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
Eccentric scientist Harper lives in a spooky mansion with all the trimmings: hidden lab, secret panels, inscrutable butler, and greedy relatives with unusual talents. When Harper seems to ... See full summary »
Three men are convicted of bank robberies, the main evidence against them being that their fingerprints were found at the scenes. However, Charlie Chan believes them to be innocent, and his investigation reveals that they are indeed innocent and that their fingerprints were forged and planted in the prison files to frame them. Charlie sets out to uncover the real bank robbers.Written by
Usually films with this much activity are cluttered and over- plotted, but it all works reasonably well in "Dark Alibi". It needed padding but rather than slow it down, the producers wisely just kept adding filler bits, so there is a lot going on. The film's basic frame-up concept is good. The police, warden, prosecutor are blended and balanced expertly by the director to advance the plot.
Teala Loring is attractive and a good actress, well suited for this b-movie. The old gent who portrays her father does a good job, too. I can live without the Birmingham and Benjamin corny old vaudeville bit but it was popular in the 1940's era and it is a better filler for padding purposes than most routines (filler was probably necessary due to Toler's health). Benson Fong is inconsequential, he just moves along and tries to keep up with the pace. Janet Shaw delivers one of her insouciant tough girl performances that always keep her watchable in films.
Sidney Toler gets the job done but he really looks ill at times. He manages valiantly to stay active enough to stride across a room now and then, but he is sitting down in some scenes, obviously for health reasons.
Good work by the director, good red herrings, and lots of somewhat overloaded activity provide us with an OK low budget b-movie in "Dark Alibi".
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