Docks of New Orleans
James S. Burkett for Monogram
directed by Derwin Abrahams
starring Roland Winters, Virginia Dale, Mantan Moreland, John Gallaudet, Victor Sen Yung, Carol Forman, Douglas Fowley, Harry Hayden, Howard Negley, Stanley Andrews, Emmett Vogan, Boyd Irwin, Rory Mallinson, George J.Lewis, Haywood Jones, Dian Fauntelle, Paul Conrad, Forrest Matthews, Fred Miller, Larry Steers, Frank Stephens, Ferris Taylor, Wally Walker, Eric Wilton
screenplay by Scott Darling, based on characters by Earl Derr Biggers
Charlie Chan, Charlie Chan (Roland Winters), Charlie Chan at Monogram
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When a businessman (Boyd Irwin) is killed while alone in his office,
suspicion immediately falls upon scientist Swenstrom (Harry Hayden), who
claims the deceased and his associates (Stanley Andrews, Emmett Vogan)
have stolen a formula of his and who bears them all a grudge. Swenstrom is
arrested, but then the dead man's associates are killed as well in the
same mysterious way, and now it couldn't have been Swenstrom, could it?
Charlie Chan (Roland Winters) is brought in to investigate, and he has
soon tracked down a trio of smugglers (Carol Forman, Douglas Fowley,
Howard Negley) with a motive to kill the three men, a grudge against Chan,
and enough involvement into smuggling operations to have them arrested on
the spot. Yet with this trio out of the way, Chan insists they were not
the killers, but rather he comes up with an elaborate theory of radio
tubes containing poisonous gas that explode when a certain high note is
hit, a high note Swenstrom's wife (Dian Fauntelle), an opera signer,
sometimes hits when on radio - and by luring Swenstrom into a trap
involving a radio tube, Chan can prove him to be the killer after all.
Sen Yung can be seen as Chan's Number Two Son, Mantan Moreland as his
driver Birmingham Brown.
Tired late entry into Monogram's
Charlie Chan-series: The plot was lifted from (the already
less than special) Mr. Wong,
Detective, Roland Winter makes a rather poor Charlie Chan (even
apart from the fact that he is not Oriental at all, which was a Hollywood
tradition though back in the day), and even the usually great Mantan
Moreland looks a bit tired in this one and is given too little to do. And
despite the title, the actual docks of New Orleans feature hardly
at all in the movie ...