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Charlie Chan's Secret

USA 1936
produced by
20th Century Fox
directed by Gordon Wiles
starring Warner Oland, Rosina Lawrence, Charles Quigley, Henrietta Crosman, Edward Trevor, Astrid Allwyn, Herbert Mundin, Jonathan Hale, Egon Brecher, Gloria Roy, Ivan Miller, Arthur Edmund Carewe, William Bailey, Francis Ford
written by Robert Ellis, Helen Logan, based on characters by Earl Derr Biggers

Charlie Chan, Charlie Chan (Warner Oland), Charlie Chan at Fox

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Oriental super-sleuth Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) is hired by his old friend Henrietta Lowell (Henrietta Crosman) to find her missing brother - even if that would mean she would lose the family fortune to him. Chan is soon able to find a clue of the man, who was supposed to have died in a shipwreck, to Henrietta's old and abandoned family home - and once there, during a seance, the missing brother turns up, dead, killed only a few hours ago to be precise. Chan can soon prove the seance was just a charade, and the police immediately suspects and later arrests the spiritist (Arthur Edmund Carewe) and his medium (Gloria Roy). Chan is not so sure though, and when Henrietta herself is killed, he is proven right in his doubts. To everyone's surprise, Chan now asks the spiritist to hold a seance to contact Henrietta, and she actually does appear as well, when out of nowhere a knife is hurled at her - only breaking a mirror in which she could be seen.

The solution to the whole story: Henrietta was never really killed, the first time around, the murderer only his a dummy Chan has placed in her place, and when she, very much alive, appeared now during the seance, it was only in a mirror as to not endanger her. However, the knife the murderer had hurled at her was real, and it was actually placed there by Chan himself, after it was covered in magnesium dust so the killer's knife-throwing hand would give him away, and the killer was - one of Henrietta's stepsons (Edward Trevor), who has killed Henrietta's brother and tried to kill her to get his hands on the inheritance.

 

Average entry in the Charlie Chan-series. this one of the old dark house-variety, that like most films of the series combines an over-convoluted and -constructed plot with light-footed narration and direction, but other than in most other episodes, this one is almost irony-free, which might be appropriate for a murder mystery, but not essentially for a Charlie Chan-movie.

Still, ok old-fashioned entertainment.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

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