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Charlie Chan at the Race Track

USA 1936
produced by
20th Century Fox
directed by H. Bruce Humberstone
starring Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Helen Wood, Thomas Beck, Alan Dinehart, Gavin Muir, Gloria Roy, Jonathan Hale, G.P. Huntley, George Irving, Frank Coghlan jr, Frankie Darro, John Rogers, John Henry Allen, Harry Jans
story by Lou Breslow, Saul Elkins, screenplay by Robert Ellis, Helen Logan, Edward T.Lowe jr, based on a characters created by Earl Derr Biggers

Charlie Chan, Charlie Chan (Warner Oland), Number One Son Lee Chan, Charlie Chan at Fox

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Major Kent (George Irving), a famous racehorse owner, is found kicked to death by his prizewinning racehorse while shipping the animal from Australia to San Francisco. Fortunately, the boat has a stopover at Honolulu, where Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) comes aboard to investigate - because somehow he just cannot believe the animal would kill its owner, and he soon finds evidence that suggests otherwise, too.

The boat of course is full of suspects, from a jockey (Frankie Darro) fired by Kent for throwing a race, to all sorts of gamblers, to a rival hoseowner (Jonathan Hale) to Kent's rather shady staff, especially his suspicious looking trainer (Gavin Muir). Chan soon uncovers a whole gambling ring and discovers the horse that killed Kent was actually exchanged with that of his rival, and at the next race in San Francisco, he uncovers a plot to kill the horse right after it passed the finish line by a mechanized blowdart contraption.

Still, who's behind it all?

Kent's son-in-law George (Alan Dinehart) of course, who always pretended to only have only a passing interest in horseracing, but who's actually a heavy gambler who has made up an elaborate scheme to win big and sell a prizewinning horse at the same time without anyone noticing there was something major fishy going on. But of course, in the end Charlie Chan sees to it that justice is served.

Keye Luke can be seen as Charlie Chan's number one son who becomes a cabin boy on the ship to accompany his father ... and in order to come across convincingly, he pretends to be an Asian caricature - quite amusingly, I might add.

 

A mystery that most certainly has its moment, and its strong cast sees to it that it doesn't sink - but at the same time, the whole thing is just too convoluted to properly follow, and at times way too far-fetched to actually work. Still, an ok series mystery I guess, just not one of the better Charlie Chan flicks.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD