Charlie Chan Movie Poster Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan Charlie Chan Movie Poster
The Charlie Chan Films of Sidney Toler

Sidney Toler was born April 28, 1874 in Warrensburg, Missouri. Following his graduation from college, he became a professional actor in Kansas City, and then worked for a touring company during the late 1890s. For three decades, he acted on the stage in New York City, working with such future stars as Edward G. Robinson, John Barrymore, Katharine Hepburn, and Humphrey Bogart. In 1921, he co-wrote and directed Golden Days, a comedy starring Helen Hayes. Throughout the 1920s, Toler had an active role in co-writing or directing several other plays including The Exile (1923), Bye, Bye, Barbara (1924), and Ritzy (1930, co-written with Viva Tattersall). In 1929, Toler worked in his first Hollywood film, playing as an Englishman in Madame X. For nearly ten years, he worked in roles that supported well-known stars in films such as Blonde Venus (1932), starring Marlene Dietrich, The Phantom President (1932), with George M. Cohan, and Call of the Wild (1935), featuring Clark Gable.

Following the death of Warner Oland, Twentieth Century-Fox began the search for a new Charlie Chan. Thirty-four actors were tested before the studio decided on Sidney Toler. Twentieth Century-Fox announced its choice on October 18, 1938, and filming began less than a week later on Charlie Chan in Honolulu, which had been originally scripted for Warner Oland and Keye Luke. Toler's portrayal of the Chinese detective in Charlie Chan in Honolulu was very well received. Besides Toler, there was another change in the series. Sen Yung, as Number Two Son Jimmy, replaced Number One Son Lee, who had been played by Keye Luke. Toler's Chan, rather than merely mimicking the character that Oland had portrayed, had a somewhat sharper edge that was well suited for the rapid changes of the times, both political and cultural. When needed, Charlie Chan now displayed overt sarcasm, usually toward his son Jimmy.

Through four years and eleven films, Toler played Charlie Chan for Twentieth Century-Fox. However, in 1942, following the completion of Castle in the Desert, Fox concluded the series. The wartime collapse of the international film market may have been a factor, but the main reason was that Fox was curtailing virtually all of its low-budget series; Fox's other "B" series (Jane Withers, Michael Shayne, The Cisco Kid) also ended that year. (Only Laurel and Hardy remained in Fox's "B" unit, until it shut down at the end of 1944.)

Sidney Toler immediately sought the screen rights to the Charlie Chan character from Eleanor Biggers Cole, the widow of Chan's creator, Earl Derr Biggers. He had hoped that Fox would distribute new Charlie Chan films, starring himself, if he could find someone willing to finance the productions. Fox declined, but Toler sold the idea to Monogram Pictures, a lower-budget film studio. Phil Krasne, a Hollywood lawyer who invested in film productions, partnered with James Burkett to produce the Monogram Chans.

With the release of Charlie Chan in the Secret Service (1944), the effects of a more limited budget were somewhat apparent. Production values were no match for those of Fox; Monogram's budgets were typically about 40% of what Fox's had been. In fairness to Monogram, the films did gradually improve, with The Chinese Cat, The Shanghai Cobra, and Dark Alibi often cited as favorites by fans. Cast changes were again made: Sen Yung's Jimmy was replaced by Benson Fong as Number Three Son Tommy, and Mantan Moreland played the ever-present and popular Birmingham Brown, who brought comedy relief (and black audiences) to the series. Monogram's Charlie Chan films boasted tricky screenplays with many surprise culprits and murder devices, and were profitable and successful.

By the end of 1946, age and illness were affecting Sidney Toler. Diagnosed with cancer, the 72-year-old Toler was so ill during the filming of Dangerous Money (1946) and Shadows over Chinatown (1946, released 1947) that he could hardly walk. Monogram hired Toler's original foil, "Number Two Son" Victor Sen Young, for Toler's last two films, quite probably to ease the burden on Toler. Toler mustered enough strength to complete his last film, The Trap, in August 1946. (Young and Moreland relieve Toler of much of the action in The Trap). Toler's Monogram output matched his Fox output: 11 films for each studio.

Sidney Toler died on February 12, 1947, in Los Angeles, California from intestinal cancer. Monogram continued the series with actor Roland Winters.

Warning: Plot summaries may contain spoilers!

Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938 - 20th Century Fox) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

When there's a murder committed on the SS Susan B Jennings, Charlie gets called to investigate. But Charlie is at the hospital awaiting the birth of yet another child, so son Tommy takes the phone call and persuades elder brother Jimmy to accept the assignment.

Jimmy goes out to the ship himself (secretly followed by Tommy), where he's mistaken for his father as he proceeds to examine the case. Charlie finally finds out and rushes to the harbor where he straightens things out and begins to investigate. Among the suspects is a doctor who keeps a living human brain in a suitcase in order to continue experiments on it, a police detective who is taking in a prisoner and seems keenly interested in Chan's case, and a nervous fellow who nevertheless is escorting a pet lion.

$300,000 gets stolen, another passenger is murdered, and the Captain of the freighter is putting pressure on the Honolulu Police Department to let him take the ship out of the harbor and precede on its way before the shipping company loses too much money.
Sidney Toler's first film

Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone
Writing Credits: Charles Belden - original screenplay; Earl Derr Biggers; Chandler Sprague
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Phyllis Brooks as Judy Hayes
Victor Sen Yung as James Chan (as Sen Yung)
Eddie Collins as Al Hogan
John 'Dusty' King as Randolph (as John King)
Claire Dodd as Mrs. Carol Wayne
George Zucco as Dr. Cardigan
Robert Barrat as Captain Johnson
Marc Lawrence as Johnny McCoy
Richard Lane as Joe Arnold
Layne Tom Jr. as Tommy Chan
Philip Ahn as Wing Foo
Paul Harvey as Inspector Rawlins
Uncredited players: Richard Alexander as Cigar Chompimg Crewman, David Dong as Chan Son, James Flavin as Homicide Division Desk Sergeant, Allan Hoo as Chan Son, Eugene Hoo as Chan Son, Frances Hoo as Chan Daughter, Hippie Hoo as Chan Son, J. Anthony Hughes as Doctor, Grace Key as Mrs. Chan, Al Kikume as Hawaiian Police Officer Molokai, Faye Lee as Chan Daughter, Margie Lee as Chan Daughter, Grace Lem as Mama Chan, Arthur Loft as Mr. Peabody, Shirley Louie as Telephone Operator, James Pierce as Police Officer, Helen Quan as Chan Daughter, Constantine Romanoff as Seaman, Eunice Soo-Hoo as Infant Chan Daughter, James P. Spencer as Hawaiian Peddler, Florence Ung as Ling Chan, Blue Washington as Seaman, Barbara Jean Wong as Chan Daughter, Iris Wong as Tao Chan, Sinclair Yip as Chan Son
Charlie Chan in Reno (1939 - 20th Century Fox) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Mary Whitman has gone to Reno to obtain a divorce. Staying at a hotel catering to would-be divorcees, she is arrested on suspicion of murdering a fellow hotel guest. However, the victim was not popular and there were many others at the hotel who wanted her out of the way. Charlie comes from Honolulu to investigate and solve the murder.

