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

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Parsons, Sen Yung, Moreland and Winters
SHANGHAI CHEST (1948). Director: William Beaudine.

Judge Armstrong (Pierre Watkin) is stabbed in his study by a shadowy figure. More murders follow, but what is odd is that the fingerprints of an executed man keep showing up at the crime scenes. Charlie Chan (Roland Winters) is on the case! Suspects and others include the judge's secretary, Phyllis (Deannie Best); the butler, Bates (Olaf Hytten); Armstrong's nephew, Victor (John Alvin); the lawyer Seward (Tristram Coffin); and Walter Somervale (Erville Alderson). Birmingham Brown (Mantan Moreland), Charlie's chauffeur, and his son, Tommy (Victor Sen Yung/Young), get involved in the action [such as it is] along with Lt. Mike Ruark (Tim Ryan of Who's Guilty?). There's also a snarky funeral director played by the ever type-cast Milton Parsons. This is a mediocre mystery, but as usual the darn thing is nevertheless entertaining. Aside from the regulars, the supporting cast in this is especially obscure.

Verdict: Chan soldiering on. **1/2.


Gary R. said...

I love it when Milton Parsons pops up in a film! Sure, he was type-cast, but what other kinds of characters could he have played? Parsons was the perfect actor to, uh, undertake the parts he did.

William said...

Ha, ha -- well said! I agree that Parsons always adds a certain little something to a movie, and it's always fun to encounter him.