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
Princess Mei Ling pays a visit to the Chan residence, where upon being admitted by man-of-all-work Birmingham Brown she refuses to give her name, but hands Birmingham her ring to show to Charlie. While Chan is being summoned, a mysterious figure shoots a dart at the beautiful Princess who manages, before she dies of poison, to scrawl the name "Captain K" on a handy piece of paper. When the police arrive, Charlie has to admit that he does not know the identity of his murdered visitor, but that he means to find out. What he learns is that Mei Ling has brought with her to America the sum of one million dollars, in order to buy airplanes for the Chinese struggle for freedom. Someone has stolen the money, and someone may be trying to divert the planes into enemy hands. Can the famous detective, despite the fact that his Number Two Son has unaccountably changed his name from Jimmy to Tommy, who used to be his Number Three son, and despite the fact that Charlie, who used to be a Honolulu ...Written by
As Chans go, not the best, but the story itself is fine. Roland Winters is a perfectly good Chan - the role was defined by the time this episode in the series was made, so he basically just had to show up and recite the lines to get the job done. Although Victor Sen Young shows up as Tommy, he plays a very small part in the film - a good thing in my opinion. Birmingham Brown is present as comic relief, but doesn't shine in this one. Sargent Bill Davidson and plucky girl reporter Peggy Cartwright play the clichéd role of battling couple with unfortunate results. After the third or fourth exclamation of "Bill Davidson!" by our intrepid girl reporter, I was ready to strangle her. By the sixth or seventh time, I was ready to strangle myself. You'd think the writers were paid to keep the word count down. Worse, while the two argue in Davidson's office, he grabs her and shakes her in a rage, nearly knocking her off her feet. Of course, that's what men do to women they love, right? Don't worry, it all ends up in a kiss. Good God.
That's what you have to deal with when watching sixty year old movies - sometimes there's a real culture shock.
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