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

Thursday, June 3, 2010


THE TRAP (1946). Director: Howard Bretherton.

Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) is called in when one of a traveling group of show girls is found strangled -- then there are more murders which Chan can't prevent. This was the last time Toler played Chan, but as usual, he does it well. Rita Quigley is the hysterical Clementine [she was to make only one more movie] and Anne Nagel, who plays the bitchy Marcia, was also in The Secret Code and other serials, as well as The Invisible Woman and Man Made Monster. Minerva Urecal of the prune face plays the unpleasant landlady Mrs. Weebles. Mantan Moreland is as wonderful as ever as Birmingham Brown.; Victor Sen Yung reprises the role of Jimmy Chan. Kirk Alyn, who appeared in many serials including Superman, plays Sergeant Reynolds, but I confess I didn't even recognize him. This is another suspenseful and entertaining Monogram Chan pic available as part of the new TCM Spotlight Charlie Chan Collection from Warner Home Video.

Verdict: Toler's farewell appearance. **1/2.

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