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


Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) sings! 
CHARLIE CHAN IN SHANGHAI (1935). Director: James Tinling.

Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) is attending a banquet in his honor when his host, honorable Sir Stanley Woodland (David Torrence) opens a small case and is promptly shot (by some mechanism inside) right in front of his guest of honor. Seems Sir Stanley got on the bad side of an opium smuggling ring, the leader of which is unknown. Suspects and other interested parties include daughter Diane Woodland (Irene Hervey of Play Misty for Me); secretary Philip Nash (Jon Hall of San Diego I Love You appearing as Charles Locher); James Andrews (Russell Hicks), a G-Man from Washington; police commissioner Watkins (Halliwell Hobbes); and of course Lee Chan (Keye Luke), Number One Son. There's invisible writing that hides clues as well as more intrigue at Cafe Versailles. At one point Charlie sings a cute song to an equally cute little girl, but proves not exactly ready for an American Idol audition. James Tinling also directed some of the early Jones Family films such as Back to Nature.

Verdict: Okay Chan entry but not one of the best. **1/2.

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