15 user 9 critic

The Golden Eye (1948)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 29 August 1948 (USA)
Chan discovers a conspiracy when a low paying gold mine seemingly starts to become profitable, and attempts are made on the owner's life.


William Beaudine


Earl Derr Biggers (characters), Scott Darling (as W. Scott Darling)


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Complete credited cast:
Roland Winters ... Charlie Chan
Wanda McKay ... Evelyn Manning
Mantan Moreland ... Birmingham Brown
Victor Sen Yung ... Tommy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
Bruce Kellogg ... Talbot Bartlett
Tim Ryan ... Lt. Mike Ruark
Evelyn Brent ... Sister Teresa
Ralph Dunn ... Jim. Driscoll
Lois Austin Lois Austin ... Mrs. Margaret Driscoll
Forrest Taylor ... Mr. Manning
Lee 'Lasses' White Lee 'Lasses' White ... Pete


A gold mine in Arizona, that was formerly losing a lot of money, suddenly turns into a veritable money-making machine. However, the owner, instead of being happy about his now profitable business, insists to Charlie that something is fishy and that someone is out to murder him. Charlie and his "crew" travel to the mine, pretending to be tourists staying at a nearby dude ranch so as not to arouse suspicion, and discover that the owner may well be right--it looks like the mine is being used as a cover for criminal activities, and that someone is indeed out to murder him. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Death lurks at every step...as your oriental super-sleuth stalks a desperate killer -- below the surface of the earth!


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The second of three appearances of Tim Ryan as Lt. Mike Ruark, whom Chan always refers to simply as "Lt. Mike". See more »


Tommy Chan: Whatta yuh think you're gonna find, Pop?
Charlie Chan: Do not know - many needles in this haystack.
See more »


Follows Castle in the Desert (1942) See more »


Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
(AKA "The Cowboy's Lament" and "The Dying Cowboy")(uncredited)
Traditional American cowboy folk song based on the poem "Ocean Burial" by Edwin Hubbell Chapin (1839) set to music by George N. Allen
Sung by Tim Ryan
See more »

User Reviews

The franchise is gasping for its last breath!!
31 August 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is one of the last of the Monogram series of Charlie Chan films. By 1948, the series had been around for many years--since the late 1920s. Through the decades, Warner Oland and Sidney Toler had made a ton of these fun murder mysteries. By the death Toler in 1946, it was obvious that the series had been gasping for life for several years. However, instead of calling a halt to the films, Monogram plodded along with several more Chan films that starred Roland Winters. Now Winters wasn't too bad--after all, with makeup he was able to look like Chan and his delivery was rather Chan-like (though a bit rapid). However, the wit of the Sidney Toler version was noticeably absent. Another problem is that by 1948, the movies just weren't as interesting and were usually written in such a hasty manner that plot holes abounded--and this one looked rather Swiss cheesy at that! I know this to be so because I have seen all of the Fox Charlie Chan films that are in existence and almost all the Monogram ones--the slide is obvious.

Charlie is out west to investigate how a supposedly played out gold mine is suddenly brimming with gold. During the investigation, the man who hired Chan is supposedly hurt and his entire face is wrapped in gauze and doctors won't let anyone in to see him. It's so completely obvious to anyone with half a brain that either this isn't the man or he's being drugged. Oddly, Chan allows this ruse to continue for some time--even though someone's life might be at risk. Even when the nurse/nun who is caring for him reveals she's an idiot and practically knows nothing about medicine, Chan does nothing.

In addition to lots of inaction, the film is brimming with dull and awkward performances. About the only one who comes off reasonably well is Tommy Chan--who oddly was re-named Tommy even though he'd been Jimmy in the earlier films and was still played by the same actor (Victor Sen Yung). Even the usual comic relief from Mantan Moreland seems very subdued in this film. There simply is no energy or life to this film and a few really broad performances sink the film further.

The bottom line is that there isn't much of a mystery and Chan could easily get to the bottom of it. Instead, the amazingly subdued Chan sits back and lets the film go on for some time until the conclusion. Dull and uninspired.

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Release Date:

29 August 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mystery of the Golden Eye See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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