Monday, January 31, 2005

Charlie Chan History

This was a busy period
in Chan History!
Fox Films completes production on
Charlie Chan Carries On
in late January of 1931.
Twentieth Century-Fox
begins production on
Charlie Chan at the Olympics
in Late January, 1937.
Twentieth Century-Fox
begins production n
Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise
in late January, 1940.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Charlie Chan History

Kamiyama Sojin,
who would appear
as Charlie Chan in
The Chinese Parrot
(1927), was born on
January 30, 1884.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Some Shanghai Chest Notes

Here are some notes that I have taken while watching The Shanghai Chest.

You may want to keep them in mind while watching yourself:

The alternate title for this movie was Murder by Alphabet.

Tommy Chan and Birmingham Brown had been to the movies and that that night had seen The Hatchet in the Head.

Why did Birmingham go first into District Attorney Bronson's house?
Because Tommy said that Birmingham would be harder to see in the dark.

What does Charlie say when Tommy and Birmingham beg him to get them out of jail?
He reminds them that a night in the Bastille (an infamous French jail) might be good for them--except for the rats.

When Chan is asked for help, Lt. Mike Ruark makes the crack, "Chinese Puzzle! Chinese Detective!"

What and where is the Shanghai Chest?
Near as anybody can make out is that it's in Pindello's apartment.

February's Monday Night Chans

The movies that Rush Click has scheduled for our Monday chat nights are:

7 - Charlie Chan in London

14 - Shadows Over Chinatown

21 - Charlie Chan at the Olympics

28 - Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise

You can find our chats at, Monday nights at 8:00 (EST) to 10:00 (EST) and we start playing our individual tapes and DVDs at 8:30.

Please come even if you don't have that week's movies because our
conversation usually covers a great deal besides the movie!

The Shanghai Chest Bloopers

The Shanghai Chest has three bloopers:

Willie Best's hands change position on the cell door in the scene with Mantan Moreland's Birmingham Brown.

Charlie experiments with making fingerprints with Birmingham, forgetting what he and the police learned in Dark Alibi

If Birmingham overslept, then who fixed Charlie and Tommy their breakfast?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Charlie Chan History

Twentieth Century-Fox released
Castle in the Desert
on January 27, 1942.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Shanghai Chest Most Watched

The Shanghai Chest has some of the best-known, and best-loved, character actors in Chandom who are in two or more of the Chan movies!

They include two of the more unusually named actors: "Erville" Anderson, "Chabing," and "Tristran Coffin." What were their parents thinking?!

One of the actors, Mike Ryan, gives us a link to television in the sixties with "The Beverly Hillbillies" since he had been married to Irene Ryan ("Granny") at one time!

Walter Somerville in The Shanghai Chest
Professor Scott in The Feathered Serpent

The Landlady in The Shanghai Chest
Mrs. Margaret Driscoll in The Golden Eye

BEST, Willie
Chattanooga Brown in Red Dragon
Chattanooga Brown in Dangerous Money
Willie Best in The Shanghai Chest

Lillie Mae Wong in The Chinese Ring
Miss Lee, Receptionist, in the Shanghai Chest

COFFIN, Tristran
Scott Pearson in Dangerous Money
Ed Seward in The Shanghai Chest

Brand in Dark Alibi
Chief Lannigan in Shadows Over Chinatown
Pat Finley in The Shanghai Chest
Stacey in The Sky Dragon

HICKS, Russell
James Andrews in Charlie Chan in Shanghai
Warden Cameron in Dark Alibi
District Attorney Bronson in The Shanghai Chest

Gene LaFarge in Dead Men Tell
Arthur Fletcher in Castle in the Desert
Mr. Grail, the Undertaker, in The Shanghai Chest

RUHL, William
Mr. Grey in The Shanghai Cobra
Jailer in The Shanghai Chest

RYAN, Tim,
[Added Dialogue to The Shanghai Chest, according to]
Foggy in Dark Alibi
Lieutenant Mike Ruark in The Shanghai Chest
Lieutenant Mike Ruark in The Golden Eye
Lieutenant Mike Ruark in The Sky Dragon

Charlie Chan History

Monogram Pictures released The Jade Mask on January 26, 1945.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Cast of The Shanghai Chest

We have a Chan movie from Monogram Pictures this week with Roland Winters and a cast of great character actors, as always!