Directed by Norman Foster
Writing Credits: Frances Hyland, Albert Ray, Robert E. Kent - screen play; Philip Wylie - original story "Death Makes a Decree"; Earl Derr Biggers
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Ricardo Cortez as Dr. Ainsley
Phyllis Brooks as Vivian Wells
Slim Summerville as Sheriff Fletcher
Kane Richmond as Curtis Whitman
Victor Sen Yung as James Chan (as Sen Yung)
Pauline Moore as Mary Whitman
Eddie Collins as Cab Driver
Kay Linaker as Mrs. Russell
Louise Henry as Jeanne Bently
Robert Lowery as Wally Burke
Charles D. Brown as Chief of Police King
Iris Wong as Choy Wong
Morgan Conway as George Bently
Hamilton MacFadden as Night Clerk
Uncredited players: Jimmy Aubrey as Me #3 Son Wiseguy, Brooks Benedict as Man in Line-Up, Stanley Blystone as Lineup Officer, Heinie Conklin as Policeman, Jerry Frank as Bar Patron, Chuck Hamilton as Policeman, Harry Hayden as Chemistry Professor, Dick Hogan as Jack - College Student, Fred Kelsey as Reno Desk Sergeant, Al Kikume as Honolulu Policeman, Hank Mann as 'Injured' Con Man / Casino Extra, Barbara McLean as College Student, Imboden Parrish as Undetermined Role, Jack Perry as Rough Drunk, Arthur Rankin as Bellhop, Virginia Sale as Maid Reporting Missing Passkey, Robert Shaw as College Student, Edwin Stanley as Police Chemist, Blue Washington as Man in Line-Up
Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939 - 20th Century Fox) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

On the China Clipper to San Francisco, Paul Essex, a novelist friend of Charlie's, dies after receiving a mysterious cablegram. It appears to be suicide but Charlie suspects foul play and starts investigating with the "help" of son Jimmy. He learns Essex was poisoned, presumably by a his own hand because of a blackmail threat.

With the help of Rhadini and Pete Lewis, he soon finds out that Dr. Zodiac, a phony psychic, is really the blackmailer. After the murder of Zodiac's assistant at the San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island, Charlie unmasks Rhadini as Dr. Zodiac and the murderer.

Directed by Norman Foster
Writing Credits: John Larkin - original story and screen play; Earl Derr Biggers
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Cesar Romero as Rhadini
Pauline Moore as Eve Cairo
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
Douglas Fowley as Pete Lewis
June Gale as Myra Rhadini
Douglass Dumbrille as Thomas Gregory / Stewart Salisbury (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Sally Blane as Stella Essex
Billie Seward as Bessie Sibley
Wally Vernon as Elmer Kelner
Donald MacBride as Deputy Chief J.J. Kilvaine
Charles Halton as Redley
Trevor Bardette as Abdul
Louis Jean Heydt as Paul Essex
Uncredited players: Jack Chefe as Audience Member, Heinie Conklin as First Taxicab Driver, Sayre Dearing as Audience Member, John Elliott as Doctor - Backstage, Bud Geary as Cop at Station House, Harold Goodwin as Airplane Steward, Edith Hallor as Toots - Stout Woman, Fred Kelsey as Detective - in Cab and at Theatre, Al Kikume as Waiter at Hawaiian Village, Kay Linaker as Egyptian Princess Ectoplasm, Hank Mann as Second Taxicab Driver, Margaret Mann as Airplane Passenger, Frank Meredith as Second Detective, Harold Miller as Audience Member, Bruce Mitchell as Police Desk Sergeant, Gerald Mohr as Dr. Zodiac, Bert Moorhouse as Audience Member, David Newell as Audience Member, Imboden Parrish as Plane Passenger, Tom Quinn as Man at Landing Gate, Arthur Rankin as Airways Official, Gloria Roy as Plane Passenger, Harry Strang as Taxicab Dispatcher, Charles Tannen as Plane Passenger
Charlie Chan in City in Darkness (1939 - 20th Century Fox) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

War clouds loom over Europe and France prepares for war as Charlie goes to Paris for a reunion with friends from World War I. Marie Dubon is desperate to get a steamship ticket out of France for her husband, Tony Madero. Madero, former secretary to Petroff, is wanted by the police at the behest of Petroff.

When Petroff, a munitions manufacturer who was supplying arms to the enemy in cahoots with Belescu and Charlotte Ronnell, is murdered, Charlie investigates with the "help" of Marcel. At times putting his life at risk, Charlie follows various clues and a few red herrings until he discovers the killer is the butler Antoine, who killed Petroff in a fit of patriotic fervor.

Directed by Herbert I. Leeds
Writing Credits: Robert Ellis, Helen Logan - screen play; Gina Kaus, Ladislas Fodor - original play; Earl Derr Biggers
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Lynn Bari as Marie Dubon
Richard Clarke as Tony Madero (as Richard Clark)
Harold Huber as Marcel
Pedro de Cordoba as Antoine (as Pedro De Cordoba)
Dorothy Tree as Charlotte Ronnell
C. Henry Gordon as Prefect of Police J. Romaine
Douglass Dumbrille as Petroff (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Noel Madison as Belescu
Leo G. Carroll as Louis Santelle
Lon Chaney Jr. as Pierre
Louis Mercier as Max
George Davis as Alex
Barbara Leonard as Lola
Adrienne D'Ambricourt as Landlady
Frederick Vogeding as Captain (as Fredrik Vogeding)
Uncredited players: Eugene Borden as Gendarme, André Cheron as Minor Role, Ann Codee as Complainant at Police, Albert Conti as Travel Agency Manager, Gino Corrado as Proprietor of Wine Cellar, Jean De Briac as Puppeteer, Jean Del Val as French Cabby, Fred Farrell as Minor Role, Harry Fleischmann as Baptiste, Constant Franke as Officer, Arno Frey as Pilot, John George as Victor - Notorious Patron of Gangland Bistro, Helen Giere as Minor Role, Paul Irving as Doctor, Jeanne Lafayette as French Girl, Michael Mark as Mechanic, Alphonse Martell as Gendarme, Alberto Morin as Clerk, Nita Pike as Telephone Operator, Albert Pollet as Cabby, Frank Puglia as Gendarme at Steamship Office, Joseph Romantini as Gendarme, Rolfe Sedan as Hotel Clerk, Tom Seidel as Phillip, Lester Sharpe as Market Man, George Sorel as Plainclothesman, Larry Steers as Man Leaving Paris, Jacques Vanaire as Gendarme, Veola Vonn as French Girl, Poppy Wilde as One of Petroff's Girlfriends, Marek Windheim as Cabby
Charlie Chan in Panama (1940 - 20th Century Fox) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Charlie must stop saboteurs from destroying the Panama Canal, trapping a Navy fleet on its way to the Pacific after maneuvers in the Atlantic. Panama City has become rife with spies and a new group of suspects appears with the arrival of a sea plane bound for Balboa. Among them are novelist Clivedon Compton, matronly school teacher Miss Jennie Finch, sinister scientist Dr. Rudolph Grosser, café proprietor Manolo, singer Kathi Lenesch, cigarette salesman Achmed Halide, government engineer Richard Cabot and government agent Godley.

Upon landing Godley goes to a shop owned by Fu Yuen, alias Charlie Chan, to enlist the sleuth's help in unmasking the deadly spy known only as Reiner. Just as Godley is about to divulge Reiner's real identity, he falls to the ground dead, leaving Charlie to expose Reiner before he can sabotage the canal. As the other suspects are murdered one by one, Charlie learns that the canal's Miraflores locks are to be blown up at ten that night. Charlie brings the suspects to the locks, forcing Miss Finch to expose herself as Reiner in order to escape death.

Directed by Norman Foster
Writing Credits: John Larkin, Lester Ziffren - screen play; Earl Derr Biggers
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Jean Rogers as Kathi Lenesch
Lionel Atwill as Cliveden Compton
Mary Nash as Miss Jennie Finch
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
Kane Richmond as Richard Cabot
Chris-Pin Martin as Sergeant Montero
Lionel Royce as Dr. Rudolph Grosser
Helen Ericson as Stewardess
Jack La Rue as Manolo
Edwin Stanley as Governor Webster
Donald Douglas as Captain Lewis (as Don Douglas)
Frank Puglia as Achmed Halide
Addison Richards as Godley
Edward Keane as Dr. Fredericks
Uncredited players: Eddie Acuff as Dance Sailor Suspicious of Kathi, Jimmy Aubrey as Drunk Fisherman with Cigar at Club, Brooks Benedict as Nightclub / Dance Extra, Lane Chandler as Powerhouse Search Officer, Allen F. Davis as Soldier, Franklyn Farnum as Marine Officer, Edward Gargan as Plant Workman, Harold Goodwin as Military Police Corporal, Chuck Hamilton as Dance Extra, Alberto Morin as Hotel Desk Clerk, Philip Morris as Plainclothesman, Gloria Roy as Hostess, Charles Sherlock as Soldier, Charles Stevens as Native Fisherman-Cameraman Spy, Max Wagner as Soldier
Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise (1940 - 20th Century Fox) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Scotland Yard Inspector Duff visits Charlie in Honolulu to enlist his aid in trapping a strangler who is among ten members of a world cruise being conducted by Dr. Suderman. But before the inspector can divulge his plan, he falls victim to the strangler and Charlie begins his own investigation into the murders.

