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

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Warner Oland and Rita Cansino (Hayworth)
CHARLIE CHAN IN EGYPT (1935). Director: Louis/Luis King.

Charlie Chan is investigating the theft and forgery of certain antiquities when he discovers that archaeologist Professor Arnold (George Irving) has been missing for weeks. Then the professor turns up in an unexpected place, setting in motion a series of often clever murders. There's the tomb that has hidden secrets and time-lost chambers that hold their own promise of death. Characters include Arnold's daughter, Carol (Pat Paterson), her sensitive violin-playing brother, Barry (James Eagles of The Story of Temple Drake), the family physician Dr. Anton Racine (Jameson Thomas of The Curtain Falls), Carol's fella Tom Evans (Thomas Beck), and Snowshoes, the whiny if lovable servant (Stepin Fetchit of Show Boat). A young Rita Hayworth, billed here as Rita Cansino, plays a servant girl, and is fine. There are perhaps not enough suspects, and some of the cast members over-act badly, but Charlie Chan in Egypt is fun.

Verdict: Not even dank tombs can stop Charlie. ***.


angelman66 said...

I used to love all the Warner Oland Charlie Chan movies - they were on TV every Sunday morning...and this was one of my favorites.

Hard to believe that's Hayworth as the sneaky servant girl (was her name Naida?)...this was obviously before she underwent extensive electrolysis on her hairline and changed the color to strawberry blond. As Cansino, Rita was relegated to playing only Latina and other "ethnic" bit parts...then she became the all-American Love Goddess!

William said...

Yeah, reinvention sure worked for Rita!