Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


TCM SPOTLIGHT CHARLIE CHAN COLLECTION. Warner Home Video. Available on BLU-RAY/DVD June 8th, 2010.

Charlie Chan is back! And Mantan Moreland's got him!

This collection includes four Charlie Chan movies from Monogram studios. Sidney Toler plays Chan in the first three films, and Roland Winters takes over for the fourth film. Moreland is cast as Chan's chauffeur/assistant Birmingham Brown in three of the films, paired with one of Chan's sons for added merriment.

The films include Dark Alibi, Dangerous Money, The Trap and The Chinese Ring [with Winters as Chan]. Dark Alibi is the best of the four, but all four films are quite entertaining and suspenseful. Dark Alibi has Chan trying to save the life of a man on death row; Dangerous Money features murder on shipboard; The Trap features a series of strangulation murders of young showgirls; and The Chinese Ring has Chan investigating when a princess is murdered in his domicile.

The black white images on the four DVDs -- one for each film -- are crisp and clear, and there are sub-titles in English, French and Spanish.

This DVD collection can be bought here.

Verdict: Chan and Mantan are an unbeatable combination. ***.

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Colin said...

I'm really looking forward to receiving this set throught the post soon. I've seen all the movies included many years ago and I know they're not up to the standard of the Fox productions but they are good fun for all that.

William said...

Yes, I confess I was surprised at how entertaining they were and Dark Alibi in particular is quite a good picture. William