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on February 4, 2014
I love the old Charlie Chan movies. The plots were simple but they were enjoyable and often funny. No real violence or foul language.
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on July 21, 2016
v nice
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on January 5, 2017
Charlie Chan on Broadway, 1937 film

There is a ship on the ocean. Charlie Chan and his son Lee are aboard. A man enters another room and searches it; a woman calls for help! Was anything stolen? Later that woman visits the Chan’s room and hides a package. A New York City detective visits the dock to meet Charlie Chan. They want him for a banquet that night. That woman will go to the same hotel as Charlie Chan; she left town suddenly last year. A photographer sells a picture to a newspaper publisher. Miss Bronson offers a story to the newspaper publisher for that night. Lee Chan is bumped by a passing man; then his cash is gone! He returns and finds Miss Bronson by his door. A mistake?

There is an event at the “Hottentot Club”. Miss Bronson is told to leave town. Lee finds a way to enter the club. Johnny meets Miss Bronson in the manager’s office; there is conflict. Chan speaks to the NY police at the banquet. There is an interruption. Billie Bronson has been murdered, Lee Chan is held as a suspect! Chan suggests the films taken should be inspected. The witnesses talk to the police detective. Chan inspects a photograph of the room. The lights go out! There is confusion. Johnny Burke escaped! The photograph shows a hotel key - for Chan’s room. They go there and find a man’s body! He was on the steamship. Chan figures out what happened. There is another surprise. They go to Miss Bronson’s hotel room and find a man.

Miss Bronson’s diary has information on rackets and politics. The police are after Burke as a suspect. The paraffin test can reveal who shot a pistol. It is negative for Burke. Chan suggests inspecting the photographs taken last night. Charlie is warned about people out to get him. They will return to the “Hottentot Club” where all the suspects are present. Chan recreates the events when the murder occurred. After questioning people, Chan reveals the murderer and how he deduced it. A ruse led to an admission by the murderer. Lee acts to save Charlie. When they locate the diary they can clean out the corruption of Broadway.

This mystery involves crime and corruption in New York City in the 1930's. Was it based on some recent scandal? Broadway is an old road that runs from lower Manhattan to the northern end. The reference here is to midtown and it’s entertainment district. Some other cities use the name Broadway for their main road.
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on February 19, 2012
Another great detective film by Twentieth Century Fox with Warren Oland as Charlie Chan and Key e Luke (remember "Kung Fu"?) as number one son Lee.

Unlike other Chan films that had some pretty bad racist stereotypes, this film stuck to the story at hand. The story involves Billie Bronson who has a big secret that could "blow the lid off" the secret goings on of the gangsters of Broadway.

The banter between Charlie and his son is what makes these films so fun. They are on a boat going to NYC and Charlie is a bit seasick. Son Lee is bragging about all the food that his father just missed out on. When Charlie says stop, Lee asks if he needs a remedy. "Only cure is to find land", says Chan.

Billie comes into town who has info that is "hot enough to blister" and deals with a few nervous gangsters and a couple of reporters - of course we have the usually snarky female reporter and her sidekick smarty male reporter for the New York Bulletin, whose editor is also a bit involved in the case.

The viewer is lead on quite a merry go round on this film. It's not until we hit the 30 minute mark that Billie actually gets killed.

About 15 minutes into the film, a very brief uncredited cameo by Lon Chaney, Jr.!

And the murderer is quite a surprise. I had zero suspicion until the end of the film where they put all the facts together. These old films usually end with all suspects in a single room where we hash things out.
The film gets into forensics too with the "paraffin test", looking for gunpowder marks on hands. This was quite cool for 1939, but with today's detective & cop shows, this might not seem so hot to today's modern view.

Bottom Line: Love the banter, the hilarious New York cracks and commentaries, on everything from Chinese cigarette girls to camera hounds (worse than newspaper reporters). Must-see for any Chan fan.

There are many collections of Chan films. Try these:

Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 1 (Charlie Chan in London / Charlie Chan in Paris / Charlie Chan in Egypt / Charlie Chan in Shanghai / Eran Trece)

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)
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This very funny 1937 Charlie Chan case stars Warner Oland, in his final year in this role. Although beginning to suffer from overwork, he performs very well. See my review of Charlie Chan at the Circus for some information about this non-Chinese actor playing the famed Honolulu detective.

While on board ship, sailing to New York with Number One son, a woman hides her diary in Chan's suitcase to stop a man from stealing it from her. The diary contains information about criminals, information that would lead to long prison sentences. After arriving in NY, she is murdered and Number One son is briefly accused of her murder because, as always, he thinks that he is able to help his famed father, but ends up in ridiculous, and for us funny, situations. Viewers will enjoy how Chan solves the murder case and the humor that pervades the film.

As usual, the film is filled with Chan-ian epigrams, such as: Camera remembers things human eyes forget. No poison more deadly than ink. Murder is like revolving door, when one side close, other side open. Woman's intuition is better than ten scientists.
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Billie Bronson "Little Billie" (Louise Henry) returns from abroad. She brings with her a secret or two. Soon she ends up dead.

This is one of the better Chan's. You will notice the standard Charlie Chan crew which includes Harold Huber this time as Chief Inspector James Nelson NYPD. Hey what is Lon Chaney Jr. doing in a Chan film? Charlie is Warner Oland and his son is Keye Luke.

See Keye again in "The Cat Creature" (1973 TV movie) if you can find it. My copy nearly wore out before transferring to DVD.

Back to the movie they did a good job of remastering it and cleaning up all the squiggles and giggles.
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