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

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Toler, Moreland, Fong and Cardwell

THE SHANGHAI COBRA (1945). Director: Phil Karlson.

"People don't fall in love that fast -- except on the stage."

Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler)) is called in when it develops that he may be the only person who can identity an accused thief and murderer named Van Horn. Van Horn is also suspected of a number of cobra venom murders, of which there have been five victims, the latest killed right outside of a coffee shop. The victims all have something to do with a bank, under which are sewers and secret passages Among the suspects are secretary Paula Webb (Joan Barclay); her wannabe boyfriend Ned Stewart (James Cardwell); bank president Fletcher (Roy Gordon, the doctor in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman); Harris, the bank VP (Arthur Loft); and H. R. Jarvis (James Flavin); not to mention an unnamed lady (Janet Warren), who operates the strangest juke box you've ever seen in or out of pictures. This is a typically clever Monogram picture, with Toler in top form, Mantan Moreland even more amusing than usual, and Benson Fong quite adept as Tommy Chan. Gene Roth and Cyril Delevanti have smaller roles.

Verdict: Another entertaining Charlie Chan picture. ***.

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