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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

THE CHINESE RING


THE CHINESE RING (1947). Director: William Beaudine.

"Uh oh, Listen to that old honey and molasses!" -- Birmingham Brown.

Roland Winters took over the role of Charlie Chan for this Monogram mystery that also has Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown and Victor Sen Yung as Tommy Chan [although previously he had played Jimmy Chan]. Princess Mei Ling (Barbara Jean Wong) pays a call on Chan's domicile and is murdered by a blow gun before she even gets a chance to talk to him. The Princess was tied up with Captain Kong (Philip Ahn) of the Shanghai Maid and Captain Kelso (Thayer Roberts), as well as the banker Armstrong ( a very effective Byron Foulger). There's also a cute little mute Chinese boy who has seen too much, and the maid Lilly Mae (Chabing) who's in the same category. There are several murders before the true mastermind is uncovered. Winters makes a younger, more virile and more attractive Chan than usual, and he gives a good performance. Suspenseful story and good cast help a lot. NOTE: This is part of the TCM Spotlight Charlie Chan Collection from Warner Home Video.

Verdict: There's life in old Chan yet. **1/2.

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