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Charlie Chan in Meeting at Midnight

4.4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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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!

Special Features

None.

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 (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00020X86Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,633 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Charlie Chan in Meeting at Midnight" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Eng on 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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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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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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By A Customer on 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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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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film was originally known as "Meeting at Midnight" but when you run the DVD you'll see that the title was changed to "Black Magic". It features Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan and Mantan Moreland is right there as needed for great comic relief. We also get to meet one of Charlie's shrewder kids who is played by the talented Frances Chan. (Yes, her real name is Chan!)

THE STORY: Mantan Moreland replaces the current butler in a big spooky house where scam artists are running seances. Not long after he arrives, a seance takes place and it just so happens that Charlie Chan's daughter is participating... and then a murder takes place during the seance.

The man was shot by the infamous "disappearing bullet"! (How many urban legends have been launched from this idea, I cannot say). In any event, Charlie's daughter becomes one of several suspects in the crime which is a caveat that the police use to twist Charlie's arm a bit to get him to investigate the case.

One of the more heinous acts of the scamsters includes the use of a secret drug which makes the victim very succeptible to suggestion under hypnosis, even to the point that they will commit suicide. Charlie makes progress in the case until he too is slipped some of the drug and commanded to step off a tall building into nothing firmer than air space!

This is a fine mystery, perhaps not the very best of Charlie Chan films, but still very watchable. This 1944 film is, of course, shot in black-and-white and the aspect is full-screen. It was directed by Phil Rosen and the characters are "suggested" by Earl Derr Biggers' Charlie Chan stories. The running time is 65 minutes.
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