Roland Winters: Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland: Birmingham Brown
Tim Ryan: Lieutenant MIke Ruark
Victor Sen Yung: Tommy Chan
Deannie Best: Phillis Powers
Tristram Coffin: Ed Seward
John Alvin: Victor Armstrong (as Vic)
Russell Hicks: District Attorney Bronson
PIerre Watkin: Judge Wesley Armstrong
Philip Van Zandt: Tony Pindello
Milton Parsons: Mr. Grail, Undertaker
Olaf Hytten: Mr. Grail, Undertaker
Erville Anderson: Walter Somerville
George Elddredge: Pat Finley
Lois Ausstin: Landlady
Willie Best: Himself
Chabing: Miss Lee, Receptionist
Edward Coke: Thomas Cartwright
Louis Mason: Custodian
William Ruhl: Jailer
Paul Scardon: Cemetery Custodian
John Shay: Doctor Stacey
Charles Sullivan: Officer Murphy

Charlie Chan on Broadway's History Answer

The question was: What do Charlie Chan's Chance, Charlie Chan on Broadway, Charlie Chan in Panama, and The Sky Dragon have in common?

The answer is: Ladies' dressing rooms in theatres get broken into. . . .

Charlie in CC's Chance
Lee in CC on Broadway
Lionel Atwill
Lee and Birmingham Brown in The Sky Dragon

Just for my information: Did you think this was a hard question to answer? Did having the part about the lost Chan of CC's Chance make it more difficult?

Or did you know enough about the other Chan movies to get it right?!

Viva Chan!

Where Have You Seen These Faces Before?

Every Chan movies has actors that you just know you've seen in another Chan film.

So here are our double-hitters (and in some cases, more than two!):

Professor Scott in The Feathered Serpent
Walter Somerville in The Shanghai Chest

Landlady in The Shanghai Chest
Mrs. Margaret Driscoll in The Golden Eye

BEST, Willie
Chattanooga Brown in Red Dragon
Chattanooga Brown in Dangerous Money
"Willie Best" in The Shanghai Chest

Lillie Mae Wong in The Chinese Ring
Miss Lee, Receptionist, in The Shanghai Chest

COFFIN, Tristran
Ed Seward in The Shanghai Chest
Scott Pearson in Dangerous Money

HICKS, Russell
James Andrews in Charlie Chan in Shanghai
Warden Cameron in Dark Alibi
District Attorney Bronson in The Shanghai Chest

Gene LaFarge in Dead Men Tell
Arthur Fletcher in Castle in the Desert
Mr. Grail, the Undertaker, in The Shanghai Chest

RUHL, William
Mr. Grey in The Shanghai Cobra
Jailer in The Shanghai Chest

[Added dialogue:] The Shanghai Chest
Bartender in Dead Men Tell
Foggy in Dark Alibi
Lieutenant Mike Ruark in The Shanghai Chest
Lieutenant Mike Ruark in The Golden Eye
Lieutenant Mike Ruark in The Sky Dragon

Monday, January 24, 2005

Charlie Chan History

Today's Chan date in history is very special because between January 24th through February 25th, 1925, "The House Without a Key" was published in installments in "The Saturday Evening Post."

On February 25th in 1932, Fox Films releases "Charlie Chan's Chance."

The Broadway Dictionary

We have some new entries to our dictionary, thanks to Rush Glick and Chris Mentzer!

ABSCONDED: To leave quickly and secretly and hide oneself, often to avoid arrest or prosecution.+

ASBESTOS: Either of two incombustible, chemical-resistant, fibrous mineral forms of impure magnesium silicate, used for fireproofing , electrical insulation.+

BEEF (slang): A complaint.+

BIGWIG: A very important person.+

BLOW THE LID OFF: Having information that would expose many wrongdoings and sharing it with the media.+

CAMERA HOUNDS: People taking pictures constantly of everything and anything. Almost like the paparazzi.+

CRACK: A witty or sarcastic remark.+

DIPHENYLAMINE: A colorless crystalline compound used as a stabler for plastics and in the manufacture of dyes, explosives, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals.*

DO THE TOWN (also SEE THE TOWN): Go sightseeing, visit shops, and other tourist attractions.+

DUCKS: (1)Excellent, fine.+
(archaic) (2) An "endearment" used by some Englishmen.