He visits the members of the Suderman party but when he arrives at the hotel, he finds that another murder has just been committed. The victim, Kenyon, is discovered with a bag containing thirty pieces of silver. Charlie deduces that the man was killed in the room of fellow passenger Gerald Pendleton and his body dragged into Kenyon's room.

Charlie meets the remaining members of the party when Susie Watson screams upon sighting a man on her balcony. The group assembles in her room to discover that there is a killer in their midst. In addition to Suderman, the party consists of Kenyon's nephew Dick, Susie's secretary Paula Drake, playboy James Ross, archaeologist Professor Gordon, the jumpy Gerald Pendleton and the puritanical Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Walters.

Though unnerved, they resume their voyage to San Francisco. They share an uneventful cruise until Pendleton is murdered on the night that the ship is to dock. Chan finds the traces of a warning that Pendleton had wired to his wife and deduces that the murderer was absent from the farewell party held at the time of Pendleton's demise. Chan begins to develop negatives from the pictures taken during the party but the killer steals the evidence. As he flees, the murderer is shot and unmasked as Ross. However, Charlie remains skeptical and at the coroner's inquest, he produces Mrs. Pendleton, who explains that the killer is her demented, vengeful ex-husband and that Ross was only his accomplice. Charlie then tricks Gordon into trying to kill his ex-wife, thus exposing him as the true murderer.

Directed by Eugene Forde
Writing Credits Robertson White (screen play) and Lester Ziffren (screen play); Earl Derr Biggers (based on the story: "Charlie Chan Carries On" by); Robert Ellis (adaptation), Helen Logan (adaptation),
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Marjorie Weaver as Paula Drake
Lionel Atwill as Dr. Suderman
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
Robert Lowery as Dick Kenyon
Don Beddoe as James Ross
Leo G. Carroll as Professor Gordon (as Leo Carroll)
Cora Witherspoon as Susie Watson
Kay Linaker as Mrs. Pendleton
Harlan Briggs as Coroner
Charles Middleton as Mr. Walters
Claire Du Brey as Mrs. Walters
Leonard Mudie as Gerald Pendleton
James Burke as Wilkie
Richard Keene as Buttons
Layne Tom Jr. as Willie Chan
C. Montague Shaw as Inspector Duff (as Montague Shaw)
Uncredited players: Wade Boteler as Police Chief, Cliff Clark as Lt. Wilson, John Dilson as Police Doctor, Sherry Hall as Radio Operator, J. Anthony Hughes as Detective, Paul McVey as Mrs. Pendleton's Doctor, Walter Miller as Ship's Officer, Harry Strang as Guard, Emmett Vogan as Hotel Manager
Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum (1940 - 20th Century Fox) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Charlie's testimony results in a death sentence for murderer Steve McBirney. But he escapes and heads to a wax museum, a secret Mob hideout run by Dr. Cream. Cream, a crooked "facial surgeon", operates on McBirney, changing his appearance.

Charlie is lured to the wax museum on the pretext of sparring over an old case with Dr. Otto Von Brom on a radio broadcast arranged by Cream. Based on Von Brom's testimony, Joe Rocke had been to be executed, but Chan is convinced that Rocke was innocent. In fact, it is all a setup so that McBirney can have his revenge but Charlie already suspects that. Son Jimmy sneaks into the museum to investigate without Charlie's knowledge.

When everyone gathers at the museum, Carter Lane barges in, representing Mrs. Joe Rocke. His client also sneaks in. When the principals gather around a table to re-enact a scene from the Rocke case for the broadcast, Cream makes sure Charlie is in the seat wired for an electrocution. However, Von Brom insists on changing seats. Museum night watchman Willie Fern is tricked into throwing the switch. The lights go out, and Von Brom dies but not from electricity as Lily Latimer, Cream's assistant, had cut the wire in an attempt to keep the museum's other function a secret. Charlie finds a small puncture wound in the dead man's neck and a bamboo blowgun dart.

Charlie becomes certain that "Butcher" Dagan framed Rocke, his business partner, and that he killed Von Brom as well. Dagan was supposedly murdered by McBirney, another business partner and a friend of Rocke's. With Cream having operated on Dagan, no one knows who among those gathered at the museum is him. Dagan kills McBirney and makes an attempt on Charlie's life, before the detective finally unmasks and captures him.

Directed by Lynn Shores
Writing Credits: John Larkin (original screen play) Earl Derr Biggers (based on the character created by: Charlie Chan)
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
C. Henry Gordon as Dr. Cream
Marc Lawrence as Steve McBirney
Joan Valerie as Lily Latimer
Marguerite Chapman as Mary Bolton
Ted Osborne as Tom Agnew (as Ted Osborn)
Michael Visaroff as Dr. Otto Von Brom
Hilda Vaughn as Mrs. Rocke
Charles Wagenheim as Willie Fern
Archie Twitchell as Carter Lane
Eddie Marr as Grenock
Joe King as Inspector O'Matthews
Harold Goodwin as Edwards
Uncredited players: Stanley Blystone as Bailiff, Jimmy Conlin as Barker, David Newell as Attorney at Trial, Charles Trowbridge as Judge, Emmett Vogan as Prosecuting Attorney
Murder Over New York (1940 - 20th Century Fox) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Flying to New York for a police convention, Charlie meets old Scotland Yard friend, Hugh Drake. Drake is now a member of military intelligence trying to track down a sabotage ring led by a Paul Narvo. A bomber and its pilots crashed the day before, so Charlie offers to investigate.

Charlie goes to see Drake the next day at the apartment of George Kirby, where a dinner party is in progress. He finds his friend dead of poison gas in the library. Drake's briefcase containing all the information about the sabotage ring is missing. The window is latched, so Charlie concludes one of the guests is responsible. Charlie discovers that Drake asked that his Oxford classmate Herbert Fenton, actress June Preston and Ralph Percy, chief designer at the Metropolitan Aircraft Corporation, be invited to the party. Kirby himself is the company president. The lost bomber crashed at the company's plant. Also present is stockbroker Keith Jeffery. A servant reports chemist David Elliot insisted on seeing Drake, so he showed him in.

Charlie learns that Preston also spoke with Drake that night, on behalf of a friend, Patricia Shaw, who married Narvo in India. When she found out Narvo was involved in sabotage, she fled, only to be pursed by her husband and his assistant, Ramullah. Ramullah is eventually tracked out, with Shaw's help, and taken into custody. Before Ramullah can be questioned, however, he is shot and killed. Shaw narrowly avoids the same fate. A coatroom attendant shows up and states Drake checked his briefcase at the club where he works. Charlie and Vance wait to see who will claim it. It is Boggs, Kirby's butler. He claims that Kirby left him a note instructing him to get the briefcase. Upon close inspection, Charlie concludes it is a forgery. He then discovers Kirby's body.

Charlie decides to gather all the suspects at the airport the next day. The airplane, rigged the night before to release poison gas when it dives, takes off for a test flight with nearly everyone aboard. As the bomber starts to descend, Fenton grabs the falling glass globe containing the gas. When they land, he smashes the globe, gets out and locks the door. However, the police are waiting to apprehend him, and Charlie and the rest emerge unscathed as the trap had been found during an inspection and rendered harmless. Fenton cannot be Narvo, as the latter is known to be a younger man. He refuses to identify his leader. When Charlie asks for a glass of water for Fenton, Jeffrey gets it for him, falling into Charlie's trap. The detective samples the water and identifies the same poison that was found in Kirby's brandy.

