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

Thursday, September 1, 2011


CHARLIE CHAN'S SECRET (1936). Director: Gordon Wiles.

"Chinese people interested in all things psychic."

A very wealthy man who has been presumed dead suddenly turns up alive -- and is promptly murdered. And there are several people who would benefit from his demise. Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) investigates and encounters elderly Mrs. Lowell (Rosina Lawrence) and her family, all of whom are suspects. Inside the Lowell mansion Chan looks for the killer amidst seances, corpses that turn up and vanish, and similar tricks played by both him and the killer. None of the Chan sons appear in this picture -- which alone makes it unusual -- but the comic foil is Baxter the butler played by Herbert Mundin.

Verdict: A very satisfying Charlie Chan mystery. ***.

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