Saturday, April 30, 2005

Charlie Chan History
In late April of 1935,
Fox Films completes
production on
Charlie Chan in Egypt;
and in late April of 1948,
Monogram Production
completes production on
The Golden Eye.
[Courtesy of Rush Glick at]

Friday, April 29, 2005

There are questions I have
every time I watch "CC in
Shanghai," our Monday
Night Chat Room Movie.*
Maybe you can answer them!
Do we ever find out what
firm Lee works for or is that
just an excuse for a reference
to Keye Luke's recent movie,
"Oil for the Lamps of China"?
Who rigged the presentation
box they were giving Charlie
and when was it fixed?
How good is the hotel scene
where Lee calls the police?
Going from REALLY spooky
to REALLY cute?!
Where was Charlie for the hour
between when he leaves James
Andrews/Russell Hicks' room
and when Andrews arrives at
Charlie's hotel room?
What kind of exotic dance
is that girl doing in the
Versailles Cafe?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Monday Night Movies
for May

These are the movies
we'll be watching in
Rush Glick's
Chat Room*:
May 2: CC in Shanghai
May 9: The Feathered
May 16: Dead Men Tell
May 23: The Trap
May 30: Murder Over
New York
*Courtesy of

Today in Charlie Chan History
Sidney Toler is born in 1874 in
Warrensburg, Missouri, and
Would go on to play the
Chinese Detective in 22 films.

(Courtesy of Rush Glick at

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Charlie Chan in Shanghai (our Monday Night
Chat Room Movie*) starts off with Charlie
Chan surrounded by children. This scene
alone endears this Chan to many of us.
It was certainly one of my late
Mother's favorite scenes.

I am including the song Charlie sings
to the children once again in her honor:


Long the journey, hard the way,
But his heart was gay,
For, was he not a Prince both strong and brave,
Vowed a princess fair to save?

And he slew the dreadful dragon,
Even cut off his seven heads;
And in his cave he found the Princess
Bound to her lowly bed.

Then came they both back to the land
Of the mighty Emperor Fu Manchu,
To claim his reward, the dainty hand
Of lovely Ming Lo Fu.

*Rush Glick's

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Jewels in a Shanghai Treasure

Our movie for Monday Night's Chat Room* will be Charlie Chan in Shanghai.

The cast is the usual excellent crew of actors, but three deserve more credit.

Jon Hall (AKA Charles Locher) was one of the Chan movie alumni to work on the movie, "Hurricane," with Layne Tom, Jr. and Al Kikume.

Lynn Bari (courtesy of Rush Glick's excellent research on his website) plays the second hotel telephone operator.

The object of Lee Chan's romantic telephone endeavors is one Ivy Ling, also known as "Bo Ling" in the cast of "Calling Philo Vance" starring James Stephenson as Mr. Vance. She also appeared as Charlie Chan's # 1 Daughter at the table in The Black Camel.

Now . . . on to the rest of the cast!

Warner Oland: Charlie Chan
Irene Hervey: Diana Woodland
Jon Hall (as Charles Locher): Philip Nash
Russell Hicks: James Andrews
Keye Luke: Lee Chan
Halliwell Hobbes: Colonel Watkins, Police Commissioner.
Frederick Vogeding (as Frederik Vogeding): Ivan Marloff (mistakenly listed as "Burke" in on-screen credits
Neil Fitzgerald: Unidentified (Script Name: Dakin)
Max Wagner: Taxi Driver Henchman
Lynn Bari: Second Hotel Switchboard Operator
Luke Chan: Reporter
Jack Chefe: Reporter
Frank Darien: Bespectacled Tourist in Versailles Cafe
Harrison Greene: Tourist in Versailles Cafe
Charles Haefeli: Crook on Boat
Eddie Hart: "G"-Man
Russell Hopton: "G"-Man
Gladden James: Forrest, Valet
Colin Kenny: Reporter
Eddie Lee: Servant
James B. Leong: Shanghai Police Operator
Torben Meyer: French Diplomat
Moy Ming: Sun Wong
Pat O'Malley: Belden
Jimmy Phillips: Reporter
Regina Rambeau:
Pat Somerset: Reporter
Harry Strang: Chauffeur
Phil Tead: Reporter
Sammee Tong: One of the men who brings Lee back to the hotel
David Torrence: Sir Stanley Woodland
Guy Usher: President of Shanghai Chamber of Commerce
Jehim Wong: Rickshaw Boy at Dock
Walter Wong: Waiter+
Ivy Ling: Lee's Girlfriend


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Did You Know . . .