Directed by Harry Lachman
Writing Credits: Lester Ziffren (original screen play) Earl Derr Biggers (based on: the character "Charlie Chan" created by)
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Marjorie Weaver as Patricia Shaw
Robert Lowery as David Elliott
Ricardo Cortez as George Kirby
Donald MacBride as Inspector Vance
Melville Cooper as Herbert Fenton
Joan Valerie as June Preston
Kane Richmond as Ralph Percy
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
John Sutton as Richard Jeffery
Leyland Hodgson as Boggs
Clarence Muse as Butler
Frederick Worlock as Hugh Drake
Lal Chand Mehra as Ramullah
Uncredited players: Trevor Bardette as Hindu Businessman, Stanley Blystone as Fingerprint Expert, Eddy Chandler as Lefty - the Cop, Frank Coghlan Jr. as Frank O'Shaughnessy / Gilroy, Catherine Craig as Stewardess, Alan Davis as Pilot, Dorothy Dearing as Mrs. Percy, Jimmie Dundee as Bill - the Cop, Ralph Dunn as Cop, Frank Fanning as Cop, Carl Faulkner as Cop, Bud Geary as Mechanic #2, Shemp Howard as Shorty McCoy - The Canarsie Kid, Paul Kruger as Guard, Jack 'Tiny' Lipson as In Police Lineup Next to Shorty, Lee Phelps as Joe - the Cop, Charles Tannen as Radio Announcer (voice), Shirley Warde as Mrs. Felton
Dead Men Tell (1941 - 20th Century Fox) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Eccentic, elderly matron Patience Nodbury has a treasure map she's inherited from Black Hook, her pirate ancestor. To foil a mysterious thief who has tried to steal it, she divides it into four pieces, three of which she gives to fellow passengers booked to sail on the Suva Star, an old wooden sailing ship chartered for a treasure hunt on an offshore island.

She is convinced that, according to family tradition, Black Hook will visit her before she dies. When the peg-legged "ghost" does just that and she suffers a fatal heart attack, Charlie and Jimmy are faced with a boatload of red herrings including Bill Lydig, an escaped convict, Gene LaFarge, a certifiable neurotic accompanied by a personal psychiatrist, and the embittered Captain Kane, who was marooned on a deserted island by his ex-partner and vows revenge.

Directed by Harry Lachman
Writing Credits: John Larkin- screenplay; Earl Derr Biggers (based on the character created by)
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Sheila Ryan as Kate Ransome
Robert Weldon as Steve Daniels
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
Donald Douglas as Jed Thomasson (as Don Douglas)
Kay Aldridge as Laura Thursday (as Katharine Aldridge)
Paul McGrath as Charles Thursday / Mr. Parks
George Reeves as Bill Lydig
Truman Bradley as Capt. Kane of the Suva Star
Ethel Griffies as Miss Patience Nodbury
Lenita Lane as Dr. Anne Bonney
Milton Parsons as Gene LaFarge
Uncredited players: Stanley Andrews as Inspector Vesey, Jimmy Aubrey as English Sailor, Ralph Dunn as Homicide Desk Sergeant, Pat Flaherty as Policeman with Checklist, Lee Tung Foo as Wu Mei - Ship's Cook / Waiter, Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian as Saloon Customer, Paul Kruger as Sailor in Saloon, Lee Phelps as Detective, Tim Ryan as Red Eye Bartender, Brick Sullivan as Police Sergeant, Charles Tannen as Sailor with Girl, John Wallace as Peg Leg
Charlie Chan in Rio (1941 - 20th Century Fox) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Charlie is in Rio de Janeiro along with his son, Jimmy, and the Rio chief of police, Chief Souto, to arrest singer Lola Dean, who is suspected of murder in Honolulu. Lola visits the psychic, Marana, who puts her in a semi-comatose state using coffee and cigarettes laced with a special natural herb. Lola reveals in this state that she did kill a man, Manuel Cardozo, after he refused to marry her in Honolulu. The psychic records the conversation. When Lola wakes up, the psychic tells her what she told him, but assures her that it will be kept confidential between them. On the way home, a worried Lola convinces boyfriend Carlos to elope instead of marry at a later date. When she arrives home, she begins packing.

Charlie, Jimmy, and Chief Souto arrive at Lola's house to arrest her but instead find her dead in her room. The three conclude that Lola was murdered and spot many obvious clues which they realize were left there on purpose to throw them off. They also notice Lola's jewelry missing. Charlie then informs Lola's guests, who were there to celebrate her engagement, of her death and brings in two suspects, the psychic and Paul Wagner. Wagner reveals that he was married to Lola, but they had separated. The psychic plays back his conversation with Lola, and reveals himself to be Alfredo Cardozo, the brother of the man Lola killed. Chief Souto asks everyone to stay in the house while the murder is being investigated.

Jimmy witnesses a conversation between Lola's butler, Rice, and maid, Lilly. Rice tells Lilly to stay quiet about something she saw earlier. Charlie and Souto find scratch marks on the floor where Lola was murdered. Charlie suspects that the scratch marks were from the broach Lola was wearing and that a pin on that broach would still be stuck in the murderer's shoe. Charlie then finds similar scratch marks under one of the chairs at the dinner table where all of the guests had dined. Jimmy hides in Rice's room and finds Lola's jewelry there. He then takes Rice to Charlie. Rice explains that he has the jewels but did not kill Lola. Before he can tell Charlie who did, the lights go out and he is shot.

Charlie then asks all of the guests to go back to their original positions at the dinner table. He reveals to them that the scratch marks he found were under Helen's chair. When Helen protests her innocence, Charlie suggests Cardozo put her in the semi-comatose state. When she still says she did not kill Lola, Charlie asks that he go under the same treatment using the same cigarette. But when Charlie is unaffected, Cardozo tries to admit to killing Lola. Helen stops him, revealing she did it. She further explains that she was the wife of Manuel Cardozo. After hearing of Alfredo's conversation with Lola, Helen learned Lola was going to elope. Realizing that Lola was going to leave and escape justice, Helen killed her. When Rice walked in on the act, she offered him the jewels to keep him quiet, and later shot him. Chief Souto then arrests Helen and takes her to jail. Jimmy asks to take Lilly back to Honolulu with him, but Charlie tells him he has been drafted in the United States Army.

Directed by Harry Lachman
Writing Credits: Samuel G. Engel (screenplay) and Lester Ziffren (screenplay) Earl Derr Biggers (based on the character created by)
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Mary Beth Hughes as Joan Reynolds
Cobina Wright as Grace Ellis (as Cobina Wright Jr.)
Ted North as Carlos Dantas
Victor Jory as Alfredo Cardozo
Harold Huber as Chief Souto
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
Richard Derr as Ken Reynolds
Jacqueline Dalya as Lola Dean
Kay Linaker as Helen Ashby
Truman Bradley as Paul Wagner
Hamilton MacFadden as Bill Kellogg
Leslie Denison as Rice
Iris Wong as Lili
Eugene Borden as Armando
Ann Codee as Margo
Castle in the Desert (1942 - 20th Century Fox) Charlie Chan Movie Poster
This is the final film made by 20th Century Fox

Paul Manderley, eccentric historian, and his wife, descendant of the Borgias, live in an isolated castle-like mansion in the Mojave Desert. When a guest suddenly collapses, Charlie Chan is invited to stay. As the standard mystery-mansion props come into play, and all means of outside communication are sabotaged, it becomes evident that one of the inhabitants has access to poisons and is prepared to use them.

