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The Trap (1946)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 30 November 1946 (USA)
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.

Director:

Howard Bretherton

Writers:

Earl Derr Biggers (based on the character created by), Miriam Kissinger (original screenplay)
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Charlie investigates murders connected with insurance fraud. This one is set in San Francisco's Chinatown.

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The unsolved murder of a Hollywood actor several years earlier and an enigmatic psychic are the keys to help Charlie solve the Honolulu stabbing death of a beautiful actress.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland ... Birmingham Brown
Victor Sen Yung ... Jimmy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
Tanis Chandler ... Adelaide
Larry J. Blake ... Rick Daniels (as Larry Blake)
Kirk Alyn ... Police Sgt. Reynolds
Rita Quigley ... Clementine
Anne Nagel ... Marcia
Helen Gerald Helen Gerald ... Ruby
Howard Negley ... Cole King
Lois Austin Lois Austin ... Mrs. Thorn
Barbara Jean Wong Barbara Jean Wong ... San Toy
Minerva Urecal ... Mrs. Weebles
Margaret Brayton Margaret Brayton ... Madge Mudge
Bettie Best Bettie Best ... Winifred
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Chan hunts the weirdest killer of his career! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan in the Trap See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Sidney Toler's final film. Stricken with cancer during his last few films, he was so physically weak during shooting that he could hardly walk or say his lines coherently. See more »

Goofs

In the opening credits, shot at the beach, a person runs in front of the camera as the credits dissolve from the screenwriter to the technical crew. See more »

Quotes

Rick Daniels: Ahhh. This'd be Mrs. Pedals, eh?
Mrs. Weebles, the Housekeeper: Mrs. Weebles.
Cole King, Impresario: No banter, Daniels.
Rick Daniels: Well, cheer up. Youth and beauty have arrived and brilliant wit. The old house will re-echo to music and laughter.
[Rick and Cole exit]
Mrs. Weebles, the Housekeeper: [tutting after them in disgust] Show people!
See more »

Connections

Follows Black Magic (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amateurish, convoluted and great fun
24 May 2018 | by csteidlerSee all my reviews

An acting troupe rents an oceanfront mansion to stay in while they get ready for the show. Before you know it, the star of the show has disappeared and a fellow actress is found murdered. The situation seems grim.

Luckily, one of the cast members named San Toy has an idea: "I met a detective. The world's greatest detective. His name is Jimmy Chan. Great Chinese detective. He'll protect his countrywoman."

Soon Jimmy Chan is on the case, accompanied by associate Birmingham Brown, and you know that Charlie Chan himself cannot be far behind. Sidney Toler moves a little slowly but is wise as ever in his final appearance as the great detective. Sen Yung and Mantan Moreland are energetic if not exactly inspired as Jimmy and Birmingham.

The supporting cast is pretty standard and features an assortment of young women who seem to be designated by type (the French one, the hysterical one, the cute flirty sarcastic one). The suspects, of course, all accuse each other of murder and lesser crimes, and it's up to Mr. Chan eventually to sort it all out.

The whole thing appears to have been put together pretty quickly, and I'm not at all sure the plot makes any sense...but it's undeniably fast moving and contains a bit of humor. There are also some great shots of oceanfront highway and beach in the picture's opening moments. For those who are not sticklers for tight plot or strong production values, this picture is actually a lot of fun.


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