FATHER KNICKERBOCKERS: Father Knickerbockers became a symbol for New York City in the early 1800's following the publication of Washington Irving's satirical "History of New York," which Irving attributed to "Diedrich Knickerbocker." A round, 17th century Dutch character, Father Knickerbocker remained New Yorkers of their Colonial past. Wearing Kickers, buckled shoes, and a white beard, Father Knickerbockers, a memory of Old New York, was prevalent until the 1950's when the modern city had securely taken hold. The name survives today, in abbreviated form, in the name of the New York Knicks basketball team.*

HEAT (slang): (1) An intensification of police activity in pursuing criminals.
(2) The police. Used with "the."*

"HOTTER THAN THE CHICAGO FIRE"--refers to the fire in 1871. Information available that creates a bigger problem than the literal fire.+

HOTTENTOT: (1) A Khoikhoin.
(2) Any of the Khoisan languages spoken by the pastoral people
of Namibia and South Africa.*

HUSH MONEY: Usually bribe money to keep someone quiet. Payoff.+

JAM: A trying situation.+

JOHNNY ON THE SPOT: Being ready to help, being there when needed. (The character's name was also Johnny.)+

KICK IT AROUND: Use words or phrases quickly and sometimes without regard for those around them who can't understand.+

KOWTOW: (1) To knell and touch the forehead to the ground in expression of deep respect, worship, or submission as formerly done in China.
(2) To show such deference.*

LIGHT-FINGERED: (1) Having quick and nimble fingers
(2) Skilled at or given to petty thievery.+

LOWDOWN (slang): The whole truth: Give us the lowdown on the party.*

Maharajah: (1) A king or prince in India ranking above a rajah, especially the sovereign of one of the former native states.
(2) Used as a title for such a king or prince.*

MOUSE (slang): A discolored swelling under the eye caused by a blow, a black eye.*

MUG: A thug, a hoodlum.+

NIFTY (slang): First-rate; great; frequently used as "a
nifty idea."+

ON THE LEVEL: Honest. Not a joke or scam.+

PENCIL-PUSHERS: One whose job involves writing and other paperwork.+

POINT THE FINGER ON: Identify someone, usually a known criminal.+

PURSER: The officer in charge of money matters on board a ship or commercial aircraft.+

RUBBER HOSE: Referring to police brutality during an interrogation.+

RUSTLE UP: Gather together.+

SEE THE TOWN (also DO THE TOWN): Go sightseeing, visit shops, and other tourist attractions.+

SKIP THE COUNTRY: Leave the country in a hurry.+

SCOOP (informal): (1) An exclusive story acquired by luck or initiative before a competitor.*
(2) Also the act of getting the story.

SHAKE-UP: Multiple activities and action occurring in a big city, business, etc.; frequently in connection with criminal activity.+

SHOWDOWN: AN event, especially a confrontation that forces an issue to a conclusion.+

SHYSTER (slang): AN unethical, unscrupulous practitioner, especially of law.*

SLIP YOU SOMETHING: (1) Give information or money secretly.+
(2) Putting some kind of drug in food or drink for some one to consume, usually to put that person to sleep, etc.+

SLUMMING: To visit impoverished areas or squalid locales , especially out of curiosity or for amusement.
(slang): To "go out on the town."*

STEWARD: (1) A ship's officer who is in charge of provisions and dining arrangements.+
(2) An attendant on a ship or airplane.+

SULPHURIC ACID: A heavy corrosive, oily liquid, colorless when pure, but usually yellowish or brownish, produced by the combined action of sulfuric dioxide, oxygen (from the air), steam and nitric fumes. It attacks and dissolves many metals and other intractable substances, sets free most acids from their salts, and is used into the manufacture of hydrochloric and citric acids, of soda, of bleaching powders, etc. It is also a powerful dehydrating agent, having a strong affinity for water, and eating and corroding paper , wood, clothing, etc. It is thus used to the manufacture of ether. of imitation parchment, and of nitroglycerine. It is also used in etching iron, in removing from scale from foraging, in petroleum refining, etc. and in general its manufacture in the most important and fundamental for all the chemical industries.*

