to allow his bodyguards to attend because their presence might offend them. When he is killed by unknown means before joining them, the resultant summary investigation includes Honolulu detective Charlie Chan and children Tommy and Iris, later joined by Birmingham Brown, the chauffeur of one of the guests. When a preliminary autopsy reveals the scientist was electrocuted, Charlie and his associates must decide which of the suspects and red herrings is the guilty party. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

asian american detective | See All (1) »

Taglines:

The screen's most daring sleuth!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan and the Secret Service See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Even though the story is set in Washington, D.C., the film was shot in Los Angeles, California. The California State Building (1931-1975) is the government building used for Charlie Chan's office. At the VIDEO MARK of 0:04:55, an establishing shot of the State Building is shown. At the VIDEO MARK of 0:07:40 through 8:25, actor Sidney Toler walks through the lobby of the State Building and out the entrance. [Note the dramatic music underneath the exterior shot of Mr. Toler.]

The California State Building was a state governmental office building, located at 215 West 1st Street, in downtown Los Angeles. The building was found to be structurally unsafe after a 1971 earthquake, necessitating demolition. See more »

Goofs

While Charlie is riding in a cab to the murdered doctor's house in "Washington, D.C.", he goes through a neighborhood full of houses with red tile roofs and palm trees in the yard. See more »

Quotes

Tommy Chan: Mrs. Hargue, maybe you've been to Smyrna, too?
Mrs. Hargue, Housekeeper: Spent two months there once. A very dull place where nothing ever happens excepting when it rains.
Tommy Chan: And then what happened?
Mrs. Hargue, Housekeeper: [laconically] It rains.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The New Adventures of Charlie Chan (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
In the Secret-Unravelling Service
23 July 2005 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

I'm pretty sure there wasn't a Chan film made that I didn't like: I preferred Oland to Toler and Fox to Monogram but am more than happy (maybe even keen!) to watch a Toler Monogram effort. They all transported you to a world of more or less cultured baddies, each hiding a thousand secrets which Charlie (and us of course) has to work his way through. Usually, as in this case, to find the murderer from a roomful of shifty twitching eyes.

Electrical scientist murdered and the secret plans stolen, Charlie with a little ... help from offspring Tommie and Iris has to decide which of the house guests did it. The Monogram house's hanging drapes and thick carpets lend a nice atmosphere to the mystery. Only gripes: the incongruously brash and childish music track and the continual visual reference to a Watching Evil Eye from a Dark Place.

Watched from the Chanthology DVD and with the widescreen TV set to mild zoomview meant it was like the first time again for me seeing this, an experience I'd have to recommend and one I want to repeat with the other titles in the set.


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