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Showing 1-10 of 96 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 105 reviews
on June 22, 2012
An outfit called TGG Direct has been licensing MGM/UA titles for reissue on DVD, and this is one of their first packages. The first 6 Monogram Chan films were originally released in a box set entitled Chanthology back in the mid-2000s, with each movie on a separate disc. This set presents only 5 of the films over 2 single sided discs. The discs are enclosed in two Amray cases inside an outer cardboard box. Both discs appear to be dual-layered, and the transfers are identical to those previously released. As these potboilers run barely an hour each, the programs are well contained on the dual layer discs with no compression problems. No extras are included, but none were seen on the original single-disc editions, either.

Disc 1 features IN THE SECRET SERVICE, THE CHINESE CAT, and THE JADE MASK. Disc 2 features THE SCARLET CLUE and THE SHANGHAI COBRA. Both discs feature a simple menu allowing you to select the movie to be played.

For those who missed out on the Chanthology set, this is a great value for a fraction of the cost. A big upside is that you can see these films with fewer disc changes, which for such short films is quite a bonus.

The downside is that they inexplicably did not include BLACK MAGIC (aka MEETING AT MIDNIGHT). It would have easily been accommodated on disc 2. It is the only title that is in the public domain, so perhaps that had something to do with its omission. Even so, MGM/UA's print is far superior than any public domain elements for that title that I've seen. Moves like this really baffle me and make one wonder if these companies even know what the Hell they're licensing. Collectors who buy these sets generally want ALL of the available titles. In this case, not 5 out of 6 films!

Anyway, I can highly recommend this set despite the omission of BLACK MAGIC
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on September 23, 2012
When I review any Chan film I feel it is important to say the I am a Chan fanatic. I have been since I was a kid in the 50's watching them run on TV. So I tend to review these movies strictly as being a Chan movie, not comparing them to other movies. These movies are from the 1944 and 1945 with 4 of the 5 directed by Phil Rosen. The scripts are typical Chan fare, features Charlie Chan and his quotes as in all of the movies. The Chinese Cat and The Scarlet Clue being the most interesting of the 5(although I love them all as I have stated). Sidney Toler is in all of them and he only made 4 more of these films before he was unable to continue the role. The set over all is a good one and the price on these was fantasic. I have a total of 20 of these films on DVD and another 5 that I had taped when they were on TCM. These are not as good as Treasure Island, Wax Museum, Castle in the Desert and Murder Over New York which are my favorites but they are still very fun to watch. I recommend the set to anyone but a must for Chan fans. And yes, I tend to like Sidney Toler over Warner Oland although Oland's At The Opera was outstanding with Boris Karloff in the cast. The actor Roland Winters took over for Mr. Toler and does a OK job, by then the scripts and production values diminished badly.
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on August 1, 2012
The Chan films in this small collection have been wonderfully restored. These are some of the post war films starring Sidney Toler. The set includes 5 films on 2 dvds. Although there are no extras (trailers etc), the quality of the presentation is outstanding with great images and clear sound. There are two other Chan collections available and this set rounds out the series. If you like the later Chan films, be sure to get this set.
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on December 28, 2015
I loved seeing these again. I haven't seen them since I was a kid. If you like these old 40's mystery stories, you will like these. You have to get past any ideas about these movies being racist. In the times they were made, they were not intended to be. If you have any PC about this issue, it would be better for you to pass on these.
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on October 11, 2015
Several of these films feature some of the best of Sidney Toler's Charlie Chan work, although the movies themselves are only Monogram b-pictures. He strides briskly and confidently through them with screen presence and star power. "Secret Service" is a good example of how 1940's film companies could produce a cheaply made, but well-made, mystery movie. "Chinese Cat" is an entertaining little b-mystery with plenty of fog and secret passages. Picture quality is OK on all of these. But one thing puzzles me: the price on this box yo-yo's up and down a lot. I was fortunate to purchase it at a discount price on the lower end of its price roller-coaster so maybe I am a bit biased as to the relative value of this set.
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on June 28, 2017
Sidney Toler - the best Charlie!
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on February 14, 2015
Charlie Chan,myself&son go way back.
I have always been a Charlie Chan fan since I was a child,so when I became a mom,I introduced my son to Mr Chan,he loved it,needless to say those are moments I will treasure forever ,now my son is introducing Charlie Chan to my Granddaughter ,from generation to generation,I love it,thanks for helping me
Relive those times again,I sent it as Bday gift for my son,we watched them together like old times.Memories r blessings, thanks Amazon ur Amazing😇
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on August 24, 2011
I am a big fan of Charlie Chan whether it is Warner Oland or Sidney Toler. This particular set is a double dip from an earlier release (The Chanthology)and is missing Meeting at Midnight, the sixth Chan in that set. These were made at Monogram studios (someone correct me if I'm wrong) after the bigger studio let the Chan series drop (Warner Bros.?). The point being that the chintzy-ness of the studio budget really shows in these productions. Sets, lighting, etc. - everything is second-rate. The Mantan Moreland edge to comedy may strike viewers as offensive and the other Chan sidekicks are not always great. I own these because I own all the Chans (even the other set that is offered here) which is even worse. But if you are a fan of the 30's/40's mystery series such as Wong, Moto, the Saint and the Thin Man, then you will probably want these in your collection.
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on January 3, 2015
These are excellent films in excellent quality. If you"re a Charlie Chan fan, you'll love these. I'm pretty happy with the 30's genre, and have always loved Chan, especially the Toler and Oland portrayers. If you've never seen this detective in action, you might want to check out a DVD from the library first to see if you're equally interested before adding them to your home collection.
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on May 13, 2013
These are all family mysteries that were made between the late 1920's through the 1940's.These are great classics that will stand time.You will be pleasently suprised how well these movies were made.I have bought three sets of these movies,this is by far the best set out there.The picture clarity of these movies are GREAT.If you want to watch some GREAT FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT i don't believe you can go wrong with these movies,they are EXCELLENT
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