TAKE A POWDER: Suddenly leave, the powder referring to talcum powder after showering.+

TEAR A DUCK APART: Banquet or party.+

TOUT YOUR WHISTLE: Give us a call.+

YARN (informal): A long, often elaborate narrative of real of fictitious adventures; and entertaining tale.+

*Thanks to Rush Glick,
+Thanks to Chris Mentzer,

Broadway Music for Charlie Chan

Inspector Nelson has the police band play in Charlie Chan's honor. Unfortunately, nobody knows the Chinese National Anthem--Forget the fact that our man Chan is with the HONOLULU Police Department!

But they settle on "Chinatown, My Chinatown"--a song that most of us don't realize has lyrics!

Chinatown, my Chinatown,
Where the lights are low.
Hearts that know no other land,
Drifting to and fro.
Dreamy, dreamy Chinatown--
Almond eyes of brown.
Hearts are light and life seems bright
In dreamy Chinatown.
Courtesy of

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Full Broadway Cast of Characters

It always helps to have the cast of characters when watching a Chan movie!

Warner Oland: Charlie Chan
Keye Luke: Lee Chan
Joan Marsh: Joan Wendall, Photographer
J. Edward Bromberg: Murdock, Editor New York Bulletin
Douglas Fowley: Johnny Burke
Harold Huber: Chief Inspector Nelson NYPD
Donald Woods: Speed Patten, Reporter New York Bulletin
Louise Henry: Billie Bronson
Joan Woodbury: Marie Collins
Leon Ames: Buzz Moran
Marc Lawrence: Thomas Mitchell
Toshia Mori (as Tashia Mori): Ling Tse
Charles Williams: Meeker, Burke's Lawyer
Eugene Borden: Louie, Headwaiter
Victor Adams: Gangster
Sam Ash: Waiter
James Blaine: Detective
Don Brodie: Reporter
Harry Burns: Policeman
Allan Cavan: Doorman
Lon Chaney, Jr.: Desk Man
Jack Clifford: Detective
Harry Depp: Candid Camera Snapper
Lester Dorr: Photographer
Jack Dougherty: Policeman
Eddie Dunn: Policeman
Carl Faulkner: Policeman
Sid Fields: Porter
James Flavin: Detective
Allen Fox: Reporter
George Guhl: Smitty
Charles Haefeli: Pickpocket
Creighton Hale: Reporter
Sherry Hall: Reporter
Chuck Hamilton: Policeman
Beulah Hutton: Telephone Operator
William Jeffrey: Coroner
Kenner G. Kemp: Candid Camera Fan at Hottentot Club
Robert Lowery: Reporter
Robert Middlemass: Police Official
Art Miles: Porter
Philip Morris: Customs Officer
Billy O'Brien: Copy Boy
Paddy O'Flynn: Photographer
Henry Otho: Photographer
George Regas: Hindu
Cyril Ring: Candid Camera Fan at Hottentot Club
Don Rowan: Policeman
Gloria Roy: Hat Check Girl
Lee Shumway: Policeman
Edwin Stanley: Lab Technician
Harry Strang: Policeman
Monte Vandergrift: Detective
Blue Washington: Doorman at Hottentot Club
Billy Wayne: Reporter
Allen Wood: Bellhop

Charlie Chan History

On today's date in 1939, Twentieth Century-Fox began production on Charlie Chan in Reno.

Reno is a great movie to watch when you're stuck in your home when you're snowed in!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

How Well Do You Know Your Chans?!

Do you think you know your Chan movies?

Okay, can you answer this question?!

What do Charlie Chan's Chance, Charlie Chan on Broadway, Charlie Chan in Panama and The Sky Dragon have in common?

I'll post the answer on Tuesday so check and see if you've gotten it right!

Friday, January 21, 2005

A Broadway Blooper?

