Tuesday, May 31, 2005

We have quite a page out of our Charlie Chan History (courtesy, as usual, of Rush Glick's www.charliechan.info!):
. . . . .
May 31, 1942--The final Charlie Chan Sunday newspaper comic strip is published , after a run of more than three and one-half years. [Rush publishes reprints of the strip at his website. One more reason to check it out!]
. . . . .
Late May, 1934--Fox Films completes production on "Charlie Chan's Courage."
. . . . .
Late May, 1941--Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on "Charlie Chan in Rio."
. . . . .
Late May, 1945--Monogram Pictures begins production on "The Shanghai Cobra." [This movie is our Monday Night Chat Movie at Rush's site, which will be on TUESDAYS FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE ONLY.
We'll meet at 8:00 to 10:00 (EDT) and start watching the movie together at 8:30.]

Monday, May 30, 2005

American Airlines and the DC-3
. . . . .
There is no way that I can do justice to American Airlines and the DC-3 in this space . . . or at least not at this time!
So what I will do is post some visuals with links for those of you of an inquiring and/or adventuresome minds!
Bon Voyage!

Both of these pictures are from www.dc3airways.com/ and the second one is "Flagship over Manhattan" by Robert Watts.
(Check Mr. Watts out at www.airartnw.com/watts.html.)

You might want to check out www.wpafb.af.mil/modern_flight/c47.jpg.

This is from http://douglasdc3.com/dive.jpg.
I hope you enjoyed our little trip in preparation for Murder Over New York, tonight's Chat Room Movie at Rush Glick's website at http://charliechanfamily.tripod.com, from 8:00 to 10:00 (Eastern) with the movie starting at 8:30!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

It's a New York kind of cast for our Monday Night Chat Room!*
A Murder Over New York kind of cast, that is!
Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Marjorie Weaver: Patricia Shaw
Robert Lowery: David Elliot
RIcardo Cortez: George Kirby
Donald MacBride: Inspector Vance
Melville Cooper: Herbert Fenton
Joan Valerie: June Preston
Kane Richmond: Ralph Percy
Victor Sen Yung (as Sen Yung): Jimmy Chan
Leyland Hodgson: Boggs
Clarence Muse: Second Butler
John Sutton: Richard Jeffrey
Frederick Worlock: Hugh Drake
Lal Chand Mehra: Ramullah
Frank Coghlan, Jr.: Gilroy
Shemp Howard: Shorty McCoy (aka The Canarsie Kid)
Lee Phelps: Cop
Trevor Bardette: Hindu Businessman
Stanley Blystone: FIngerprint Expert
Eddy Chandler: Cop
Catherine Craig: Stewardess
Alan Davis: Pilot
Dorothy Dearing: Mrs. Percy
Jimmie Dundee: Cop
Rallph Dunn: Cop
Frnk Fanning: Cop
Carl Faulkner: Cop
Bud Geary: Mechanic # 2
Paul Kruger: Guard
Jack "Tiny" Lipson: In Police Lineup, Next to Shemp Howard
. . . . .
*See Rush Glick's www.charliechan.info.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I have a blast from the past that I'm repeating today for those who haven't seen it for our Monday Night Chat Movie:* Murder Over New York. It's an introduction with John Burke on American Movie Classics from November 17, 2001--a very interesting take on what went on behind the scenes on a Chan movie set:
. . . . .
Listen to what happened on the Charlie Chan film of "Murder Over New York":
This is great.
Sidney Toler and Marjorie Weaver were performing a scene, sneaking out of the shadows of a darkened building.
Now, off camera, the director pulled out a gun and just at the right moment he fired into the air and the actors reacted to the shot.
And then something unusual happened.
A sparrow dropped dead at Sidney Toler's fee, apparently dead.
But how could a gun loaded with blanks kill a bird inside a sound stage?
It didn't take Sidney Toler long to solve the mystery.
The bird was stuffed.
And when they looked up, # 2 son, Victor Sen Yung was hiding in the catwalk, happy that he had finally mystified the brilliant Charlie Chan.
And here he is in "Murder Over New York."
. . . . .
When Sidney Toler took on the role of Charlie Chan, he was able to choose the actor that would play his son.
He chose Victor Sen Yung, a promising but inexperienced Chinese actor.
Toler took him under his wing and showed him every acting trick he knew and taught him the ropes.
As a result, they had a relationship on the set that brought out the best of their performances as father and son.
For American Movie Classics, I'm John Burke.
*Courtesy of Rush Glick's www.charliechan.info.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Bloopers Over New York!
We have a few boo-boos from our Monday Night Chat Room* movie of the week: Murder Over New York.
Charlie gets on an American Airline plane at the beginning of the movie. You can clearly see the plane sitting on the tarmac, with its nose in the air. However . . . Charlie and the other passengers are clearly sitting on seats that are parallel to the tarmac!
The airport where Charlie lands is supposed to be in the New York City area. You look carefully at the area and you realize that it might be either the Los Angeles Airport or, more likely, the Burbank Airport.
Plus . . . why is there a discrepancy between when Charlie's flight is scheduled to land and when it actually lands? (Courtesy of Rush Glick)
Charlie, Jimmy and Inspector Vance keep changing places by the car after Charlie arrives at the airport.
The fingerprint man's pencil knocks over the model plane that sits on George Kirby's desk. (Courtesy of Rush Glick)
How does the pearl out of June Preston's necklace get into the ink well on that same desk?
What was Charlie thinking when he went to see June Preston and Patricia Shaw--individually, no less--AFTER a dinner party without a chaperone?!
. . . . . .
*See Rush Glick's www.charliechan.info.

