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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)

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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 »


Official Sites:






Release Date:

11 May 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan in the Scarlet Clue See more »


Box Office


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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Mantan Moreland and real-life nightclub partner Ben Carter (playing himself) recreate two of their nightclub routines. 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 »


Charlie Chan: So many fish in fish market, even flower smell same. Much confusion.
See more »


Followed by Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

I Got a LIFT Out of This Chan Film
27 March 2006 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

Famed detective and government agent Charlie Chan is back again for this Monogram film where Charlie is trailing a suspect who may be involved with plans to steal radar equipment/secrets from our government for foreign spies and who has just killed aboard a ship. Chan and detective friend trace suspect back to a radio show and from there on Charlie helps at least three more people get killed with his investigation. This is an interesting Chan vehicle and gives Sidney Toler plenty of screen time to hone his Chan skills. Benson Fong and Mantan Moreland are back once again and lift the mundane to the amusing with their comic routines. Moreland, again, steals his scenes and gives the film a lot of vitality it would otherwise not have. I particularly like a couple of routines he does in the film with a guy he knows and neither one lets the other finish the sentence. The comic timing was first-rate! As for the mystery, it is not too terribly confusing though when the end is told no real explanation as to why and who did crimes is revealed fully. I enjoyed many of the characterizations of the show people. I thought the means of death were very inventive, and I loved the whole thing with the elevator. Very clever.

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