This may be inconsistency or part of plot development as blooper but this is the only time Charlie has seasickness.

In Shanghai, he not only doesn't have seasickness but he's playing leap-frog with the children and then sings the song about Princess Ming Lo Fu!

In Olympics, our man Chan travels to Berlin by car, clipper, derigible, and train without ill effects!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Charlie Chan History

Monogram Pictures finishes production on "The Chinese Cat" on 19, 1944.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Character Actors on Broadway

Our little band of character actors for Broadway include such perennial favorites as Mark Lawrence and the actress that you love to hate, Louise Henry, among others:

Radio Announcer in Charlie Chan at the Olympics
Reporter in Charlie Chan on Broadway

CHANEY, Lon, Jr.
Desk man in Charlie Chan on Broadway
Pierre in City in Darkness

DEPP, Harry
Candid Camera Snapper in Charlie Chan on Broadway
Charles Edward in Black Magic/Meeting at Midnight

Detective at Headquarters in Charlie Chan at the Race Track
Policeman in Charlie Chan on Broadway
Desk Officer in Honolulu
H.R. Jarvis in The Shanghai Cobra

FOWLEY, Douglas
Johnny Burke in Charlie Chan on Broadway
Grock in Docks of New Orleans

HENRY, Louise
Billie Bronson in Charlie Chan on Broadway
Jeanne Bentley in Charlie Chan in Reno

HUBER, Harold
Chief Inspector Nelson of the NYPD in Charlie Chan on Broadway
French Police Inspector in Charlie Chan in Monte Carlo
Marcel in City of Darkness
Chief Suoto in Charlie Chan in Rio

Thomas Mitchell in Charlie Chan on Broadway
Johnnie McCoy in Charlie Chan in Honolulu
Steve McBirney in Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum

Reporter (uncredited) in Charlie Chan at the Race Track
Meeker, Burke's Lawyer in Charlie Chan on Broadway

Solo Dancer in Charlie Chan at the Opera
Marie Collins in Charlie Chan on Broadway
Leah Manning in Charlie Chan's The Chinese Cat

WOODS, Donald
Bob Crawford in Charlie Chan's Courage
Speed Patten, Reporter New York Bulletin in Charlie Chan on Broadway

Monte Carlo Bonus Answers

Here are the answers to Sunday's bonus questions:

What do Black Camel, Monte Carlo, Honolulu and Shadows Over Chinatown have in common?

Charlie is at table with family having meals.

What do Olympics, Monte Carlo and City in Darkness have in common?

They all have the same set for the climax of the film.

What do Monte Carlo and City in Darkness have in common?

They both have waste baskets that catch on fire.

What food does Monte Carlo and The Scarlet Clue have in common?

Monte Carlo has the famous line about "Waffels!" and The Scarlet Clue has a line about Marsh's Mellow Mix for waffles!

Charlie Chan History

"The Jade Mask" opens at the Strand Theatre in Brooklyn, New York on this date in 1945.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Charlie Chan History

On today's date in 1938, Warner Oland walked off the set of "Charlie Chan at the Ringside," suffering a mental breakdown.

He never returned to the set and later died in his homeland of Sweden of bronchial pneumonia on August 6, 1938.

Twentieth Century-Fox later recouped part of their losses by reusing part of "CC at the Ringside" in the revamped "Mr. Moto's Gamble" for Peter Lorre. Keye Luke played Lee Chan for this movie for the last time until the role was resurrected for "The Feathered Serpent" (1948) and "The Sky Dragon" (1949).

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Monte Carlo Blooper

We have one big blooper for Charlie Chan in Monte Carlo.

It may be as much a technical thing that we are more likely to pick up today with slow motion buttons and all.

The road accident scene involves one of the actors running out into the street and "being run over."

The glitch involves a splice in the film joining the print of the guy up to running into the street and then a print of a car running over a now empty space.

See if you can catch it!

Monte Carlo Bonus Questions

There are four bonus questions for Charlie Chan in Monte Carlo:

What do Black Camel, Monte Carlo, Honolulu, and Shadows Over Chinatown?

What do Olympics, Monte Carlo, and City in Darkness have in common?

