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


Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown
THE GOLDEN EYE (1948). Director: Willam Beaudine.

Someone takes a shot at Manning (Forrest Taylor of Manhunt of Mystery Island), an old friend of Charlie Chan's (Roland Winters), and realizes that his life is in deadly danger [uh oh!]. With Birmingham (Mantan Moreland) and Tommy Chan (Victor Sen Yung/Young) in tow, Chan goes out to a ranch and the adjacent Golden Eye mine near Mexico, which is inexplicably producing much more of the golden nuggets than expected. Bandaged like a mummy, Manning, who had an "accident" in the mine, is guarded over by a sinister nun (Evelyn Brent). Lt. Mike Ruark (Tim Ryan) pretends to be a dissipated playboy drunk so he can investigate things in secret. Other suspects and characters include Manning's daughter, Evelyn (Wanda McKay of The Monster Maker); her boyfriend, Talbott (Bruce Kellogg); grave Dr. Graves (Sam Flint); foreman Driscoll (Ralph Dunn of Confessions of Boston Blackie); and his wife, Margaret (Lois Austin). There's a gang with guns who are involved in gold smuggling and a brief cat fight with a "nun," Birminghman and Tommy are still amusing, but this is distinctly minor-league Chan. Tim Ryan really scores in his expert and entertaining drunk act.

Verdict: Only for devotees. **.

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