- SKU: 7966301
- Release Date: 12/05/2006
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Ratings & Reviews
- Charlie Chan at the Movies featurette
- Layne Tom, Jr.: The Adventures of Charlie Chan, Jr. feauturette
- Charlie Chan's Lucky Director: H. Bruce Humberstone featurette
- Number One Son: The Life of Keye Luke featurette
- Restoration comparisons of all 4 films
Enjoying a break from crime-solving, oriental sleuth Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) takes his 12 children to the circus. It isn't long, however, before he's sucked into yet another murder case, with a more colorful array of suspects than usual. Meanwhile, Number One Son Lee Chan (Keye Luke) tries to make time with pretty Chinese lass Su Toy (Shia Jung), a task made difficult by his morbid fear of the circus animals. One of the secondary villains, sinister lion tamer Tom Holt, is played by J. Carroll Naish, who later portrayed Charlie Chan on a late-1950s TV series. Some of the best moments in Charlie Chan at the Circus are contributed by brother-and-sister midget performers George and Olive Brasno. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Charlie Chan at the Opera
"Warner Oland vs. Boris Karloff" read the billing on the opening credits of Charlie Chan at the Opera. Karloff plays a once-famous opera star who has long been confined to an insane asylum. He escapes, ostensibly to seek revenge on the diva wife (Nedda Harrigan) who'd betrayed him years earlier. Karloff shows up during the performance of a new opera, and within minutes the murders start. Detective William Demarest figures the case is open and shut, but oriental sleuth Charlie Chan (Oland) is not thoroughly convinced of Karloff's guilt--nor is he certain that Boris is genuinely insane. To give away the ending would be churlish, but we can note that Charlotte Henry plays Karloff's daughter, who has been raised to believe that her father was dead. Considered by some Charlie Chan fans to be the best of the Warner Oland efforts, Charlie Chan at the Opera is distinguished by excellent production values, and by an original opera composed by Oscar Levant--who allegedly agreed to this assignment provided he could include the word "Silencio!" in his lyrics. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Charlie Chan at the Olympics
Actual footage of the 1936 Berlin Olympics is rabbeted into the action of this superior Charlie Chan entry. Assigned by the U.S. Navy to track down a gang of international spies, Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) heads to Berlin, where as luck would have it his son Lee (Keye Luke) is representing the United States as a member of the Olympic swimming team. Among Lee's teammates is Richard Masters (Allan Lane), who has unfortunately fallen under the spell of the alluring Yvonne Roland (Katherine De Mille), much to the dismay of his sweetheart Betty Adams (Pauline Moore). What no one knows (but Chan suspects) is that Yvonne is one of the spies, in league with the mysterious Arthur Hughes (C. Henry Gordon). Yvonne hides a stolen secret weapon in Betty's luggage, leading to a not-so-merry chase through Berlin, and the ultimate kidnapping of Lee Chan by the villains. Plus, there's a murder to be solved, and Berlin police chief Strasset (Fredrick Vogeding) isn't about to let Charlie Chan get the credit. Ironically, Charlie travels from New York to Berlin via the dirigible Hindenburg -- which crashed into flames the same week that Charlie Chan at the Olympics was released (PS: The Nazi swastika on the tail of the airship was matted out by the special-effects crew). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Charlie Chan at the Race Track
En route from Honolulu to Los Angeles by steamship, Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) is pressed into action when a fellow passenger is killed. The dead man was a prominent horse breeder, whose favorite stallion has been entered in the Santa Anita handicap. At first glance, it appears as though the victim has been kicked to death by his own horse, but further investigation reveals the complicity of a crooked gambling ring. The excitement of the "photo finish" climax is amplified when Charlie and Number One Son Lee (Keye Luke) are kidnapped by the gamblers -- and the murderer still hasn't been revealed! The best line in Charlie Chan at the Race Track occurs at the end, when Lee excitedly bursts into a room with a vital clue that Charlie has already revealed, whereupon Mr. Chan murmurs: "Please -- save clue for next case." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Warner Oland - Charlie Chan
- Keye Luke - Lee Chan
- J. Carrol Naish - Tom Holt
- Francis Ford - Gaines
- Maxine Reiner - Marie Norman
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