What do Monte Carlo and City in Darkness have in commmon?

What do Monte Carlo and The Scarlet Clue have in common?

You think you know?!

I'll post the answers on Tuesday!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Charlie Chan Calendar

Today, in Chan History, Twentieth Century-Fox completes production of "Dead Men Tell" in mid-January of 1941.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Chan Calendar

On January 13, 1939, Twentieth Century-Fox released "Charlie Chan in Honolulu," the first Chan movie with Sidney Toler taking over the role after Warner Oland's death.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


I have erred! I should have posted this yesterday!

January 11th was the day in 1944 when Monogram Pictures began production on The Chinese Cat--a wonderfully spooky movie as well as a fairly good mystery!

A Chan Blooper in Broadway

Charlie Chan on Broadway starts off with a glaring blooper to Chan lovers: It's the only Chan movie of many where our favorite detective is shown on a boat trip . . . with seasickness!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Monte Carlo Cast

Charlie Chan in Monte Carlo has a marvelous cast with lots of character actors in support of Warner Oland as Papa Chan and Keye Luke as Number One Son!

Warner Oland: Charlie Chan
Keye Luke: Lee Chan
Virginia Field: Evelyn Gray
Sidney Blackmer: Victor Karnoff
Harold Huber: French Police Inspector
Kay Linaker: Joan Karnoff
Robert Kent: Gordon Chase
Edward Raquello: Paul Savarin
George Lynn: Al Rogers
Louis Mercier: Taxi Driver
George Davis: Pepito
John Bleifer: Ludwig
George Renavent: Renault
George S0rel: Gendarme
Eugene Borden: Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
Andre Cheron: Croupier (uncredited)
Marcelle Corday: Concierge (uncredited)
Gennaro Curci: Waiter (uncredited)
Jean De Briac: Doorman (uncredited)
Victor De Linsky: Gendarme (uncredited)
Art Dupuis: Bit Role (uncredited)
Antonio Filauri: Waiter (uncredited)
Constant Franke: Croupier (uncredited)
Robert Graves: Gendarme (uncredited)
Sherry Hall: Bartender (uncredited)
Alphonse Martell: Gendarme (uncredited)
Manuel Paris: Doorman (uncredited)
Jean Perry: Dendarme (uncredited)
John Picorri: Waiter (uncredited)
Albert Pollet: Attache (uncredited)
Joseph Romantini: Attache (uncredited)
Leo White: French Butler (uncredited)

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Chan Calendar

This is a red letter day in Chan history for me because this is the day in 1936 that Twentieth Century-Fox released "Charlie Chan's Secret," my favorite Chan movie!

Twentieth Century-Fox began the production of "Charlie Chan at Ringside" on this date in 1938. As you may know, this is the last Chan movie that Warner Oland worked on but never finished.

The studio managed to recoup losses they suffered by Oland's death by reusing some of the work that had already been filmed. They converted it into a story for Peter Lorre as "Mr. Moto's Gamble," with Keye Luke as Lee Chan and reference to his "Pop" at home in Honolulu.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Charlie Chan Dictionary for Castle in the Desert

Today is dictionary day for Castle in the Desert, with history and science terms among our entries:

BORGIA FAMILY: Renaissance Italians who were ruthless in their ambition. Cesare Borgia's acknowleged father, Pope Alexander VI, appointed him (Cesare) Cardinal. Borgia was Machiavelli's model for his "Ideal Statesman" and employed Leonardo Da Vinci to invent war machines for him. Lucreza was Cesare's sister.

ALCHEMIST: One who was versed in the practice of alchemy.

APOTHECARY: A place that prepares and sells drugs and other medicines.

GIVES OUT (slang): Dispensing of information.
(Carl Detheridge: "Same old Charlie, he never gives out.")

INSOMNIAC: One who suffers from insomnia, the inability to sleep.

ISIS: The principal goddess worshipped by the Egyptians. She was regarded as the mother of Horus, and the sister and wife of Osiris. The Egyptians considered her as the goddess of fertility, and as the great benefactress of their country who instructed their ancestors in the art of agriculture.
(Madame Saturnia: "The finger of Isis has never touched this house.")

