|Ricardo Cortez, Victor Sen Yung and Sidney Toler|
When Hugh Drake (Frederick Worlock), formerly of Scotland Yard and now with Military Intelligence, is found dead of gas poisoning, Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) goes into [relative] action, while son Jimmy (Victor Sen Yung) kibbitzes. A strange man named Paul Narvo is involved in the murder plot, but even his wife, Pat (Marjorie Weaver of The Great Alaskan Mystery) -- from whom she ran away -- doesn't know who or where he is. Suspects and other characters include the butler Boggs (Leyland Hodgson); Inspector Vance (Donald MacBride); Drake's friend, Kirby (Ricardo Cortez); stockbroker Richard Jeffery (John Sutton); David Elliot (Robert Lowery), special friend of Pat's; the obnoxious Britisher Herbert Fenton (Melville Cooper); and Ralph Percy (Kane Richmond); who is involved with experimental aircraft that may be subject to sabotage. Junior Coghlan [The Adventures of Captain Marvel] has a nice bit as a club employee who helps Chan, and Shemp Howard [Brideless Groom] has an amusing turn as Shorty, who pretends to be the "Great Rashid." The exciting climax has many of the characters in a death-trap on a plane miles high in the air. With Richmond, Lowery, and Cortez in the cast -- as they were in many other Charlie Chan films -- this practically comprises the Charlie Chan Stock Company.
Verdict: Death-traps are always fun! ***.