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Good entry from the Monogram series
on April 26, 2001
Monogram Pictures, one of the smaller Hollywood studios, really tried to make its Charlie Chan mysteries competitive with major-studio product, and this time it worked. "The Chinese Cat" (1944) has everything audiences had come to expect from the series: a capable cast of familiar character actors (Cy kendall, Ian Keith, Joan Woodbury, and at least four favorite serial performers), good direction (by the normally uninspired Phil Rosen), and striking photography (by veteran cameraman Ira Morgan). The story concerns an unsolved murder, and a muck-raking novelist whose latest book hits too close to home. Sidney Toler and Mantan Moreland are always enjoyable, and number-three son Benson Fong has more to do than usual (he defies the criminal mastermind in a memorable scene). Charlie Chan fans will enjoy this; followers of the Monogram corpus will applaud this fine companion piece to "The Shanghai Cobra" and "The Scarlet Clue." This is one "B" that gets a solid "A" for effort.