|Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937)
Run time: Approved | 68 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Director: Eugene Forde
Writers: Charles Belden, Jerome Cady
Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Joan Marsh
Charlie is in the Big Apple sleuthing his way through nightclubs, the mob scene, and gossip columns in one of the best Chan pics. Try to solve this one.
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Warner Oland, the Swedish-born actor famous for his Asian portrayals and in particular his portrayal of the famous Charlie Chan, gives a fine performance as Chan in this, one of his last screen performances before his untimely death. This time out, Charlie and #1 son, played as affably as ever by Keye Luke, are aboard a ship soon to dock in New York. A woman aboard stows something in #1’s luggage and tries getting it later in Chan hotel room. Woman who mess with Charlie like fly that play in spider’s web. OK, enough of that. Anyway, you get the usual good stuff you would find in most Chan films: a good mystery(I didn’t figure this one out), some nice comedic touches with Chan’s sayings and his by-play with his son, solid character acting from the likes of Luke, Donald Woods, Joan Marsh, etc…, and a look back at what New York was like in the late 30’s. I enjoyed the film a good deal. It doesn’t creak either like some of the earlier Chan films. It has a lively pace throughout.
Another really well done, atmospheric, Warner Oland/20th Century Fox Chan film. Although the film has nothing to do with the theater, as some might expect from the title, it is set amid the exotic night life of Broadway of the late 30’s. It begins with Charlie and Lee aboard an ocean liner. Then in New York, the Hottentot Club is the main setting along with the hotel Chan and other notables stay at. This captures the mood of New York in the 30’s–at least from a Hollywood perspective. The supporting cast is top notch with J. Edward Bromberg, Harold Huber in his best Chan role, Leon Ames, Marc Lawrence, Donald Woods, Louise Henry and Joan Marsh. The script is very clever. The hunt is on for a missing diary that could blow the lid off the mobs. Loads of fun!
"excuse please," but this is a straight forward top notch mystery with no gimmicks involved. Much of the action takes place in the Hottentot Club and the only dance is of a tropical variety that is more reminiscent of Charlie Chan in Rio or Panama.Warner Oland is at the top of his game playing the famous Chinese detective. Keye Luke, as usual, is excellent. Harold Huber does a fine job as Inspector Nelson and proves less silly than we’d see in future films.This must be considered one of the best.
Snappy Warner Oland as Charlie Chan murder mystery set at sea and in New York. Oland’s slowness in this film is complemented by good direction from an old hand, a total of five writers, and a great supporting cast. Harold Huber, making his Chan debut, plays an active and effective police inspector that works with and not in parallel with Chan. Joan Marsh looks great and turns in a solid performance. Keye Luke is allowed to help rather than hinder the crime solution. I suppose that Joan Woodbury’s dancing was all the rage at the time.
Plot involves diary that if published will cause a great deal of harm to a lot of people: `No poison more deadly than ink.’ Lots of misdirection with an obvious suspect and another who it appears will be actually guilty: `Murder case like revolving door, when one side close another side open.’ In the end, the police and Chan trap the killer but not until Chan reveals clues that the viewer cannot have been aware. Racial slurs against Orientals remain in the series with the New York Police Band playing `Chinatown’ in honor of Chan’s arrival. Interesting use of `Candid Camera’ theme at the Hottentot Club. One of the better Oland Chan films – recommended.