When a troupe of showgirls with their impresario and press agent vacation at a Malibu Beach resort, two of them are garroted. Charlie takes on the case assisted by Number Two Son Jimmy and faithful chauffeur Birmingham Brown.
Victor Sen Yung
A treasury agent traveling aboard a ocean liner confides to fellow passenger Charlie Chan that he's on the trail of a counterfeiting ring operating from the South Pacific and has survived two recent attempts on his life. Chan helps him avoid a third but is helpless to prevent a knife thrown in his back in the ship's club room. Although the ship will be docking shortly in Samoa, Charlie is confident that he will unmask the killer before then. Among the suspects are an elitist reverend and his wife, a beautiful young woman traveling with forged papers, a shady loudmouth of a salesman, a larcenous ship's steward, and a professional knife-thrower.Written by
Ocean-going steamships and trains make great settings for 1940s mysteries. Charlie didn't have any adventures in a train, but this is the second on a ship--the third if you count the docked sailing ship in one of his outings.
Toler is outstanding as always, in one of the greatest ongoing screen characterizations of an ideal film detective: clever, humane, with a sense of humor and of justice. It's his ability to make Chan so very likeable which really elevates these films, putting them, on the whole, on about the same level as the great Universal Sherlock Holmes films with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. And Toler never had the support of a truly first-rate, all-pro actor, as Rathbone had in Bruce. This movie is pure fun. Lots of action. The humor is sometimes very corny, but that's part of the charm. Highly recommended!
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