The Golden Eye
Charlie Chan in Texas
James S. Burkett for Monogram
directed by William Beaudine
starring Roland Winters, Wanda McKay, Mantan Moreland, Victor Sen Yung, Bruce Kellogg, Tim Ryan, Evelyn Brent, Ralph Dunn, Lois Austin, Forrest Taylor, Lee 'Lasses' White, George Spaulding, Lee Tung Foo
screenplay by Scott Darling, based on characters created by Earl Derr Biggers
Charlie Chan, Charlie Chan (Roland Winters), Charlie Chan at Monogram
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Charlie Chan (Roland Winters) is called to the Golden Eye goldmine in
Texas to protect its owner Manning (Forrest Taylor) and at the same time
investigate a few irregularities. But even when he arrives in Texas,
Manning has had a serious accident that left him bandaged all over his
body, and a nun, sister Teresa (Evelyn Brent) is shielding him off against
visitors. Plus, in the goldmine that seems to be exhausted and produce
tons of gold at the same time, one witness after the next turns up - dead.
Soon enough, Chan finds out that the mine is used as the centerpiece of a
largescale goldsmuggling operation, the nun and Manning's foreman (Ralph
Dunn) were running things on the ground, and the foreman's wife (Lois
Austin) was doubling as Manning, who has long been bumped off (who could
tell who was under the bandages, right?), but the head of the organisation
was actually the fiancé (Bruce Kellogg) of Manning's daughter (Wanda
McKay), a guy way too slick to nbot be guilty.
Victor Sen Yung and
Mantan Moreland play their usual roles of Chan's son and driver
respectively, while Tim Ryan plays a police inspector who has gone
undercover posing as notorious drunkard.
By and large, it is
common knowledge (or opinion, rather) that the Charlie Chan-films
made in the late 1940's with Roland Winters in the title role are the
worst of the series - but while Roland Winters is indeed not one of the
better Caucasian actors playing the Oriental detective, Golden Eye as
such, despite being pretty predictable is not too bad a movie, a slick
little murder mystery with shades of the Western genre that competently
keeps its balance between comedy and drama for its about 70 minutes of
running time. Sure, the film is no masterpiece, but neither are most other
films of the Charlie Chan-series, right?