Most helpful critical review
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My First Charlie Chan movie
on March 16, 2002
"Charlie Chan in The Secret Service" was my first Chan movie. I was impressed with it. My only complaint was the scene in which Chan is riding to the mansion that the inventor was killed in, and is walking up to the mansion. Loud, blaring, music is played during this scene as if there was a fight scene going on or something. But it is apparent that Toler is trying to create interest in this new first Monogram outing, and it pays off. The low budget is futile to complain about, because the budget for the Monogram pictures never increases at any point in time. Critics should judge the Monogram Chans and state their opinion according to if they did the best job they could with the lower budget. Simply complaining about the low budget doesn't cut it, because the Monogram Chans ALL have a low budget. But if their resources are used in the best way, it can still be a good movie, low budget or not.I thought it was a good mystery that was not muddled or confusing. I would give them a thumbs up for doing their best to have a good movie. The Fox Chans were a hard act to follow, but quite a few times, Monogram did very well, lower budget and all. Of course, Benson Fong did not have the effect that the other two previous sons had, but he did well, I thought. Marianne Quon as Iris Chan works well off Benson Fong, but is only seen in this one movie. And of course, Mantan Moreland as Birmingham makes his first appearance as well, and continued throughout the series(with the exception of "The Red Dragon" and "Dangerous Money".)Of course, this movie is not "Citizen Kane", but is worth viewing.