The blooper scene where not only Charlie, Jimmy and Inspector Vance change places but where they may have filmed the scene at the Burbank Airport instead of in New York!

Our June movies for our Monday Night Chats* will be:
. . .
Tuesday, June 7th---Shanghai Cobra
Tuesday, June 14th--CC in Honolulu
Tuesday, June 21st--CC at the Race Track
Tuesday, June 28th--CC in Reno
The change to our meeting on Tuesdays instead of
Mondays is ONLY for the month of June.
So come join us!
. . . . . . . . .
*See Rush Glick's www.charliechan.info

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

We are checking out our Charlie Chan Library today for our Monday Night Chat Room Movie,* Murder Over New York with Sidney Toler.
Murder Over New York was the third movie made in 1940 from Earl Derr Biggers' book, Behind That Curtain. It was the second Chan made with Warner Oland, his first one being the now lost Charlie Chan's Chance made in 1932.
There is debate as to whether the first version qualifies as a Charlie Chan film as it was made over to make Warner Baxter's role of Colonel Beetham more prominant.
Strictly speaking, the 1929 Behind That Curtain IS a Chan film but Charlie has so little screen time--and that so late in the movie--that a lot of Chan fans don't bother with it.
I personally think that you should at least consider watching it for several reasons--if you can get your hands on a copy.
For starters, it is the earliest Chan movie known to still exist. It is also valuable as a record of the transition period when Hollywood was still learning how to make talking pictures. The acting was still frequently in the stilted manner that many actors had used in the silent era while a few actors clearly stood out in what would become essentially the new fashion of acting.
Case in point was Boris Karloff. He had a small role in the 1929 version of Behind That Curtain but you could already see why Karloff made the Frankenstein Monster so human, memorable and classic.
A word about Warner Baxter.

He was already an established star when the studio made Behind That Curtain into a movie revolving around his character, Colonel Beetham. What is ironic about THIS Chan film is that Baxter later got his own mystery series, The Crime Doctor.

. . . . .
*See Rush Glick's www.charliechan.info.

On May 25, 1946, Monogram Pictures
releases Dark Alibi. All Chan
history tidbits are courtesy of
Rush Glick's website at
www.charliechan.info as is this
interesting British trade

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

We've hit the big time! We not only have Murder Over New York for our Monday Night Chat Room movie,* we also have spys, con men and fakirs!

And to help keep track of who's who (or whom, for purists!), here's our cast to keep everyone straight:

Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Marjorie Weaver: Patricia shaw
Robert Lowery: David Elliot
Ricardo Cortez: George Kirby
Donald MacBride: Inspector Vance
Melville Cooper: Herber Fenton
Joan Valerie: June Preston
Kane Richmond: Ralph Percy
Victor Sen Yung (as Sen Yung)
Leyland Hodgson: Boggs
Clarence Muse: [Second] Butler
John Sutton: Richard Jeffrey
Frederick Worlock: Hugh Drake
Lal Chand Mehra: Ramullah
Frank Coghlan, Jr.: Gilroy
Shemp Howard: Shorty McCoy (The Canarsie Kid)
Lee Phelps: Cop
Trevor Bardette: Hindu Businessman
Stanley Blystone: Fingerprint Expert
Eddy Chandler: Cop
Catherine Craig: Stewardess
Alan Davis: Pilot
Dorothy Dearing: Mrs. Percy
Jimmie Dundee: Cop
Ralph Dunn: Cop
Frank Fanning: Cop
Carl Faulkner: Cop
Bud Geary: Mechanic # 2
Paul Kruger: Guard
Jack 'Tiny' Lipson: In Police Lineup, next to Shemp Howard
Shirley Warde: Mrs. Fellton


*See Rush Glick's www.charliechan.info

Sunday, May 22, 2005

You ever have days when you just don't know WHAT to wear?!?!

