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Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 2 (Charlie Chan at the Circus / Charlie Chan at the Olympics / Charlie Chan at the Opera / Charlie Chan at the Race Track) (1936)

Warner Oland , Katherine DeMille , H. Bruce Humberstone , Harry Lachman  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 2 (Charlie Chan at the Circus / Charlie Chan at the Olympics / Charlie Chan at the Opera / Charlie Chan at the Race Track) + Charlie Chan Collection, Volume  3 (Charlie Chan's Secret / Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo / Charlie Chan on Broadway / The Black Camel) + Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 1 (Charlie Chan in London / Charlie Chan in Paris / Charlie Chan in Egypt / Charlie Chan in Shanghai / Eran Trece)
Price for all three: $66.57

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Product Details

  • Actors: Warner Oland, Katherine DeMille, Pauline Moore, Allan Lane, Keye Luke
  • Directors: H. Bruce Humberstone, Harry Lachman
  • Writers: Bess Meredyth, Charles Belden, Earl Derr Biggers, Edward T. Lowe Jr., Helen Logan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • 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: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: December 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 281 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GY728I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,269 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 2 (Charlie Chan at the Circus / Charlie Chan at the Olympics / Charlie Chan at the Opera / Charlie Chan at the Race Track)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Charlie Chan’s Lucky Director: H. Bruce Humberstone" featurette
  • "Layne Tom, Jr.: The Adventures of Charlie Chan, Jr." featurette
  • "Number One Son: The Life of Keye Luke" featurette
  • "Charlie Chan At the Movies" featurette
  • Restoration Comparisons
  • Original Trailers

Editorial Reviews

"Size of package does not indicate quality within," Honolulu's finest, Charlie Chan sagely observes in Charlie Chan at the Circus, and while this boxed set contains only four films, it does this venerable franchise justice, with some of Chan's most arresting cinematic outings. All four films star Swedish-born Warner Oland, who is to Charlie Chan what Sean Connery is to James Bond. The high note of this set is Charlie Chan at the Opera, in which the curtain comes down on two opera singers during a performance. Boris Karloff (whose frightening presence accounts for a very funny reference to Frankenstein) costars as an amnesiac who escapes from a sanitarium to haunt the theatre like some phantom of the... well, you know. William Demarest steals his scenes as a cop in dire need of sensitivity training. He refers to Chan as "Chop Suey" and "Egg Fu Young," and when No. 1 son (Keye Luke) gives his dad a note, he asks if it's a laundry ticket. In Charlie Chan at the Circus, a Chan family excursion (with all 12 children!) to the Big Top is interrupted when the nasty circus owner is murdered.

Charlie Chan at the Olympics is another gold-medal outing that finds Chan embroiled in international espionage when an experimental automatic pilot device is stolen. His investigation leads him to the Berlin Olympics (via the Hindenburg), where his son is on the track team. Newsreel footage of the games integrated into the film features Jesse Owens running the 400-meter relay. Less of a sure bet but still an efficient mystery is Charlie Chan at the Race Track. Each restored film looks great, and each is enhanced with featurettes that illuminate interesting aspects of the series. One profiles prolific Chan director H. Bruce "Lucky" Humberstone (who, we learn, fortified his star with drink), and another Keye Luke. "Charlie Chan at the Movies" examines these films' places in the Chan canon. There are certainly enough 1930s cultural and racial stereotypes (John Allen as stableboy "Streamline" Jones in Race Track) here to keep the PC police working overtime, but for Charlie Chan buffs and B-movie fans, this is an essential collection that is, to quote Chan, a "chip off ancient block." --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

Disc 1: CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OPERA Full Screen Feature (Black & White) Charlie Chan's Lucky Director: H. Bruce Humberstone Restoration Comparison Trailer

Disc 2: CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OLYMPICS Full Screen Feature (Black & White) Layne Tom,Jr: The Adventures of Charlie Chan, Jr. Restoration Comparison Trailer

Disc 3: CHARLIE CHAN AT THE RACE TRACK Full Screen Feature (Black & White) Number One Son: The Life of Keye Luke Restoration Comparison Trailer

Disc 4: CHARLIE CHAN AT THE CIRCUS Full Screen Feature (Black & White) Charlie Chan At The Movies Restoration Comparison Trailer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Charlie Chan Series At Its Peak! December 6, 2006
Volume 2 in Fox's Charlie Chan DVD Collection seems not to have been released as much as it escaped. Volume 1 was widely heralded but this installment, which contains the best of the films when the series reached its peak, sort of snuck up on us. Frankly, I can't believe I'm the first one here to review it.

Full disclosure: I own Volume 1 and just purchased Volume 2 through Amazon. So my review at this point is based on my (repeated) TV viewings dating back to the mid 1960s through just a few years ago before the Fox Movie Channel banned the CC films. I noticed that Fox skipped one film in this set, CHARLIE CHAN'S SECRET (1936) that preceeded the four films in Volume 2. Why? I can only guess except that SECRET is a real letdown compared to the quality of the films before it - CHARLIE CHAN IN... LONDON, PARIS, EGYPT, and SHANGHAI. And the films that followed that are represented in Volume 2. But still why was it dropped? I guess that's Fox's secret.

As with Volume 1, Warner Oland simply IS Charlie Chan. Oland continues to play Chan with his usual quiet authority and stunning charisma. Although he was not Asian (athough he believed his mother was part Mongolian), his winning characterization of Chan forever changed the way Asians would be portrayed in Hollywood films.

