36 user 13 critic

The Scarlet Clue (1945)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 11 May 1945 (USA)
Charlie discovers a scheme for the theft of government radar plans while investigating several murders.


Phil Rosen


George Callahan (original screenplay), Earl Derr Biggers (based on the character created by)




Complete credited cast:
Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland ... Birmingham Brown
Ben Carter ... Ben Carter
Benson Fong ... Tommy Chan
Virginia Brissac ... Mrs. Marsh
Robert Homans ... Capt. Flynn (as Robert E. Homans)
Jack Norton ... Willie Rand
Janet Shaw ... Gloria Bayne
Helen Deverell Helen Deverell ... Diane Hall (as Helen Devereaux)
Victoria Faust Victoria Faust ... Hulda Swenson


Charlie Chan investigates the theft of government radar papers (the laboratory is located in the same building as a radio station!) with the help of Number Three Son Tommy and comic sidekick Birmingham Brown. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in New York City Thursday 17 June 1948 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Cincinnati Tuesday 6 December 1949 on WKRC (Channel 11), and in Los Angeles Monday 2 January 1950 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »


Charlie tells the police chemist to blow the cigarette smoke into the beaker. It is not a beaker, but an Erlenmeyer flask the smoke is blown into it, while all are in the police laboratory. See more »


Tommy Chan: Hey, you know, Pop, I've got an idea about this case.
Charlie Chan: Yes? Well?
Tommy Chan: Well, I had an idea, but it's gone now.
Charlie Chan: Possibly could not stand solitary confinement.
See more »


Followed by Shanghai Chest (1948) See more »

User Reviews

Above Average For Monogram Pictures
2 April 2004 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Some Charlie Chan movies by Monogram are just wretched. "The Scarlet Clue", however, is fairly well done. Lighting and camera angles make for a suitably mysterious atmosphere. The whodunit puzzle contains a well defined group of suspects. And the script is humorous, both the dialogue between Chan and his son, and the constant jabber of the wonderful Mantan Moreland.

But the film seems terribly dated. The plot, which involves WWII radar secrets in a radio station, is outmoded, and the scientific "equipment" belongs in a museum. Moreover, production values are almost nonexistent. There are some plot holes; and at the end, Chan never tells us how he deduced the identity of the killer.

Overall, for those who enjoy Charlie Chan movies, "The Scarlet Clue" is one of the better ones to watch. Everyone else will probably find this movie lame.

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Release Date:

11 May 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan in the Scarlet Clue See more »


Box Office


$75,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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