Courtesy of Rush Glick's www.charliechan.info

Do you know what our Monday Night Chat Room Movie, The Trap, has in common with Dead Men Tell?
You do if you watched Dead Men Tell with us!!
See if you can find out when you come by tomorrow night at www.charliechan.info from 8:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
You don't have a copy of The Trap?
Come on anyway because we'll have more fun with you there to spice up the conversation!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Blooper Traps!! . . .
. . .
Our Charlie Chan movie for our Monday Night Chat Room* is The Trap and does it have traps for the unsuspecting if you're not careful!!
For starters: When King Cole (I wonder where they got the idea for THAT name!) and his troupe arrive at the Malibu house, they start piling out of the station wagon. . . . And piling out. . . . And piling out. There were enough people in that wagon to fill up an extravaganza.
Plus the house is architecturally a mess. A room that faces the front is across the hall from a room with a window facing the back--at a 90 degree angle from the opposite room.
The girls make a hash of trying to call Jimmy but Birmingham only jots down the briefest address on the pad. So how does Jimmy decipher the entire address and where it's located?!
When it's revealed that the doctor is married to one of the showgirls (who's supposed to be French), she gets emotional and hugs the doctor, losing her French accent and says "What's the difference?" where she SHOULD have said, "What's za dif-far-ANCE!". (Courtesy of Norm Vogel)
One of the beach scenes has the beach ball tossed one way and it's seen going in another direction in the next shot. (Courtesy of Doug Palmer)
Charlie not only doesn't seem to care that the villain steals his car but wrecks it as well at the end of the movie. (Courtesy of Doug Palmer)
. . . . . .
*See Rush Glick's website at www.charliechan.info

Friday, May 20, 2005

Our movie for our Monday Night Chat Room* is unique among all Chan films: If it doesn't break your eardrums from all the screams then you've got great hearing!
It's also known as one of the Chans that a lot of people love to hate, frequently rated at the bottom of them.
You could almost make a game of which of the actors is the most irritating!
So pop your corn and pour your drink and I'll post the list of contestant--er, cast of characters!
. . . . .
Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland: Birmingham Brown
Victor Sen Yung (as Victor Sen Young): Jimmy Chan
Tanis Chandler: Adelaide Brandt
Larry J. Blake (as Larry Blake): Rick Daniels
Kirk Alyn: Sergeant Reynolds
Rita Quigley: Clementine
Anne Nagel: Marcia
Helen Gerald: Ruby
Howard Negley: Cole King, Impessario
Lois Austin: Mrs. Thorn
Barbara Jean Wong: San Toy
Minerva Urecal: Miss Weebles, the Housekeeper
Margaret Brayton: Madge Mudge
Bettie Best: Winifred
Jan Bryant: Lois
Walden Boyle: Doc Brandt
*Courtesy of Rush Glick's webwsite at www.charliechan.info.

Monogram Pictures released
The Chinese Cat May 20, 1944,*
one of the spookier Chans!
A great movie with all that
fog and those sets for a dark
and stormy night!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
*Courtesy of Rush Glicks website
at www.charliechan.info.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Sometimes I think that the cast of "The Trap," our Monday Night Chat,* is the one everybody is at least tempted to hate!

It certainly has one of the most irritating, if not # one: The Screamer!

So here's the cast list so you can finger . . . er, figure out which ones you'd like to Baptize permanently in the surf off Malibu!!

Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland: Birmingham Brown
VIctor Sen Jung (as Victor Sen Young): Jimmy Chan
Tanis Chandler: Adelaide Brandt
Larry J. Blake (as Larry Blake): Rick Daniels
Kirk Alyn: Sergeant Reynolds
Rita Quigley: Clementine
Anne Nagel: Marcia
Helen Gerald: Ruby
Howard Negley: Cole King, Imressario
Lois Austin: Mrs. Thorn
Barbara Jean Wong: San Toy

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Chan History was made between
May 18 and June 22 in 1929
when "The Saturday Evening Post"
published Earl Derr Biggers'
"The Black Camel" in installments.*
. . .
I'm not sure I could have
waited for each new
. . .
*Courtesy of Rush Glick's