Directed by Harry Lachman
Writing Credits: John Larkin- screenplay; Earl Derr Biggers
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Arleen Whelan as Brenda Hartford
Richard Derr as Carl Detheridge
Douglass Dumbrille as Manderley (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Henry Daniell as Watson King
Edmund MacDonald as Walter Hartford
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
Lenita Lane as Lucy Manderley
Ethel Griffies as Madame Saturnia
Milton Parsons as Fletcher
Steven Geray as Dr. Retling (as Steve Geray)
Lucien Littlefield as Gleason
Uncredited players: Oliver Blake as Hank, hotel manager, George Chandler as The Bus Driver, Paul Kruger as Servant, Eric Wilton as Wilson - Majordomo,
Charlie Chan in the Secret Service (1944 - Monogram) Charlie Chan Movie Poster
This is the first film made by Monogram
First film with Mantan Moreland

A scientist working on an important new invention which will protect Allied shipping from U-boat torpedoes has been assigned Secret Service security protection. Amazingly, despite the fact that his laboratory and experiments are located on the upper floor of his Washington mansion, he decides to host a cocktail party for friends on the first floor. Even though several of his guests are foreign nationals with shadowy pasts, he refuses to allow his bodyguards to attend because their presence might offend them.

When he is killed by unknown means before joining them, the resultant summary investigation includes detective Charlie and children Tommy and Iris, later joined by Birmingham Brown, the chauffeur of one of the guests. When a preliminary autopsy reveals the scientist was electrocuted, Charlie and his associates must decide which of the suspects and red herrings is the guilty party.

Directed by Phil Rosen
Writing Credits: George Callahan- screenplay; Earl Derr Biggers (characters)
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown
Arthur Loft as Inspector Jones, Secret Service
Gwen Kenyon as Inez Arranto
Sarah Edwards as Mrs. Hargue, Housekeeper
George J. Lewis as Paul Arranto (as George Lewis)
Marianne Quon as Iris Chan
Benson Fong as Tommy Chan
Muni Seroff as Peter Laska
Barry Bernard as David Blake
Gene Roth as Luis Philipe Vega aka Philipe Von Vegan (as Gene Stutenroth)
Eddy Chandler as Lewis, Secret Service (as Eddie Chandler)
Lelah Tyler as Mrs. Winters
Uncredited players: Davison Clark as Sgt. Billings, John Elliott as George Melton, George Lessey as Slade, Gene Oliver as Undetermined Role
The Chinese Cat (1944 - Monogram) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Thomas P. Manning, businessman and chess expert mysteriously shot in a locked room, dies clutching some chess pieces. Police are baffled and finally abandon the case. Six months later, victim's daughter Leah Manning, stung by a scurrilous book about the case, enlists the aid of Charlie and Number 3 Son, Tommy. Additional murders follow, leading to a climactic confrontation in a seemingly deserted Fun House.

Directed by Phil Rosen
Writing Credits: George Callahan- screenplay; Earl Derr Biggers
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Joan Woodbury as Leah Manning
Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown, Taxi Driver
Benson Fong as Tommy Chan, #3 Son
Ian Keith as Dr. Paul Recknik
Sam Flint as Thomas P. Manning
Cy Kendall as George Webster Deacon
Weldon Heyburn as Detective Lt. Harvey Dennis
Anthony Warde as Catlen
John Davidson as Carl Karzoff / Kurt Karzoff
Dewey Robinson as Salos
I. Stanford Jolley as Gannet (as Stan Jolley)
Betty Blythe as Mrs. Manning
Jack Norton as Hotel Desk Clerk
Luke Chan as Wu Song
Uncredited players: Fred Aldrich as Policeman, George Chandler as Hotel Doorman, Terry Frost as Policeman Giving Parking Ticket
Black Magic, aka Meeting at Midnight (1944 - Monogram) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Because Charlie plans to return to Honolulu, he no longer needs the services of Birmingham, who gets a job as butler for William and Justine Bonner, two apparently phony psychics who regularly host occult activities in their home. When Charlie's pretty daughter Frances attends a séance out of curiosity, Mr. Bonner is shot, and she becomes an immediate suspect.

Charlie postpones his trip home to help with the investigation, which is made problematic when no bullet can be found in the wound and a hypnotized Mrs. Bonner is compelled to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of a downtown building.

Directed by Phil Rosen
Writing Credits: Earl Derr Biggers (characters) George Callahan- screenplay;
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown
Frances Chan as Frances Chan
Joseph Crehan as Police Sgt. Matthews
Helen Beverly as Norma Duncan / Nancy Wood (as Helen Beverley)
Jacqueline deWit as Justine Bonner
Geraldine Wall as Harriet Green
Ralph Peters as Officer Rafferty
Frank Jaquet as Paul Hamlin
Edward Earle as Dawson, Police Lab
Claudia Dell as Vera Starkey
Harry Depp as Charles Edwards
Charles Jordan as Tom Starkey
Dick Gordon as William Bonner (as Richard Gordon)
Uncredited players: Dick Rush as Policeman,
The Jade Mask (1945 - Monogram) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Disguised as a policeman, a murderer breaks into the mansion of Harper, a scientist, kills him and disposes of his body. Charlie, now working as a government agent, is called to the case by police inspector Godfrey, who informs him that the scientist was working for the government to create a formula whereby wood could be made as strong as metal.

At the scientist's mansion, Charlie and Godfrey question, with the help of Sheriff Mack, the inhabitants of the Harper household: Louise Harper, his sister; Jean Kent, his orphaned niece; Roth, his butler; Michael Strong, his mute chauffeur/handyman; and Walter Meeker and Stella Graham, his assistants. Charlie quickly learns that all of them hated Harper, whose cruelty went so far as to force his relatives to work for him as servants.

Meanwhile, Charlie's #4 son Eddie and Birmingham Brown arrive at the Harper estate, having been thrown out of their hotel room. Later, Charlie discovers the murdered Harper inside the scientist's gas chamber, and Meeker tells him that all of Harper's work will be rendered useless unless Charlie can find the scientist's secret formula. After the local coroner, Dr. Samuel R. Peabody, declares that Harper died of "natural causes," Charlie and Mack visit Peabody, who then discovers a poisonous dart inside the dead scientist's mouth.

Charlie learns that Jim Kimball, a missing local policeman, was having a secret romance with Jean, but she insists that he was not the officer seen in the mansion at the time of Harper's disappearance. Roth is killed soon after he promises to tell Charlie the name of the murderer. After examining the dead butler's quarters, Charlie tells Mack that Roth was killed in his room, despite the fact that both Eddie and Birmingham saw the butler walking downstairs shortly before his death.

Lloyd Archer, Harper's step-son, then arrives at the estate, claiming that Harper's secret gas formula was stolen from his birth father. That night, Charlie is nearly killed by a poisoned dart while searching for clues. The next morning, Louise discovers her brother's secret hiding place, but the vault itself can only be opened by Harper's voice speaking a coded message.

Charlie, realizing that someone inside is being gassed, opens the vault by playing a dictaphone recording of Harper. An unconscious Jean is then removed from the vault, but she later insists that she was not attempting to steal her uncle's formula. Michael is later killed after he writes Eddie a note, claiming to know who the murderer is. Kimball's dead body is then uncovered in the gas chamber by Birmingham, and Charlie announces that all the murder victims were killed by an air gun hidden inside a ventriloquist's dummy, and that the dead Roth walked with the aid of puppeteer's strings.

Knowing that Stella is a master puppeteer, Charlie names her as the murderer's accomplice, then states that the life mask broken during Michael's murder was one of Meeker. The laboratory assistant attempts to escape, but is captured, after which Charlie pulls a rubber mask from his face to show that he is really Archer, not Meeker, whose murdered body is later found in the basement. Charlie then convinces Stella to tell all, and she states that Archer, a vaudevillian quick-change artist and impersonator, is actually her husband.

Directed by Phil Rosen
Writing Credits: George Callahan- screenplay; Earl Derr Biggers
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown
Edwin Luke as Eddie Chan
Hardie Albright as Walter Meeker
Frank Reicher as Harper
Janet Warren as Jean Kent
Cyril Delevanti as Roth
Al Bridge as Sheriff Mack (as Alan Bridge)
Ralph Lewis as Officer Jim Kimball
Dorothy Granger as Stella Graham
Edith Evanson as Louise Harper
Joe Whitehead as Dr. Samuel R. Peabody
Henry Hall as Inspector Godfrey
Jack Ingram as Lloyd Archer
Danny Desmond as Bellboy
Uncredited players: Lester Dorr as Michael Strong,
The Scarlet Clue (1945 - Monogram) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

On the trail of a spy ring intent on stealing government radar plans, Charlie, now working as a federal agent, enlists the aid of NYPD Captain Flynn. Unfortunately, Flynn follows Charlie's one lead to the spies, a scientist named Rausch, too closely, and Rausch is murdered by his mysterious, unnamed boss.