Did you know that a copy of this film survived at the UCLA Film and Television Archive? (
Did you know that Manuel Arbo not only played Charlie Chan in our Monday Night Chat Room Movie,* but the part of Martin in the Spanish language version of Dracula? Both horror movies shared the same sets, as did the Chan movies but the Spanish version was supposedly made at night while the English with Bela Lugosi used the sets during the day.


Saturday, April 23, 2005

Charlie Chan History

Fox Films began production on
"Charlie Chan's Courage"
on April 23, 1934.
(courtesy of

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Who's Who

Today we have the actor's credits for Eran Trece, our Monday Night Movie in Rush's Chat Room,* since I like being able to see who is playing whom and maybe you do, too.

Manuel Arbo: Charlie Chan
Rafaell Luis Calvo: Inspector Duff
Ana Maria Custodio: Elen Potter
Juaj Torea: Dick Kennaway
Julio Vilarreal: Dr. Lofton
Raul Roulien: Max Minchin
Blanca de Castejon: Peggy Minchin
Carmen Rodriguez: Senora Rockwel
Antonio Vidal: Paul Nielson
Jose Nieto: Senor Kin
Ralph Navarro: Inspector Gardner
Lia Tora: Sybil Conway
Carlos Diaz de Mendoza: Walter Decker
Miguel Ligero
Amelia Santee


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Two-fer from Our Library Shelf

We have two books off our library shelf today.

One is "Charlie Chan Carries On" by Earl Derr Biggers.

The first version of the book (and using the same title) to be filmed was, of course, a "lost" film starring Warner Oland 1931.

The second version made in Spanish was "Eran Trece," and is available through the "links" section of Rush Glick's website,, as well as the featured movie for Rush's Monday Night Chat room. (And, yes, it is available in DVD with subtitles!) It was made the same year but a few months later with Manuel Arbo.

"Charlie Chan Carries On" was made once more as "Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise" with Sidney Toler in 1940.

The other book off our library shelf is "Dracula." I know your first thought is the Bela Lugosi version but the book was also made into a Spanish version using the same sets.

The tie-in is that Manuel Arbo who played our Charlie Chan played the role of Martin in the Spanish "Dracula"!

Interesting, isn't it?!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The movie we will be watching in Rush Glick's Monday Night Chat Room* will be the Spanish version of Charlie Chan Carries On.

Manuel Arbo as Charlie Chan in Eran Trece

It was made on the same set, although some months after, the English version with Warner Oland.

For those of you with the VHS tape of Eran Trece, you can get the subtitles at Rush's website.*

You can also get links to Andy Crawford's website that has the subtitled DVD of Eran Trece at and to Doug Palmer's at

I have movies from both gentlemen and have been very happy with them and so can recommend both.


Monday, April 18, 2005

Charlie Chan Book Shelf

We are pulling our Charlie Chan Dictionary off our shelf today for words from Charlie Chan at Treasure Island, our movie for our Monday Night Chat Room!*

So how's your Chan vocabulary?!

ACTUARY--one who calculates insurance and annuity (a sum of money payable yearly or at regular intervals) premiums, reserves and dividends.+


ECTOPLASM--a substance held to produce spirit materialization and telekinesis (the production of motion in objects [as by a spiritualistic medium] without contact or physical means).+

EXPOSE--a) to make known: bring to light (as something shameful)
b) to disclose the faults or crimes of.+

EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION (aka ESP)--perception (as in telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition) that involves awareness of information about events external to the self not gained through the senses and not deductible from previous experience.+

LEVITATION--the act or process of levitating: the raising or lifting of a person or things by means held to be spiritual.+


