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Charlie Chan in Meeting at Midnight (1944)

Sidney Toler , Mantan Moreland , Phil Rosen  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Frances Chan, Joseph Crehan, Helen Beverly
  • Directors: Phil Rosen
  • Writers: Earl Derr Biggers, George Callahan
  • Producers: James S. Burkett, Philip N. Krasne
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00020X86Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,304 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Charlie Chan in Meeting at Midnight" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Released in 1944 as Black Magic, this unusually absorbing (Los Angeles Times) mystery was celebrated on the revival circuit, making it one of the best-known films of the series! Filled with fun spiritualist gags, like levitating hankies and gamboling skeletons, Meeting at Midnight is a rendezvous you'll want to experience again and again! When Birmingham (Mantan Moreland) gets a job as a butler for the Bonner family, he doesn't know that they're con artists who specialize in trick sÃ(c)ances. But things get really spooky when a murder occurs and Charlie Chan's daughter Frances becomes a suspect! Charlie (Sidney Toler) surmises that nearly everybody has a motivebut even he doesn't yet realize how dangerous these ghoulish swindlers really are!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frances Chan was my mom. September 16, 2009
Format:DVD
My mother Frances Chan, a.k.a. Frances C. Eng is now passed away. She and my father owned the Sunset Pacific Motel for 40 years which is only a mile away from the studios where she filmed "Meeting at Midnight" back in 1943 at age 18. She was 79 years old when she fell down the stairs and passed away in 2004.

She never saw the moving "Meeting at Midnight" until age 70 when I saw it on TV and called her on the phone. Until then it was on some shelf at some studio archives. Her pay at the time was only $800.00.

Frances Chan's career ended when she married my father Edward J. Eng in 1944. They lived about a mile from the Monogram Studios where "Meeting at Midnight" was filmed. It is now KCET studios. They have 5 children, 4 daughters and 1 son, myself. The have 9 grandchildren. My parents owned a lot of real estate around Los Angeles. So even though her career as an actress did not endure her career as the landlady collecting rent lasted for 60 years.

Frances Chan's movie career included "The Good Earth 1937", "Samurai 1945" and "God is My Copilot." Her parents Anthony (Suey) Chan and Mary Chan also acted and had numerous bit parts as Chinese actors during the 1930s and 1940s. They were close friends with Keye Luke, Peanuts, and Anna Mae Wong, who were the major Chinese actors during this time period.

Frances Chan got her start by being Miss Chinatown in 1939, and a search of the Los Angeles Times from that period will bring up several articles on her.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Chan Film September 1, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This is definitely my favorite Chan film. Sidney Toler is the best of the Chans. It is an atmospheric film with some wonderful scenes. I love the seances and the scene where Toler is hypnotized and appears to be walking off a ledge is
as scary a scene as in any Chan movie.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best movies I have ever seen!! September 28, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I don't care what anyone else says, this was one of the best movies I have ever seen. I don't really think it's relevent who the best actor or actress would have been, because this movie was made over fifty years ago. I don't see why more movies like this aren't produced, because you don't need adult content to sell a mystery!!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WAY AHEAD OF IT'S TIME June 6, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I remember the first time that I ever saw this movie. I was approximately 6 years old, and after watching it I couldn't get it out of my head. I'm in my mid-twenties now and I still can't. For this to be such an old movie, it has everything that makes todays movies great. There are ghosts, murder, intrigue, conspiracies, and more. I absolutely love the seance scene: it's the best scene in the whole movie. For anyone who loves the Charlie Chan movies, YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS ONE! It's funny and spooky at the same time. The lady who plays Chan's daughter is also great in this movie. I could go on and on about this movie all day! Trust me, if you buy this movie you will not be disappointed.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Basic Chan December 13, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
If you like the older genre mystery movies and are a "Chan Fan"
this is a must see. The off-spring are a little bit too cutsey
but that adds a little character to the film. Birmingham Brown is
a necessary element in the Chan series by injecting some humor.
As a parent who raised his kids on the 1930's & 1940's B / W mysteries this one is top family entertainment.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Originally Released As Black Magic May 5, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
In CHARLIE CHAN: MEETING AT MIDNIGHT Charlie and his daughter are confronted with a phony occult scam operated out of an old haunted house. Produced in the middle of World War II, this film stars Sidney Toler as Charlie and boasts a supporting cast which includes Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown.
The director was Phil Rosen and the screenplay was handled by George Callahan. The movie was originally released as BLACK MAGIC.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best Left to Hardcore Fans and Collectors October 28, 2006
Format:DVD
Loosely based on novels by Earl Derr Biggers, 20th Century Fox's Charlie Chan series proved an audience favorite--but when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor the studio feared audiences would turn against its Asian hero. This was a miscalculation: actor Sidney Toler took the role to "poverty row" Monogram Studios, where he continued to portray the character in eleven more popular films made between 1944 and his death in 1947.