Discovering that the murderer escaped in the stolen car of Diane Hall, a radio performer, Charlie's son Tommy and Birmingham go to the Cosmo Radio Center, where they find a footprint identical to one left at the murder scene. Meanwhile, Ralph Brett, the studio manager, telephones the spy ring leader, who uses the Western Union telegram service to warn Brett to be more careful or meet the same fate as Rausch.

Charlie goes to the Hamilton Laboratory, which is located in the same building as the radio center and is told of numerous, unsuccessful attempts to break in and steal the radar plans from the laboratory's safe. Charlie then places phony radar plans in the safe in case the spies are more successful in the future.

After actress Gloria Bayne attempts to blackmail Brett, she is killed by an unidentified poison. Realizing that Charlie is onto him, Brett asks his boss for help in escaping but the spy instead kills him using a trap door in the service elevator. Upon finding the murdered studio manager, Charlie has a voice impersonator call the spy leader, who, thinking that Brett is still alive, orders him to use the service elevator once more.

After escaping the trap, Charlie questions the people who worked with Brett and Gloria. Later, Willie Rand is killed while taping a television show after telling Charlie that he may have uncovered some information. The detective soon discovers that both Gloria and Willie were killed by a poisonous gas which was activated by cigarette smoke. After searching the building and finding the spy leader's office, the leader is chased through the radio studio by Charlie, Tommy, Birmingham and the police, only to be killed by the elevator's trap door. In the basement of the building, they discover the dead body of Mrs. Marsh, the ruthless radio sponsor, and Charlie declares the case solved.

Directed by Phil Rosen
Writing Credits: George Callahan- screenplay; Earl Derr Biggers (based on the character created by)
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown, Chauffeur
Ben Carter as Himself
Benson Fong as Tommy Chan
Virginia Brissac as Mrs. Marsh
Robert Homans as Capt. Flynn (as Robert E. Homans)
Jack Norton as Willie Rand
Janet Shaw as Gloria Bayne
Helen Deverell as Diane Hall (as Helen Devereaux)
Victoria Faust as Hulda Swenson / Janet Carter
Uncredited players: Kernan Cripps as Detective, I. Stanford Jolley as Ralph Brett / Rolfe Braut, Charles Jordan as Nelson, Kenner G. Kemp as Police Radio Expert, Milton Kibbee as Herbert Sinclair, Reid Kilpatrick as Wilbur Chester, Frank Mayo as Det. Hodge, Leonard Mudie as Horace Karlos, Tom Quinn as Chemist, Charles Sherlock as Sgt. McGraw, Emmett Vogan as Mr. Hamilton, Charles Wagenheim as Rausch, Crane Whitley as Cooper,
The Shanghai Cobra (1945 - Monogram) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

After Samuel Black is killed by a cobra bite, Inspector Harry Davis of the NYPD wires old friend Charlie for help. Davis knows that Charlie had captured Jan Van Horn, an accused murderer, in Shanghai, China, eight years earlier, and the disfigured Van Horn, an escaped felon, was accused of using cobra bites on his victims.

Charlie, now working as a government agent, arrives in New York and quickly learns that Black and two similar victims were employed by the Sixth National Bank, whose vault holds millions of dollars worth of the government's radium. With the help of his son Tommy and Birmingham Brown, Charlie learns that Ned Stewart, a novice private detective, had been seen with Black on the night of his death. After Stewart tells Charlie that he had been hired by an unknown man to watch Paula Webb, the bank president's secretary, Charlie checks with Paula, who corroborates his story.

Meanwhile, Larkin, a police undercover agent working at Sixth National, disappears after calling Davis for help. Soon thereafter, Davis learns that gangsters Morgan and Taylor were seen in the office of bank president Walter Fletcher, and Tommy and Birmingham follow the hoodlums into a nearby laundry. Discovering a secret passageway from the laundry into the sewers, Tommy and Birmingham uncover Larkin's murdered body. An autopsy concludes that Larkin was also killed by cobra venom, so Charlie reasons that there must also be a secret passageway into the bank.

Back in the sewers, Charlie, Ned and Davis discover a secret entrance into Paula's office. The investigators then go to a nearby coffee shop, whose proprietor, Joe Nelson, tells them that he purchased his video jukebox from Van Horn. Recognizing the jukebox operator's voice from the bank, Charlie and Davis search the office of chemical engineer H. R. Jarvis, where they find Lorraine operating the jukebox from a secret room. Charlie quickly discovers that Black and the other victims were poisoned by cobra venom when they requested change from the jukebox.

Charlie then lies to the local newspapers that the government plans to remove its radium the next day, hoping it will force the gangsters to act. While Charlie checks the bank's vault, Tommy and Birmingham follow Morgan into the laundry, and become caught in the sewer after the gangsters attempt to blow open the bank's vault. Along with Charlie, the two become trapped when their section of the sewer caves in, but Charlie uses the telephone lines to send a message in Morse code to David.

The police arrive at the bank in time to capture the gangsters and rescue Charlie, Tommy and Birmingham. Later, Charlie concludes that John Adams, a bank guard, is actually Van Horn, and Paula is his daughter. Van Horn tells how he followed Jarvis to America, believing that he was one of the men who framed him for murder in Shanghai. Charlie then recognizes bank officer Bradford Harris as Special Agent Hume of the Shanghai police, and he is arrested as the real killer and leader of the gang.

Directed by Phil Karlson
Writing Credits: George Callahan (screenplay) & George Wallace Sayre (screenplay) George Callahan (original story) Earl Derr Biggers (characters)
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown
Benson Fong as Tommy Chan
James Cardwell as Ned Stewart
Joan Barclay as Paula Webb
Addison Richards as John Adams
Arthur Loft as Bradford Harris
Janet Warren as Record Machine Operator
Gene Roth as Morgan (as Gene Stutenroth)
Joe Devlin as Taylor
James Flavin as H.R. Jarvis
Roy Gordon as Walter Fletcher
Walter Fenner as Police Inspector Harry Davis
Uncredited players: Andy Andrews as Patrolman Outside Joe's, George Chandler as Joe, Coffee Shop Owner, Cyril Delevanti as Detective Larkin, John Goldsworthy as Inspector Mainwaring, Stephen Gregory as Samuel Black, Karen Knight as Switchboard Supervisor, Mary Moore as Rita, Laundry Clerk, Paul Newlan as Big Bank Guard, Diane Quillan as Phone Operator, Jack Richardson as Letter Carrier, William Ruhl as Mr. Grey,
The Red Dragon (1945 - Monogram) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

In Mexico City an attempt is made to steal the papers of Alfred Wyans. His secretary, Dorn, working undercover with the United States government, begs Mexican police inspector Luis Caverro to send for Charlie Chan. The next day, Dorn is shot during a luncheon party at Wyans' house but before he dies he manages to type a few cryptic letters on his typewriter.

After Charlie arrives, accompanied by his third son Tommy and Chattanooga Brown, old pal Luis tells him that no gun was found at the scene of the murder and that, although the guests only heard one shot, two bullet holes were discovered. Charlie explains that Wyans' papers reveal the discovery of a new element that could be used in a bomb many times more powerful than the atomic bomb.

Charlie questions the party guests, who include Marguerite Fontan, with whom Luis is in love; Edmund Slade, a former gunrunner; Joseph Bradish, an international smuggler; the Countess Irena, a singer; and Charles Masack, a Nazi propagandist. Charlie then goes with Luis to the police lab and learns that the fatal bullet has no firing marks, indicating that it was not fired from a gun. Wyans complains to the police that his typewriter has been stolen, and Charlie warns him to protect his papers.