PRESTIDIGITATION (aka SLEIGHT OF HAND)--1a) a conjuring trick requiring dexterity . . . 1b) a cleverly executed trick or deception
2a) skill and dexterity in conjuring tricks . . . 2b) adroitness in deception.+



+See Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Charlie Chan History

Twentieth-Centeury Fox
begins production on
Charlie Chan at Treasure Island
On April 17, 1939.
(courtesy of

A Treasury of Island Bloopers

Today is blooper day for Charlie Chan at Treasure Island, our Monday Night Chat Room Movie.*

[Spoiler Alert]

I know I covered this the other day but bear with me! One thing that makes at least MY blooper list: The famous seance scene. You watch it and you'll realize that the servant, the Turk who is revealed as Zodiac at the end, doesn't have time to get them into the seance room, get into costume and show up as Zodiac. So the actor known as Gerald Mohr appeared as Doctor Zodiac in both the seance scene and during Rhadini's magic act.

On to other bloopers:

Watch when Charlie walks up to the Zodiac house by himself. A black cat crosses path! Okay, it's not a blooper but still something to watch for!

The taxi driver who won't stick around grabs at the money offered him but it slips out of his hand as he drives off.

When Charlie and the others find Zodiac's vault of blackmail-filled cabinets, he starts a fire with a few of the files. He leaves the other drawers closed as he shuts the vault door. Shutting the door limits the oxygen in the vault and therefore the fire. Doesn't that mean that Zodiac could come back and save at least part of them?!

There is a major blooper between when Eve Cairo does the levitation trick and when Jimmy Chan does it. A careful watching of both scenes shows how differently they were done.

The jacket that Jimmy wears onstage to make the announcement for his father has one exaggerated shoulder and side to hold all of Rhadini's tricks inside!

So good blooping!


Saturday, April 16, 2005

American Movie Classics Introduction

I know this is a re-run, if not a re-run of a re-run, but I'm posting it for those who haven't seen it or who might like to see it again:

Nick Clooney's Introduction to an airing of Charlie Chan at Treasure Island*:

This is fun.
This is a Charlie Chan film.
I love 'em. I love 'em.
I suppose one of the first things that I'd better clear up for those of you who are not from the Bay area of San Francisco . . . I'd better explain why this is called Charlie Chan at Treasure Island when it doesn't involve pirates, buried treasure, or remote desert islands anywhere.
Treasure Island is in San Francisco Bay.
It's where the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge goes right past there.
It's part of San Francisco's version of the 1939 World's Fair.
Now I know that the 1939 World's Fair took place in New York City but there was also what was known as the Century of Progress that same year out on the west coast and that was called the World's Fair as well.
And this will be explained when we get into the movie.
Our star is Sidney Toler and Mr. Toler was actually from Missouri and had been rather typecast as Irish Cops before switching nationalities to take over the role of Charlie Chan from Warner Oland who had died at the age of 57 just a short time before.
Second lead went to Cesar Romero who enjoyed learning all the tricks he did as Rhadini, the illusionist.
Also cast~~this is interesting~~is Sally Blane is in this movie.
She is Loretta Young's older sister and the wife of Treasure Island director, Norman Foster, and plays the widow of the murder victim, you see.
Charlie Chan's # 2 son~~he was Victor Sen Yung~~he had been employed as a house boy by concert pianist Carmen de Obario before he was cast in his first Chan picture.
He invited his former employer to all of his sneak previews of all his Chan pictures thereafter.
The pianist loved them.
One actress was certainly left breathless by her part in this picture.
Excuse me a second while I pull this up to illustrate what I'm talking about.
Kay Kinaker [sic] was wrapped up in something that was really new then, brand new.
It was plastic wrap.
She was wrapped up in that to achieve the ghostly ectoplasmic appearance that you'll see.
But, you know, we really didn't know much about it then~~not really enough~~and the cast and crew went off to lunch and no one remembered to help her out of the plastic wrap.
And you know what happened there.
She nearly suffocated.
They finally of course, and fortunately, took care of it.
This Charlie Chan mystery you're about to see is considered to be one of the best.
And see what you think.
Sidney Toler in Charlie Chan at Treasure Island.
Okay, let me just throw something out here for your consideration:
Is this a case of life imitating art or what?
Cesar Romero's character was The Amazing Rhadini, you saw that.
A magician who helped expose the phony Dr. Zodiac.
Okay, fast forward to now: the 1980's another magician called the Amazing Randi stepped out of his magician's guise to uncover phony psychic phenomena.
Remember? James Randy, former magician who became a crusader against fraudulent spiritualists, who has written several books uncovering how some psychics, how some faith healers bilked naive believers out of millions of dollars.
I'm sure many of you will remember Randi's famous appearance on the "Tonight" show in which he revealed video tape evidence of a supposed faith healers hearing aid and which was really a small receiver through which his wife transmitted the information he was supposedly receiving from the great beyond?
Now is it coincidence that Randi's name was foreshadowed in a movie made 50 years before?
Or was some unexplained force at work?
Or do I have an earpiece here with my wife talking to me right now: Meat loaf dinner.

