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Dangerous Money

USA 1946
produced by
James S. Burkett for Monogram
directed by Terry O. Morse
starring Sidney Toler, Gloria Warren, Victor Sen Yung, Rick Vallin, Joseph Crehan, Willie Best, John Harmon, Bruce Edwards, Dick Elliott, Joseph Allen, Amira Moustafa, Tristram Coffin, Alan Douglas, Selmer Jackson, Dudley Dickerson, Rito Punay, Elaine Lange, Emmett Vogan, Leslie Denison, Mavis Russell
screenplay by Miriam Kissinger, based on characters created by Earl Derr Biggers, musical director: Edward J. Kay

Charlie Chan, Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler), Charlie Chan at Monogram

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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On a Samoa-bound boat, Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) meets an agent of the treasury department (Tristram Coffin), who tries him something about a shipment of counterfeit bills, but is killed before he can say too much. Of course, the boat is full of suspects, and of course, more people are killed, and of course an attempt on Charlie's life is made as well. Soon, the film focuses on Rona (Gloria Warren) and her boyfriend, the ship's purser George (Joseph Allen), but for the trained eye of the audience, it soon becomes clear they are actually the "good couple". Anyways, another passenger, trader Burke (Dick Elliott), manages to blackmail them ... but is eventually killed by the killer for it.

It's only when the boat has reached Samoa that Charlie finds out Rona is traveling with forged papers looking for invaluable pieces of art stolen from her father.

Eventually, Charlie's son (Victor Sen Yung) and his driver (Willie Best) find both the counterfeit bills and the artworks Rona is after hidden inside the stuffed animals delivered to absent-minded professor Martin's (Emmett Vogan) fish museum - but professor Martin is an unlikely smuggler, and Charlie outright refuses he's guilty ... and he's soon cornered by the real smugglers, a couple of local barowners (Rick Vallin, Amira Moustafa) and an inconspicuous reverend (Leslie Denison), who were all also passengers on the boat. The real mastermind though turns out to be the reverend's wife, actually a man in drag (Alan Douglas).

Of course, in the end all the baddies get their just desserts.

 

Very mediocre Charlie Chan movie that never finds the right balance between comedy and mystery and somehow lacks the certain spark that makes many of the films in the series (even the late, cheap ones) so enjoyable. Truth to be told, there are worse Charlie Chan films around, but that doesn't make this one especially good, either.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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