Charlie discloses that Marguerite has connections in Czechoslovakia, where the papers were stolen from the Allies by Wyans. While all the suspects are at dinner, Charlie and Luis search Wyans' baggage but are interrupted by the others, who all have the same idea. After the suspects leave, Charlie and Luis discover the missing typewriter. Then Wyans tells them that he knows how Dorn was killed, but before he can reveal the answer, he is shot in the same manner as Dorn.

At the nightclub where Irena sings, Charlie reveals that she is not nobility, but is married to Charles Masack, an international spy. Irena starts to reveal the secret but she too is killed. After an attempt is made on Charlie's life in a similar manner, Charlie tries to discover why a bottle of indelible Chinese Red ink was found on Dorn's desk. Luis locates Chinese artist Iris Ling, who visited Wyans' hotel before Dorn's death.

Iris tells Charlie that she sold Wyans the ink to use on his "bandarillas." Charlie surmises that the "bandarillas" were actually his typewriter ribbons. They examine the ribbon that Dorn removed from the typewriter before he was killed and discover on it the secret information written in indelible ink. Charlie clears Marguerite from suspicion when he discloses that her uncle had discovered the secret element. He then explains that Bradish committed the murders to acquire the information, using a remote control device disguised as a thermostat that exploded the bullet that he had earlier slipped into his victims' pockets or purses.

Directed by Phil Rosen
Writing Credits: George Callahan (story and screenplay) Earl Derr Biggers (characters)
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Fortunio Bonanova as Insp. Luis Carvero
Benson Fong as Tommy Chan
Robert Emmett Keane as Alfred Wyans (as Robert E. Keane)
Willie Best as Chattanooga Brown
Carol Hughes as Marguerite Fontan
Marjorie Hoshelle as Countess Irena
Barton Yarborough as Joseph Bradish
George Meeker as Edmond Slade
Don Costello as Charles Masack
Charles Trowbridge as Prentiss
Mildred Boyd as Josephine
Barbara Jean Wong as Iris Ling (as Jean Wong)
Donald D. Taylor as Walter Dorn (as Donald Dexter Taylor)
Lucio Villegas as Police Scientist
Uncredited players: Augie Gomez as Cab Driver, Richard Lopez as Bellhop, Toni Raimando as Powder Room Attendant,
Dark Alibi (1946 - Monogram) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Ex-convict Thomas Harley is wrongfully arrested for a bank robbery he didn't commit. The police have found his fingerprints on the crime scene. The policemen don't believe Harley's explanation. Harley is sentenced to death for the robbery and awaits his execution in prison.

Harley's daughter June asks Charlie for help to prove her father's innocence. Charlie starts investigating the suspicious note to Harley and finds out that it was written on a typewriter belonging to Mrs. Foss, Harley's landlady, who often rents to ex-cons. He talks to the other tenants: Miss Petrie, bookkeeper Mr. Johnson, salesman Mr. Danvers and showgirl Emily Evans, whose work costume was found in warehouse near the crime scene. Danvers and Evans had been in other cities at the time of bank robberies there. When Charlie, son Tommy and Birmingham go to the prison to see Harley, they are shot at.

When Charlie looks into the other robberies he finds that the modus operandi was always the same,and the perpetrators ended up in the same prison. It also turns out the quiet Miss Petrie is married to a convict who works in the prison's fingerprint department. Later Miss Petrie is hit and killed by a truck outside the warehouse. Johnson is at the scene when Charlie arrives. Charlie returns to the prison to check out the fingerprint department, and discovers that someone has exchanged the print cards. Miss Petrie's husband hears of Charlie's suspicions and attempts to escape, but is shot and wounded.

Petrie's husband dies from his wounds, and Charlie demands new prints from everyone living in Harley's building, including Johnson. He discovers that Johnson's prints are all over one of the print cards in the prison. Charlie returns to the warehouse and finds the tools used to forge fingerprints in the truck that ran Petrie over. Charlie is discovered by Danver at the warehouse. It turns out Danver has killed Johnson to stop him from talking, and now he tries to kill Charlie. He fails and is arrested for all the robberies. Harley us released from prison. Charlie tells Harley that June's boyfriend Kenzie was the leader of the robbers and that he framed Harley because he didn't consent to him marrying June.

Directed by Phil Karlson
Writing Credits: George Callahan (screenplay) Earl Derr Biggers (based on characters created by)
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown
Ben Carter as Benjamin Brown
Benson Fong as Tommy Chan
Teala Loring as June Harley
George Holmes as Hugh Kenzie
Joyce Compton as Emily Evans
John Eldredge as Anthony R. Morgan
Russell Hicks as Warden Cameron
Tim Ryan as Foggy
Janet Shaw as Miss Petrie
Edward Earle as Thomas Harley
Ray Walker as Danvers
Milton Parsons as Johnson
Edna Holland as Mrs. Foss
Anthony Warde as Jimmy Slade
George Eldredge as Brand
Meyer Grace as Punchy
Uncredited players: Frank Marlowe as Barker, Tom Quinn as Criminologist, William Ruhl as Thompson - Criminologist,
Shadows Over Chinatown (1946 - Monogram) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

Charlie, son Jimmy and Birmingham are all on a bus travelling to San Francisco to investigate a murder case involving an armless, legless, headless torso. A short time later, when the bus breaks down, several passengers notice that they have been robbed. After they are joined by a U.S. Marine, who calls himself Jack Tilford, Charlie speaks privately to another passenger, Cosgrove, suggesting that if he returns the stolen items, his crime will not be revealed. Grateful, the pickpocket promises to return the favor in the future. Back on the bus, Charlie learns that Mrs. Conover is travelling to San Francisco to search for her missing granddaughter Mary.

In San Francisco, Charlie, Jimmy and Birmingham visit the Bureau of Missing Persons, where Charlie reveals to Captain Allen that he has two purposes. The first, on behalf of an insurance company, is to discover the identity of the torso; the second is to learn the whereabouts of Mary Conover. Charlie suspects that the torso belongs to a former showgirl named Grace Gortner, whose wealthy husband, Homer B. Pendleton, died after taking out a large insurance policy. On Allen's desk, Charlie spots a photograph of A.W.O.L. Marine Corporal John Thompson and realizes that he is the same man who called himself "Tilford." Charlie returns to the hotel where Mrs. Conover is staying with her friend, Kate Johnson.

After reassuring Mrs. Conover that the body, which has an appendectomy scar, cannot be Mary's, he and Jimmy lunch in the hotel restaurant. There Charlie recognizes their waitress as Mary with dyed blonde hair. Before Charlie can bring her grandmother to confirm her identity, however, Mary is recognized by her former employer, Mike Rogan, and flees the hotel. Jimmy and Birmingham follow, but when Charlie later meets them at Mary's apartment, they are joined by private detective Jeff Hay, who tells Charlie he has followed their bus driver, who is actually Mike Rogan, to this location. Inside the apartment they discover Kate's body, and Charlie suspects that the killer mistook her for Mary.

Charlie returns to the Bureau of Missing Persons and learns that Grace had been in love with a man named Craig Winfield before her marriage. Then John is picked up by the police and explains that he went A.W.O.L. to find Mary, with whom he was in love. He adds that Mary worked at an escort bureau and was frightened of her employer, Rogan. When Charlie returns to his hotel, Hay is waiting with the information that he has found Rogan in Chinatown, but when they arrive there, Rogan is dead. Then Mary is picked up and explains that Rogan discovered that John's father was wealthy and suggested that she marry John, take out a large insurance policy and become a wealthy widow.

After reuniting Mary and her grandmother, Charlie asks Mary to help him set a trap for the owner of the escort bureau. At the escort bureau, Mary is waylaid by Hay, but when he learns that she is part of a police trap, he kidnaps her, intending to kill her. In the meantime, a photograph has come over the bureau's wire service that identifies Hay as Winfield. Following a hunch, Charlie finds Hay and Mary in Chinatown. Although Hay tries to shoot Charlie, Cosgrove has removed the bullets from his gun. Charlie then explains that Hay killed Kate, mistaking her for Mary, and also killed Rogan, in order to blame him for the other deaths.