[Aired February 5, 2002]

*American Movie Classics

Friday, April 15, 2005

Charlie Chan History

Monogram Pictures
Begins Production On
The Golden Eye
In Mid-April of 1948.
(Courtesy of

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Doctor Zodiac!

Don't you love the name? . . . Doctor Zodiac!

I was lucky enough to get a little insight to a major character in Charlie Chan at Treasure Island, our Monday Night Chat Room Movie ( from none other than Kay Linaker!

I had sent her a birthday card with a note inside telling her how much I had enjoyed all the Chan movies she had been in. I happened to mention Treasure Island specifically because of the seance scene in which she appeared as the spirit. I had long thought that the actor playing the good Doctor in that scene was actually Gerald Mohr, since I knew his voice and could tell that it was his face, even with the mask and make-up.

I never expected her to answer but answer Kay did and told me that, yes, that was Gerald Mohr as Doctor Zodiac in that scene, that she had done a radio show with him.

If you listen carefully, you'll catch him as the Doctor again when Doctor Zodiac arrives at the theatre while Rhadini is doing his magic act.

You can see a reproduction of Kay's letter at

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


About the question that I posted on Sunday, April 3rd, about Charlie Chan driving cars:

He drove in three different Chan films . . . or, if you want to be a stickler, two-and-a-half!

We see him driving in The Black Camel, shortly after having learned how, and in Olympics, when he's going fishing with Charlie, Jr.

[Spoiler Alert] The other movie is The Shanghai Cobra where Charlie isn't actually seen driving but is given a ticket at the end of the movie for making an illegal U-turn!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Charlie Chan History

Fox Films released
Charlie Chan Carries On
On this date in 1931.

A Treasure of Chan Actors

The movie we'll be watching next Monday night in Rush Glick's Chat Room ( will be Charlie Chan at Treasure Island, one of the most popular AND spookiest of the Chan films!

But you can't tell the actors without a program so . . .

Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Victor Young: Jimmy Chan
Cesar Romero: Fred Rhadini
Douglas Fowley: Peter Lewis
Pauline Moore: Eve Cairo
Donald MacBride: Deputy Police Chief J.J. Kilvaine
Wally Vernon: Elmer Kelner
Douglas Dumbrille: Stewart Salsbury, alias Thomas Gregory
Sally Blane: Stella Essex
Charles Halton: Uncle Redley
Billie Seward: Mrs. Bessie Sibley
June Gale: Myra Rhadini
Trevor Bardette: Abdul, the Turkish Servant
Louis Jean Heydt: Paul Essex, alias Paul Ellison
Fred Kelsey: Lead Detective, with bushy eyebrows in cab and at theatre
John Elliot: Doctor, backstage
Gerald Mohr: Doctor Zodiac (in seance scene)
Kay Linaker: Seance Apparition

Monday, April 04, 2005

It's Etta Time Again!

Hi, guys, it's me again! Etta Kit!

This time I'm not borrowing from our Chan Library. . . . I am doing etiquette patrol, though, for the Chan Clan!!

I'm pleased to point out the beautiful manners and language of our Daddy Chan's Illustrious Children!