NIGHTSHADE: (1) Any of several plants of the genus solanum most of which have a poisonous juice.
(2) Any of various similar or related plants, such as belladonna.

RUBBER: (1) A serial of games of which two out of three or three out of five must be won to terminate the play.
(2) An odd game to break a tie.

SPANISH WAR (also "Spanish Revolution," "Spanish Civil War"): A war in Spain between 1936 And 1939. The fascists, led by Generalissimo Franco, eventually prevailed due to the military assistance provided by Germany.

TAGARA (Sanskrit): A slightly hairy, tufted herb with thick horizontal rootstocks that contains a sweet-smelling essential oil. Tagara (Indian valerian) is prescribed as a remedy for hysteria, hypocondria, nervous upset, and emotional troubles. The drug contains a group of iridoid or monoterpenic derivatives, known as tranquilizers and sedatives. An iridoid ester glycoside designated as valerosidatum (isovaleryl glucoyide) has also been isolated.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Charlie Chan History Calendar

Twentieth Century-Fox released "Charlie Chan at the Opera" on this date back in 1937.

Thanks once again for Rush Glick for finding all this incredible Chan information and putting it on his website at for the rest of us to borrow!

I know I'm still learning!

Mrs Chan Strikes Again!

Mrs. Chan* has decided to post another recipe in honor of the dinner party in Castle in the Desert.

The dinner went WAY wrong in the movie but the recipe Mother got from Cool Whip(R) would be perfect for the dessert, or anywhere else that gets hot.

Okay, we're in the middle of winter but you'll be glad to have this recipe next summer, party or no party!!

Pink Lemonade Pie
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 3 ounce can pink lemonade concentrate
1 8 ounce container COOL WHIP
1 9" graham cracker crust
Combine lemonade and sweetened condensed milk.
Fold in COOL WHIP and pour into crust.
Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Let stand at least 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish with lemon slices.
(Mrs. Chan is also known as my mother, Becky Truesdale!)

Friday, January 07, 2005

Castle in the Desert Bloopers

Castle in the Desert has a few interesting bloopers!

At the beginning, Charlie "borrows" a carrier pigeon that the government wants Jimmy to let loose during their trip. Question: what happens to the rest of them when Jimmy turns up in Mojave Wells?

In this same scene in the hotel, Charlie gets a note slipped under his door and heads off to Manderley Castle. Question: Why would someone who probably gets lots of requests for his time suddenly decide to take one that's mysteriously given to him on a vacation with # 2 son, Jimmy? (Courtesy of Robert L. Hiza)

Charlie sits down at one point when talking to Mr. Manderley. Watch carefully to see if you can catch Sidney Toler beginning to cross his legs but doesn't while continuing the scene without a blink. (Courtesy of Bill Lutters)

Mr. Mandereley has control of a $20,000,000 estate. Why does he only have one car? (Courtesy of Robert J. Hiza)

Since the castle doesn't have electricity, how do they get laundry done, how does the food get cooked, and what happens to the left-overs?! (Courtesy of John Cucinotta)

Thursday, January 06, 2005

This Day in Chan Time

We are back to our Chan Calendar (courtesy of Rush Glick and his website at to shed light on the making of the Chan films over time.
Fox Films began production in early January of 1931 on "Charlie Chan Carries On."
What had become Twentieth Century-Fox began production of "Charlie Chan at the Circus" on this day in 1936. Imagine the sets with all the "Chan children" plus all the circus people and animals!
"The Scarlet Clue" was produced during January, 1945.
Interesting what happens during one period when you condense the years!

Our Chan Veterans in Castle in the Desert

Our Chan veterans in Charlie Chan in Egypt include some classic actors like Douglas Dumbrille as Mr. Manderley. He married the daughter of his friend, Alan Mowbray when Dumbrille was 70 and Patricia Mowbray was a tender 28 years old.

Castle also has a trio of actors that pop up again together in Dead Men Tell: Lenita Lane, Ethel Griffies and Milton Parsons!

One actor, George Chandler, made a memorable place for himself in The Shanghai Cobra as Joe, the Cafe owner, who made the beef stew that no one wanted! He was also the President of the Screen Actors' Guild from 1960-1963.

