The Scarlet Clue (May 11, 1945)
Released on May 11, 1945: Charlie Chan is working for the government trying to find the spies who are attempting to steal top secret radar equipment.
Produced by James S. Burkett
Directed by Phil Rosen
Written by Earl Derr Biggers and George Callahan
The Actors: Sidney Toler (Charlie Chan), Mantan Moreland (Birmingham Brown, the chauffeur), Virginia Brissac (Mrs. Marsh), Ben Carter (Ben Carter), Benson Fong (Tommy Chan, number three son), Robert Homans (Captain Flynn), Jack Norton (Willie Rand, radio actor), Janet Shaw (Gloria Bayne, radio actress), Helen Deverell (Diane Hall, radio actress), Victoria Faust (Hulda Swenson / Janet Carter), Kernan Cripps (police detective), I. Stanford Jolley (Ralph Brett / Rolfe Braunt), Charles Jordan (Nelson, radio actor), Kenner G. Kemp (Mr. Dickson, radio voice impersonator), Milton Kibbee (Herbert Sinclair), Reid Kilpatrick (Wilbur Chester, radio announcer), Frank Mayo (Detective Hodge), Leonard Mudie (Horace Karlos), Tom Quinn (police chemist), Charles Sherlock (Sergeant McGraw), Emmett Vogan (Mr. Hamilton), Charles Wagenheim (Rausch), Crane Whitley (Cooper, henchman in telephone room)
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The Deadly Cigarette
This detective murder mystery first hit movie theaters on May 11, 1945, but was obviously filmed several months earlier. The Second World War was still being fought in Europe and in the Southern Pacific, but on May 8, a few days before this movie opened, the war in Europe ended.
This mystery involves foreign spies trying to steal plans for a new secret military technology called ‘radar,’ and Charlie Chan must find the leader of the spy ring. Charlie was hoping that a low-level spy would lead him to the head of the gang, but the man was murdered before Charlie could follow him.
In this episode Charlie Chan has two assistants helping him . . . . Benson Fong is his number three son, and the hilarious Mantan Moreland is Birmingham Brown, the family chauffeur. Along with Police Captain Flynn, played by veteran actor Robert Homans, the Chinese detective will follow a trail of clues that leads to a ten story building that houses radio studios and an experimental television studio . . . . And the company that has developed the new secret weapon called radar.
One of the radio actors in the cast is character actor Jack Norton, who spent many hours in saloons and nightclubs, but never touched a drop of alcohol. In one of his first motion picture appearances he was cast as a drunk, and the teetotaler quickly became famous as a realistic stumbling, bumbling drunken man. In the scene where he is murdered, he is acting in the experimental television station and performing as a drunken man, showing us a bit of his most famous character.
Charlie Chan is mystified by the identity of the head of the spy ring just like we are, almost to the end. He will follow the clues as they are revealed, but the identity of the devious spy will remain a mystery to all until the final moments. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Benson Fong and Mantan Moreland
Crane Whitley and I. Stanford Jolley
Helen Deverell and Jack Norton
Helen Deverell, Janet Shaw and Jack Norton
Helen Deverell and Janet Shaw
I. Stanford Jolley
I. Stanford Jolley
Leonard Mudie, I. Stanford Jolley and Sidney Toler
Leonard Mudie and Mantan Moreland
Mantan Moreland and Ben Carter
Mantan Moreland, Benson Fong and Sidney Toler
Milton Kibbee and Virginia Brissac
Robert Homans, Sidney Toler and Benson Fong
Robert Homans and Sidney Toler
Sidney Toler, Benson Fong and Mantan Moreland
Sidney Toler, Helen Deverell and Janet Shaw
Sidney Toler, I. Stanford Jolley, Milton Kibbee and Virginia Brissac
Sidney Toler and Jack Norton
Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland and Benson Fong
Sidney Toler and Robert Homans
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Sidney Toler and I. Stanford Jolley
Tom Quinn, Robert Homans and Sidney Toler