I'm proud to point how how respectful they are to their honorable Father, as seen in our Monday night movie: The Black Camel.*

The Chan family is at the table when Charlie's # 1 daughter humbly asks him, "C'mon, Pop, spill the beans!"

When he tries to explain the case is ongoing, he gets "Ah, that's a lot of applesauce!"

Don't you just love the wholesome attitude?! "Ah, baloney!" to quote one of the sons!
*Rush Glick's Chat Room,, Monday at 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. (Eastern), the movie starts at 8:30 P.M.

This Day in Chan History

On April 4, 1931, the cast and crew of
The Black Camel began filming
on the island of Oahu,
at Kailua Beach, in Honolulu
and in and around
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel

Aloha `Oe - By Queen Lili`uokalani

This song of farewell between two lovers is the most famous of the Queen's compostions, written in 1878.
The tune of the verse resembles "The Rock Beside the Sea", composed by Charles Crozat Converse and published in Philadelphia, 1857.
The melody of the chorus is remarkably close to the chorus of George Frederick Root's composition, "There's Music In The Air", published in 1854.
There is a manuscript of "Aloha `Oe: in Queen Lili'uokalani's handwriting in the Bishop Museum.
Lahilahi Webb and Virginia Dominis Koch tell of a visit by the queen and her attendants to Mauawili ranch, the home of Edwin Boyd on windward Oahu.
As they started their return trip ot Honolulu on horseback up the steep Pali trail, the queen turned to admire the view of Kaneohe Bay.
She witnessed a particularly affectionate farewell between Colonel James Boyd of her party and a lovely young girl from Maunawili.
As they rode up the steep cliff and into the swirling winds, she started to hum this melody weaving words into a romantic song.
At the top of the pali, a cloud hung over the mountain peak and slowly floated down Nu`uanu Valley.
The queen conntinued to hum and completed her song as they rode the winding trail down the valley back to Honolulu.
Translation by Lili`uokalani. source: jonathan wong
Aloha `Oe
Ha`aheo ka ua i nna pali
(Proudly swept the rain by the cliffs)
Ke nihi a`ela i ka nahele
(As it glided through the trees)
E hahai (uhai) ana paha i ka liko
(Still following over the bud)
Pua `ahihi lehua o uka
(The `ahihi lehua of the vale)
Aloha `oe, aloha `oe
(Farewell to you, farewell to you)
E ke onaona noho i ka lipo
(The charming one who dwells in the shaded bowers)
One fond embrace,
(One fond embrace,)
A ho`i a`e au
('Ere I depart)
Until we meet again
(Until we meet again)
`O ka halli'a aloha i hiki mai
(Sweet memoires come back to me)
Ke hone a`e nei i
(Bringing fresh rememberances)
(Of the past)
`O `oe no ka`u ipo aloha
(Dearest one, yes, you are mine own)
A loko e hana nei
(From you, true love shall never depart)
Maopo ku`u`ike i ka nani
(I have seen and watched your loveliness)
Na pua rose o Maunawili
(The sweet rose of Maunawili)
I laila hia`ia na manu
(And 'tis there the birds of love dwell)
Miki`ala i ka nani o ka lipo
(And sip the honey from your lips)

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Can You Place This Chan Scene?

So you think you know your Chans?!

Okay, what Charlie Chan movies has our detective driving cars?

And would you want him teaching YOUR kids how to drive?!

Check back on Tuesday for the answers!

Today in Chan History

Chan History begins early in April, 1935,
when Fox Films begins production on
Charlie Chan in Egypt.
April 3, 1931, was a good day for traveling--
The cast and crew of The Black Camel
arrived in Honolulu aboard
The City of Los Angeles
to begin filming scenes on location!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Charlie Chan Library

This Monday Night's Chat Room movie is The Black Camel, based on the original book by Earl Derr Biggers. This version, with Warner Oland as Charlie Chan, was the first version made in 1931.

The second version was made ten years later with Sidney Toler as the Chinese detective in Charlie Chan in Rio.

So join us Monday at 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. (EST) when we'll have our get acquainted half-hour and then we'll all start our copies of The Black Camel (vhs or DVD) together at 8:30 on the dot!