20th Century Fox had regarded the Chan films as inexpensive "B" movies, but even so the studio took considerable care with them: the plots were often silly, but the pace was sharp, the dialogue witty, and the casts (which featured the likes of Bela Lugosi and Ray Milland) always expert. The result was a kindly charm which has stood the test of time. Monogram was a different matter: Chan films were "B" movies plain and simple. Little care was taken with scripts or cast and resulting films were flat, mediocre at best, virtually unwatchable at worst.

Released in 1944, MEETING AT MIDNIGHT (also known as BLACK MAGIC) is often described as one of the best Chan films made at Monogram--but the term "best" is comparative. It is certainly better than such Monogram Chan films as THE TRAP, but it is a far cry from the 20th Century Fox films of the 1930s. Although it has a running time of little more than a hour, it drags; the plot is profoundly unoriginal; the dialogue is not in the least memorable; and the cast, for the most part, is merely marking time.

The story concerns a spiritualist whose seance draws Chan's daughter Frances--who finds herself a witness to murder when the medium dies under very suspicious circumstances.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It was good
Published 22 days ago by Shirley Dotson
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Detective!
Charlie Chan is my favorite movie detective. I can never decide which Chan I like best... Toler or Oland. You have to enjoy Birmingham Brown. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Bill Raley
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love Classics
I wish they had more Charlie Chan movies available via streaming. I am an old movie buff and I love mystery and suspense and it's goes some comedy in there as well. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Debra A. Gill
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Chan and mystery classic
Will I like mystery classic. To me they are the best I have brought at Amazon. Now, I collect them. Charlie Chan,the thin man with William Power and Nancy Draw with Bonita Granvill... Read more
Published 16 months ago by rosa
4.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Chan Fun
Charlie's a good Dad as well as a good detective who always sees humor in his persuit of who dunnit. Simple, retro, light entertainment that is fun to watch.
Published 17 months ago by Harbor Mate
5.0 out of 5 stars Oldies are Still the Best
This was a good movie and lots of fun. Love the old mysteries and seeing where they will go. Try it, you'll like it.
Published 17 months ago by NovaNan
5.0 out of 5 stars Meeting at Midnight
This is a better production than the same movie titled Black Magic. However, because it is more expensive, I choose to keep Black Magic (adequate).
Published 18 months ago by Patricia Donahue
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking for Spooks
One of my favorite Charlie Chan's about seance's and a murder without a weapon although this one comes with a daughter as well as a son helping solve the crime. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Donna J. Pruitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Chan DVD
We have been looking for this movie for a long time and we feel we paid a fair price. Not all movies are this reasonable!
Published 20 months ago by msl
4.0 out of 5 stars Santa Claus comes through again.
Old movies are sometimes hard to find; Amazon has helped us fill gaps in our collections. The packages arrived in plenty of time for Christmas gift giving and were in good... Read more
Published on January 3, 2012 by Colleen West
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