Directed by Terry O. Morse (as Terry Morse) Writing Credits (in alphabetical order) Earl Derr Biggers (characters) Raymond L. Schrock
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
Tanis Chandler as Mary Conover
John Gallaudet as Craig Winfield, alias Jeff Hay
Paul Bryar as Mike Rogan
Bruce Kellogg as Jack Tilford aka Corp. Joe Thompson
Al Bridge as Capt. Allen (as Alan Bridge)
Mary Gordon as Mrs. Conover
Dorothy Granger as Joan Mercer
Jack Norton as Mr. Cosgrove
George Eldredge as Police Chief Flannagan
Tyra Vaughn as Miss Chalmers
Lyle Latell as Police Clerk
Mira McKinney as Miss Kate Johnson (as Myra McKinney)
Harry Depp as Dr. Denby
Gladys Blake as Mrs. Myrtle
Uncredited players: Kit Carson as Hotel Clerk, George Chan as Chinese American, Jim Dugan as Police Driver, Louise Franklin as Maid, Doris Fulton as Angie, John Hamilton as San Francisco-bound lawyer, Charles Jordan as Det. Jenkins, James B. Leong as Curio Shop Owner, Frank Mayo as Police Lieutenant, Jack Mower as Hobart,
Dangerous Money (1946 - Monogram) Charlie Chan Movie Poster

On board a ship bound for Samoa and Australia, undercover agent Scott Pearson tells detective Charlie that he is investigating the sudden appearance of money and artworks stolen from Philippine banks during the Japanese invasion. Later, while the passengers gather in the salon for a ceremony to celebrate the crossing of the equator, Pearson is stabbed in the back and killed. After warning the other passengers to stay where they are, Charlie and the captain examine Pearson's room and discover that it has been searched.

The captain reassures Charlie that Pearson's papers are in his office safe and Charlie notices that they name a man named Lane but do not identify him. Later, Charlie questions the ship's passengers, who include Freddie Kirk, an exhibition knife-thrower; P. T. Burke, a trader in cotton; Professor Henry Martin, an ichthyologist, and Henry's wife Cynthia; Tao Erickson, a half-Polynesian who owns a restaurant on Samoa, and Tao's Polynesian wife Laura; missionaries Rev. and Mrs. Whipple; and Rona Simmonds, an English tourist in love with the ship's purser, George Brace. After he dismisses most of the passengers, Charlie speaks privately to Rona and George and, while advising them to speak the truth, asks them to identify Lane. George, however, insists that they have nothing to reveal. Later, Charlie sets a trap to catch the killer, but, although an attempt is made on the detective's life, the killer avoids discovery. Charlie's son Jimmy checks the knife used in the attack against Pearson for fingerprints, but finds none. Charlie then learns that Burke and Kirk are blackmailing Rona.

The ship docks in Samoa, giving Charlie twenty-four hours to solve the murder before he must leave for Australia. His oldest son sends him a telegram, which explains that Rona's father was an Australian, who was stranded during the war in Manila with valuable art objects, and Rona is now trying to discover their whereabouts. Charlie discovers that Rona is traveling under papers that were falsified by Brace and that is why Burke is blackmailing her. Charlie questions Burke, but Burke is killed by a thrown knife before he can reveal anything.

Meanwhile Jimmy and Chattanooga stumble upon money hidden in a fish museum near the Ericksons' restaurant. After Kirk is killed, the rest of the suspects converge on the fish museum. Charlie learns that Whipple is the head of a gang, which includes the Ericksons, Burke and Kirk, and which planned to sell the stolen art works. The Whipples are then revealed to be Lane and his valet, Joseph Murdock, who was dressed as a woman. Murdock shot the blades through a gun and thus was able to escape detection.

Directed by Terry O. Morse (as Terry Morse)
Writing Credits: Miriam Kissinger (screenplay) Earl Derr Biggers
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Gloria Warren as Rona Simmonds
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
Rick Vallin as Tao Erickson (as Richard Vallin)
Joseph Crehan as Captain Black
Willie Best as Chattanooga Brown
John Harmon as Freddie Kirk
Bruce Edwards as Harold Mayfair
Dick Elliott as P.T. Burke
Joseph Allen as George Brace - Purser (as Joe Allen Jr.)
Amira Moustafa as Laura Erickson
Tristram Coffin as Scott Pearson
Alan Douglas as Joe Murdock aka Mrs. Whipple
Selmer Jackson as Ship's Doctor
Dudley Dickerson as Big Ben
Rito Punay as Pete the Steward
Elaine Lange as Cynthia Martin
Emmett Vogan as Professor Martin
Leslie Denison as Reverend Dr. Whipple
Uncredited players: Ted Billings as Barfly, Kit Carson as Seaman, Helen Dickson as Ship's Passenger, Herbert Evans as Man at Island Bar, Gerardo Sei Groves as Polynesian, Don McCracken as Junior Officer, Mavis Russell as Kirk's Assistant,
The Trap (1947 - Monogram) Charlie Chan Movie Poster
Last film with Sidney Toler.

Calamity ensues at the beach villa in Malibu, California, where Cole King's theatre ensemble resides, when one of the showgirls, Adelaide, is challenging Marcia, who is Cole's girl and the star of the show. Marcia retaliates by threatening to reveal Adelaide's secret marriage to a doctor by the name of George Brandt. She also steals a letter to Adelaide from said Brandt, using one of the other showgirls, Lois, who is hiding the fact that she is under eighteen.

When Marcia vanishes and Lois' dead body is found by one of the other members of the group, San Toy. The cause of death is strangulation, and the technique used is used by the French and the Chinese. Immediately, the French Adelaide and Chinese San Toy are placed under suspicion as possible perpetrators. Also living under the same roof are the group's press agent Rick Daniels and costume chief Mrs. Thorn. Daniels suggests they make Lois' death look like drowning, but San Toy contacts her friend Jimmy, who is the son of reputed sleuth Charlie Charlie, asking for help to solve the murder mystery. Charlie starts his investigation, and soon both his assistant, Birmingham, and San Toy are attacked, but without a mortal ending. Another member of the theatre group, Clementine, discovers Marcia dead and strangled on the beach, with a silk cord still around her neck.

Daniels tries to get rid of Marcia's robe, and is seen by Charlie, who concludes it was the belt from the robe that was found around Marcia's neck. Daniels claims he is innocent and that someone put the robe in King's room to frame him for the murder. King starts to believe Daniels is the killer tyring to get rid of the evidence. Charlie finds out that doctor Brandt was previously accused of murdering his ex-wife but was cleared from suspicion. However, it destroyed his future career as a physician. He changed his identity, enlisted and went to Europe, where he met Adelaide and they married.

Charlie talks to Dr. Brandt, who admits to finding his wife Lois' body, but not to killing her. To catch the real killer Charlie decides to set a trap. Everything works as planned, and the killer tries to strangle San Toy that night, but Charlie's son Jimmy comes to San's rescue and accidentally destroys foils the trap.

Charlie, Birmingham and Jimmy then chase the killer, and it turns out it is Mrs. Thorn, who was previously married to King. She left him and wasn't allowed back after that, but had to serve as head of costumes. She killed the women because they were involved with her former husband, out of jealousy and to hurt King. Brandt is cleared of all suspicion, and Charlie promises to get his license back by talking to the Board of Medical Examiners.

Directed by Howard Bretherton
Writing Credits: Earl Derr Biggers Miriam Kissinger- screenplay;
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
Tanis Chandler as Adelaide Brandt
Larry J. Blake as Rick Daniels (as Larry Blake)
Kirk Alyn as Patrol Sgt. Reynolds
Rita Quigley as Clementine
Anne Nagel as Marcia
Helen Gerald as Ruby
Howard Negley as Cole King, Impresario
Lois Austin as Mrs. Thorn
Barbara Jean Wong as San Toy
Minerva Urecal as Mrs. Weebles the Housekeeper
Margaret Brayton as Madge Mudge
Bettie Best as Winifred
Jan Bryant as Lois
Uncredited players: Walden Boyle as Doc Brandt,
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