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Shanghai Chest

USA 1948
produced by
James S. Burkett for Monogram
directed by William Beaudine
starring Roland Winters, Mantan Moreland, Tim Ryan, Victor Sen Yung, Deannie Best, Tristram Coffin, John Alvin, Russell Hicks, Pierre Watkin, Philip Van Zandt, Milton Parsons, Olaf Hytten, Erville Alderson, George Eldredge, Willie Best, Charles Sullivan, Eddie Coke, Chabing
story by Samuel Newman, screenplay by Samuel Newman, Scott Darling, additional dialogue by Tim Ryan, based on characters created by Earl Derr Biggers, musical direction by Edward J. Kay

Charlie Chan, Charlie Chan (Roland Winters), Charlie Chan at Monogram

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A judge (Pierre Watkin) is killed, then a district attorney (Russell Hicks), and fingerprints found at the scene of the crime suggest they had been killed by the same man - Pindello, a man they put to the chair 6 months ago. The grave of Pindello though is found empty. So, have the dead returned to kill those responsible for their deaths?

Highly unlikely, but what other explanation could there be? Fortunately, Charlie Chan (Roland Winters) is at hand to investigate - rather by chance, actually, because he had to spring his son (Victor Sen Yung) and his driver (Mantan Moreland) out of jail -, and he soon uncovers quite a few things, like the fact that Pindello might have been sent to the chair innocently, and the dead judge and the dead district attorney might have been part of an insurance fraud racket. Eventually, Chan runs into Pindello's brother Joseph (Philip Van Zandt), who seems to be snooping around in the judge's and the district attorney's affairs, and he admits to have stolen the body of his brother from his grave - to give him a decent burial. But he had nothing to do with the murders. Chan believes him and proposes a plan ...

Chan gathers all the suspects in the case to his house to reveal the killer - when Joseph Pindello enters, gun drawn, to hold everybody at gunpoint ... but he's overcome by Chan's son, upon which Edward Seward (Tristram Coffin), the attorney of the two murder victims, gets hold of the gun, reveals himself to be the killer, as he also was in on the insurance scam and wanted to increase his share, and now tries to get away with blazing guns. But Charlie has forseen this, and has made sure that Joseph, working under his orders, brought an empty gun. Seward is easily overcome, and justice is served.

 

One of the lesser Charlie Chan films, this one consists mainly of far-fetched plottwists, surprises that come out of nowhere and make little sense, obvious plotholes and the like. Also a healthy balance between the comedy and the mystery aspects of the story is never found, and somehow the film seems to wander to its pulled-out-of-the-hat solution rather aimlessly.

Not really worth your time.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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