As for the Fab Four in this set: CC AT THE CIRCUS is the closest Charlie came to film noir, thanks to German director Harry Lachman. His films tended to be dark and moody and CIRCUS is no exception. Much of the film takes place at night and even indoor scenes have a sombre edge to them. Lachman would direct a few more Chans in the Sidney Toler era during the early 40s when the series changed direction and became compact little murder mysteries such as DEAD MEN TELL (1941).
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the Best In The Chan Series January 17, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Many critics feel the Charlie Chan films did not truly hit their stride until 1936 and 1937, when the release of four particularly lively titles set a new standard for the series. THE CHARLIE CHAN COLLECTION, VOL. 2 not only presents those four films, it restores them as well; after years of neglect, Warner Oland, Keye Luke, and company look better than ever.

Charlie was original created by novelist Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933), who very loosely based the character on Hawaii's legendary police officer Chang Apana (1887-1933.) Biggers wrote six novels in all, and after several false starts 20th Century Fox (then simply known as Fox) hit on the right combination of actors, mystery, and comedy, and the result was perhaps the single most popular film series Hollywood ever created. Although contemporary audiences tend to view the films as politically incorrect, the fact remains that Chan and his family--most often personified by Keye Luke as son Jimmy--were among the very few positive Asian characters on American movie screens at the time; as such they were particularly popular with Asian-American audiences of the day.

The four Chan films in this collection are actually the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th releases in the series, all starring Warner Oland as Chan, all featuring Keye Luke as son Jimmy Chan, and all but one directed by the capable and exacting H. Bruce Humberstone. The most celebrated title is CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OPERA, which co-stars Oland with Boris Karloff in what many consider to be the single finest film in the series. Featuring an operatic score written by Oscar Levant, the story finds Chan called upon to protect diva Lilli Rochelle (Margaret Irving), who has received a death threat.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST OF THE TWO VOLUMES OF CHAN BY OLAND April 22, 2007
Both sets have been reviewed many times so I am making mine short and to the point. Vol. I and II are both thematic (I. deals with places--famous world cities) and II (the best) involves events. The best two entries are "At the Circus" that shows Chan for the first time with his large family of 12 (it grew to 14 later on in the series) and deals with the murder of the very unpopular circus owner. "CC At The Olympics" is an amazing piece of work. #1 son (the great Keye Luke) is a contender at the Nazi occupied Berlin Olympics. This premise on it's own (even with it's great subplot) makes this one of best in the Oland series.

None of the Chan Francishe films ran more than an hour (70 minutes top), so both sets containing 4 discs are quite expensive (although Fox is reputed to have spent $2,000,000 in restoration). To round out the set is the Sidney Toler WWII outings released by MGM--CHANTOLOGY (which is far to cautious due to the times--and the series had moved to B studio Monogram).

If you are a REAL fan, then all three pricey sets are worth the investment. I have tried to buy them used at a lesser price. BEWARE! Once you start watching the series (and unfortunately many of the finer outings have lost their copyright and only available on poorly made homemade bootleg DVD-Rs), you will get hooked on the most famous Oriental detective (based on a real life Honolulu detective) of all time, the amazing Charlie Chan.

A great series and the best of the genre.
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36 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREEDY FOX STRIKES AGAIN! December 11, 2006
By Philly
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love the Chan movies, but Fox is doing it again! They released only 4 movies in Vol. 1 and now 4 movies in Vol. 2. Since each Chan movie is no longer than 80 minutes, they could easily put 2 movies on each disc or even on each side of a disc. Fox feels the need to get every penny out of the public that they can. SHAME ON YOU, FOX!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars for them mystery lover this is a must
good movie for mystery lover and it is well done and out standing i like watching over and over again
Published 10 days ago by scott
3.0 out of 5 stars The stories are good and so are the mysteries
The stories are good and so are the mysteries. Charlie, portrayed by Warner Oland is perfect and keeps your attention on the plots which are good. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Carole Buzzoni
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Charlie Chan movies
What can I say. I love Charlie Chan movies...especially starring Warner Oland. If you love mysteries, you will love these.
Published 1 month ago by The Book Worm
4.0 out of 5 stars Super Detective
Charlie Chan's movies really keep you guessing until he solves the crime. I think he plays a super duper detective.
Published 2 months ago by cmb
4.0 out of 5 stars Aged in the wood, but still good.
The Charlie Chan series is a nostalgic romp, but as with other Asian detectives (Lorre's Mr. Moto, and Karloff's Mr. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Ivers
5.0 out of 5 stars My wife and I enjoyed this film very much.
My wife and I enjoyed this film very much. We enjoy Charlie Chan movies. I would recommend this film to my friends and family.
Published 4 months ago by James Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars My Wife's Videos
My Wife ordered these and liked them very much. I never got into them but she liked them so I watched a bit too.
Published 6 months ago by D. Nick
5.0 out of 5 stars The Classic Inscrutable Detective Stuff!
The films in Volumes 2 and 3 were better digital reproductions than Volume 1, but V.1 was OK. By and large the plots for each movie in the collection had the requisite formula for... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kingsley Reeves
5.0 out of 5 stars great
i love charlie chan and i dont much care wether it was sydney or roland number one son or number two these will always be favorites her
Published 7 months ago by deborah derr
5.0 out of 5 stars JUST A OLD POOR BOYS OPINION
Published 10 months ago by wayne r howe
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