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Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 4 (Charlie Chan in Honolulu / Charlie Chan in Reno / Charlie Chan at Treasure Island / City in Darkness)

4.8 out of 5 stars 153 customer reviews

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(Feb 12, 2008)
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 4 (Charlie Chan in Honolulu / Charlie Chan in Reno / Charlie Chan at Treasure Island / City in Darkness)
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  • Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 5 (Charlie Chan At The Wax Museum/Murder Over New York/Dead Men Tell/Charlie Chan In Rio/Charlie Chan In Panama/Murder Cruise/Castle in the Desert)
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  • Charlie Chan Collection, Volume  3 (Charlie Chan's Secret / Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo / Charlie Chan on Broadway / The Black Camel)
Total price: $72.54
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Editorial Reviews

Disc 1: CHARLIE CHAN IN HONOLULU **Full Frame Feature **Reinventing Chan **Sidney Toler:The Man Who Became Chan **"Charlie Chan? Courage: A Re-creation of a Lost Chan Film" **Restoration Comparison **Still Gallery

Disc 2: CHARLIE CHAN IN RENO **Full Frame Feature **Welcome to Reno: America's Divorce Resort **Reno Memories **Chan's Killer Actress: Kay Linaker **Restoration Comparison **Trailer **Still Gallery

Disc 3: CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE ISLAND **Full frame Feature **Commentary by Film CriticKen Hanke & Film Historian John Cork **The Real Treasure Island **Charlie Chan & the Zodiac **Restoration Comparison **Still Gallery

Disc 4: CHARLIE CHAN IN CITY IN DARKNESS **Full frame Feature **The Making of Charlie Chan in City in Darkness **Writing Chan: Robert Ellis & Helen Logan **Restoration Comparison **Trailer **Still Gallery


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Sidney Toler, Victor Sen Young
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Restored, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: February 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 287 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YDMPCO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,387 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 4 (Charlie Chan in Honolulu / Charlie Chan in Reno / Charlie Chan at Treasure Island / City in Darkness)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hal Owen on December 3, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Warner Oland, not the first actor to play the great detective Charlie Chan on the silver screen but the man responsible for creating his look, demeaner and countenance in some sixteen Chan films, died in August of 1938. Mr. Oland's health had been slowly declining and he reportedly walked off the set of "Charlie Chan At The Ringside", (eventually completed as "Mr. Moto's Gamble" with Peter Lorre,) to eventually return to his native Sweden where he passed away in Stockholm. Meanwhile executives at 20th Century Fox had no intention of letting this most successful film series, (Chan movies reportedly earned over one million dollars each for the studio,) slip away and the great Charlie Chan casting call was announced. The man eventually selected to replace Warner Oland was the relatively obscure non oriental actor, Sidney Toler of Missouri. Fortunately with the release of Mr Toler's first Chan film in 1938, "Charlie Chan in Honolulu", it quickly became obvious that the film series was in good hands for what patrons wanted most was to see their favorite detective Charlie Chan's further adventures. Which brings us to this wonderful fourth DVD release in the Fox collection of Charlie Chan films. With the passing of Warner Oland, studio executives decided to take a fresh look at the Charlie Chan series. Keye Luke, who had performed most admirably as Number One Son - Lee, would be replaced by Number Two Son - Jimmy, played with great panache and vigor by Sen Yung. Mr. Oland's somewhat introverted Chan character became more extroverted in the capable hands of Sidney Toler. With the 1939 production "Charlie Chan in Reno," the series hit its stride with well acted, written and directed productions.Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Charlie Chan was originally created by novelist Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933), who very loosely based the character on Hawaii's legendary police officer Chang Apana (1887-1933.) Biggers wrote six novels in all, and after several false starts 20th Century Fox (then simply known as Fox) hit on the right combination of actors, mystery, and comedy. The result was perhaps the single most popular film series Hollywood ever created.

Between 1931 and 1938 Chan was played by noted character actor Warner Oland. When Oland died, 20th Century Fox scrambled to find a new actor for the role--and ultimately assigned the part to Sidney Toler, who was well-regarded on stage but little known through films. In Toler's hands the character became less formal and the films began to emphasize comedy to a degree not previously seen. Some fans rebelled at the change, and even today fans continue to argue the merits of Oland vs. Toler. Even so, most fans would agree they enjoy both actors in the role.

The fourth installment in Chan film releases to DVD, this particular includes the first four films made by Toler: CHARLIE CHAN IN HONOLULU (1938), CHARLIE CHAN IN RENO, CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE ISLAND, and CHARLIE CHAN IN THE CITY OF DARKNESS (1939.) Fans will find all of them enjoyable, and two of the four easily rank among the finest films in the series.

Producers felt it would be wise to "ground" the newly cast Toler by having his first film set in Hawaii. Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone, who had done several of Warner Oland's most successful films, this entry finds Chan sent aboard a ship to unravel theft and murder among the likes of George Zucco and Phyllis Brooks--while coping with the unhelpful aid of newly cast Victor Sen Yung as son Jimmy.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After Warner Oland's untimely death, Sidney Toler took over the reigns of playing the uncanny oriental sleuth. Keye Luke was very close to Oland and did not resume his role as #1 son. Victor Sen Yun (of Hopsing fame on Bonanza) took over Luke's role. The first Toler outing, IN HONOLULU is one of the best. The pre-war Chan movies (featured here) are some of the best work. WWII brought a more cautious series of Chan outings and they were not very entertaining. They were filled with patriotism (too much at times) and followed a "set" formula (Chan working for the US government).

The flicks in this great box set filled with extra goodies, are terrific. Only one does not feature the energetic #1 son, THE CITY OF DARKNESS and is the weakest of the entries.

I won't go into plots, they have been adequately reviewed. The transition from Warner Oland to Sidney Toler, I found very easy assimilate thanks to great scripts. Toler is more acerbic in his role then Oland. But underneath his snippy barbs towards his children, he smiles in delight. In order to enjoy the Toler Chan, one must not compare the two different incarnations or it will spoil the continuation of this great series for you. Enjoy them for what they are, very well made B flicks filled with humor and mystery. A standout is TREASURE ISLAND and one of the best in the Toler series.

Thanks to Fox for releasing these hard to get Toler outings that were previously only available on poor bootleg copies. Keep up the good work. And enjoy these films and the many bonus features.

There was also a short-lived third Charlie Chan (Roland Winters in 6 movies). Toler made more Chan films than Oland and Luke and Sen Yun does return for the Winter's outings. They are not available at this time and Winters was not a very credible Charlie Chan but worth a watch if you can catch it on TV. For now we have more great Chan movies to enjoy.
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