And here they are:

Ship's Radio Operator in Charlie Chan at the Olympics
Bus Driver in Castle in the Desert
Hotel Doorman in The Chinese Cat
Joe, Coffee Shop Owner in The Shanghai Cobra

DERR, Richard
Ken Reynolds in Charlie Chan in Rio
Carl Dethridge in Castle in the Desert

Stewart Salsbury/Thomas Gregory in Charlie Chan in Treasure Island
B. Petroff in City in Darkness
Paul Manderley in Castle in the Desert

Miss Patricia Nodbury in Dead Men Tell
Lily, Madame Saturnia in Castle in the Desert

LANE, Lenita
Dr. Laura Bonney in Dead Men Tell
Lucrezia "Lucy" Manderley in Castle in the Desert

Gene La Farge in Dead Men Tell
Arthur Fletcher in Castle in the Dessert

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

A Cast Rich Enough Even for a Castle in the Desert

We have some veterans among our cast today.

Can you pick them out?

Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan

Victor Sen Yung (as Sen Yung): Jimmy Chan

Richard Derr: Carl Detheridge

Douglas Dumbrille: Paul Manderley

Henry Daniell: Watson King

Edmund MacDonald: Walter Hartford

Arleen Whelan: Brenda Hartford

Lenita Lane: Lucrezia "Lucy" Mandereley

Ethel Griffies: Lily, Mme. Saturnia

Milton Parsons: Arthur Fletcher

Steven Geray [as Steve Geray]:Dr. Retling

Lucien Littlefield: Professor Gleason

George Chandler: The Bus Driver (uncredited)

Oliver Drake (as Oliver Prickett): Hank, hotel manager (uncredited)
Eric Wilton: Wilson, the major domo (uncredited)

Paul Kruger: Servant (uncredited)

Edgar Norton: (uncredited)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Answers to Egypt's Bonus Questions

Happy 2005!

Did you guess right?

1. Chance, Egypt and Murder Over New York all used glass containers of poison gas.

2. Rita Cansino took the advice of her first husband, Edward Judson, and had electrolysis to raise and broaden her hairline, died her hair to her trademark red and took her mother's maiden name of Haworth/Hayworth. (There is some disagreement of the spelling.)

I recommend the Hayworth biography of "If This Was Happiness," by Barbara Leaming. The hardback came out in 1989 and the paperback in 1990.

George Masters, the master hair-stylist, wrote in his memoirs that Hayworth had the most graceful hands in Hollywood, a result of all the years of using castanets while learning to dance with her father, Eduardo Cansino, and later as his partner.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Charlie Chan Movie Production Schedule

Here are the production entries for Charlie Chan in Egypt and for this period in December:

Fox Studio probably began production on Charlie Chan in Egypt in early April of 1935 and ends production later that month.

They release the film on June 21, 1935.

Monogram Pictures completes production of "Dark Alibi" in late December (?) of 1945.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Charlie Chan Dictionary Entries for Egypt

We have several entries for Charlie Chan in Egypt into our dictionary:

DRAGOMAN (informal): A near-Eastern interpreter, agent or guide for travelers.

EFFENDI (Turkish): Master, sir, a title of a Turkish state of officers.

NAPATA (geographical): An ancient city of Nubia near the fourth cataract of the Nile River in modern-day Sudan. It flourished during the Eighth Century.

SEKHMET: Ancient Egyptian "goddess of vengeance."

CONFUCIUS: Chinese teacher and philosopher (551 - 479 B.C.) became the most revered person in Chinese history, his teachings form the basis of Confucianism.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Bonus Questions for Egypt

I have two bonus questions for Charlie Chan in Egypt. The first one might be difficult since it involves one of the "lost" Chan films but you might still guess the answer if you know this movie and Murder Over New York!

The second will probably be easier . . . if you know your Hollywood History!

Good Luck and Happy New Year!

1. What do Charlie Chan's Chance, Charlie Chan in Egypt and Murder Over New York have in common?

2. Nayda, the maid, is played by Rita Cansino. What changes did she go through to become better known . . . and one of the top pin-ups of World War II?