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Charlie Chan Calendar
. . .
Twentieth Century-Fox begins
production on "Charlie
Chan at the Wax Museum" in
mid-May of 1940.
. . .
Monogram Pictures
completes production on
"Black Magic" (aka as
"Meeting at Midnight"
in mid-May, 1944.
. . .
(Courtesy of Rush Click at

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Mrs. Chan . . .
Many of you remember Mrs. Chan
that popped up here every so often.
Mrs. Chan was my late mother,
Becky Truesdale,
who died on Easter Sunday.
It turns out that she wasn't
the only Chan lover to qualify
as Mrs. Chan!!
There is another lady whom Mother
knew and loved as many of us still do.
Many of us also know Lisa under her
"nom de Chan" of "Madame Saturnia."
Lisa qualifies as Mrs. Chan
because she is also married to
a policeman like the original
Mrs. Chan but has also traveled
like our hero, Charlie Chan.
Last and not least . . .
need I say that she's a
Chanaholic like the rest of us?!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Off the Chan Book Shelf:
Today we bring out the Charlie Chan Dictionary, compiled from Rush Glick's notes at his website,* for our Monday night chat,* Dead Men Tell:
AFT: At, in, toward, or close to the stern (rear) of a vessel.
(Charlie Chan: "Who occupies cabins 'aft'?")
BELAYING PIN: A short, removable wood or metal pin fitted in a hole in the rail of a boat and used for securing running gear.
(Gene LeFarge: I saw him trying to hit this you man with a 'belaying pin'.")
FO'C'S'LE (forecastle): The upper deck of a ship in front of the foremast.
(Charles Thursby: "The music seems to come from the 'fo'c's'le'")
LUBBER: (1) A clumsy person.
(2) An inexperienced sailor; a 'Landlubber'."
(Jed Thomasson: "I'm an awful 'lubber'.")
NUMISMATICIAN (numatist): A specialist in or a collector of coins and medals.
(Charlie Chan [referring to Jed Thomasson]: "'Numismatitian'?")
OCARINA: A small, simple wind instrument shaped like a sweet potato and usually made of terra cotta, with finger holes and a mouthpiece.
(Charlie Chan: "Have also heard music. Same comes from an 'ocorina', favorite instrument of ancient pirates.")
REAL McCOY (informal usage): Authenticity.
(Bill Lydig: "Is it the 'real McCoy'?")
*See Rush's website at www.charliechan.info.

Charlie Chan History:
I wasn't able to post this
yesterday, due to computer
problems; but May 13, 1939,
Twentieth Century-Fox
completed "Charlie Chan
at Treasure Island."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Map Day at Charlie Chan Annex!
. . .
I have two maps today for our
Monday Night Chat Room
movie, Dead Men Tell.*
The first one looks like it could
have been used for Ms. Nodbuy's
family treasure map.
The second one is just for fun,
I love the names! Dirty Rock . . .
Shark Fin Rock!
. . .
*See Rush Glick's

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Today in Chan History . . .
Monogram Pictures released
The Scarlet Clue on
May 11, 1945.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Dead Men Tell and Tell . . . !
. . .
We have a very interesting cast for our Monday Night Chat Movie.* We have George Reeves, whose Superman role is clearly in the future, and Truman Bradley, who also had a television show in the fifties.
Ethel Griffries had also been in The Werewolf of London (1935) with Warner Oland in an unusual role, although they never shared screen time in that one.
. . .
Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Sheila Ryan: Kate Ransome
Victor Sen Yung: Jimmy Chan
Donald Douglas (as Don Douglas): Jed Thomasson
Kay Aldridge (as Katharine Aldridge): Laura Thursby
Paul McGrath: Charles Thursby, aka Mr. Parks
George Reeves: Bill Lydig
Thurman Bradley: Captain Kane of the SUVA STAR
Ethel Griffries: Patience Nodbury
Lenita Lane: Dr. Anne Bonney
Milton Parsons: Gene LaFarge
Stanley Andrews: Inspector Vessey
Ralph Dunn: Policeman with checklist
Lee Tung Foo: Ship's cook/waiter
Oscar "Dutch" Hendrian: Saloon Dance Extra
Tim Ryan: Bartender
. . .
*See Rush Glick's

Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Mantan Moment . . .
. . .
You might pay attention
to the way Mantan Moreland
talks as you watch
"The Feathered Serpent,"
our Monday Night Chat Room
. . .
I wondered why he said
Tommy's name like it was
pronounced "Tawmmy."
Mother reminded me of
my Godmother, Eldria Lea
Coleman, who was born
outside of New Orleans,
Eldria Lea pronounced
it as "Tawmmy," too.
. . .
Thanks to double-checking
by Rush Glick,*
it turns out that Mantan
was from Monroe, LA.,
hence "Tawmmy,
Tawmmy . . . !"
. . . .
*Happy Mother's Day to both
Mrs. Glicks--Rush's venerable
Mother and his Wife!
I hope all you incredible
ladies have many more!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Music Day, Part II
. . . .
Monday Night's Chat Room,*
The Feathered Serpent,
has another song featured
besides Cielito Lindo.
Tommy Chan tries to sing
La Cucaracha, and
accompanying himself on
the guitar in the process.
. .
All I can say is that he
sings and plays the guitar
better than I do!
And, no, I still don't
do translations!
. . . . .
La Cucaracha+
. .
Ya murio la cucaracha,
Ya la lleven a enterrar,
Entre cuatro zopilotes
Y un raton de sacristan.
. .
La cucaracha, la cucaracha,
Ya no puede caminar;
Porque to tiene, porque le falta
Marijuana que fumar.
. .
Con las barbas de Carranza,
Voy a hacer una toquilla,
Pa'ponersela al sombrero
De su padre Pancho Villa.
. .
[Repeat Chorus]
. .
Un panadero fue a misa,
No encontrando que rezar,
Le pidio a la Vergen pura,
Marijuana pa'fumar.
. .
[Repeat Corus]
. .
Una cosa me da risa;
Pancho Villa sin camisa;
Ya se van los carraancistas
Porque vienen los villistas.
. .
[Repeat Chorus]
. .
Para sarapes, Saltillo;
Chihuahua para soldados;
Para mujeres, Jalisco;
Para amar, toditos lados.
. .
[Repeat Chorus]
. .
+(Courtesy of The Sombrero Club)
. . . . .
*See Rush Glick's

Friday, May 06, 2005

Music Day, Part I
. . . . .
I am posting the first of
two songs that are
featured in our Monday
Night Chat Movie,*
The Feathered Serpent.
(Just don't ask me
to translate!)
. . .
. .
De la sierra morena
Viene bajando viene bajando
Un par de ojitos negros
Cielito lindo de contrabando
. .
Ese lunar que tienes
Cielito lindo junto a la boca
No se lo les a nadie
Celito lindo que a mi me toca
. .
Ay ay ay ay
Canta y no llores
Porque cantando se alegran
Cielito lindo los corazones
(Courtesy of
. . . . .
*See Rush Glick's

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Hot-Weather Treat . . .
since our Monday Night Chat Room,*
Charlie Chan in the Feathered Serpent,
is set in the more tropical Mexico,
I have decided to post a punch
recipe that will come in handy
while watching this movie!
. . . . .
This punch is a combination
of recipes from my
Grandparents by way of
our late Mrs. Chan,
also known as my mother,
Becky Truesdale.
. . . . .
The Chan Family Punch
. .
Mix together:
Orange Juice
Pineapple Juice
Tropical Juice
Welch's Grape Juice
. .
Serve with whole cherries
(complete with stems),
pineapple chunks and
orange slices.
. . . . .
NOTE: My Grandfather's
recipe also called for
(and I quote exactly!)
"More rum than you need,"
which is why it's
listed separately!
. . . . .
*See Rush Glick's

A Date in Chan History . . .
"The Saturday Evening Post"
publishes the last installment
of Earl Derr Biggers latest
Charlie Chan story of
"Behind That Curtain"
on May 5, 1928.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Who's Who in The Feathered Serpent
Our Monday Night Chat Room Movie,*
Charlie Chan in the Feathered Serpent,
has quite a cast going for it!
For starters, Keye Luke returns
after several years absence
as # 1 Son. His return is ironic
since he was several months older
than Roland Winters playing his "Pop"
in this series entry!
Also ironic are two of the supporting
players in this Chan movie, given
the political hysteria decades later
over the Chan films.
Nils Asther (Prof. Paul Evans) had
played the Chinese title role in the movie,
"The Bitter Tea of General Yen,"
during his heyday years before.
Jay Silverheels (Diego) would go on to his best
known role of Tonto to Clayton Moore's
Lone Ranger, a part seen by many just as
stereotyped as the later Asian-Americans
would these Charlie Chan films.
Now, on tho the complete cast of characters:
Roland Winters: Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland: Birmingham Brown
Keye Luke: Lee Chan
Victor Sen Yung: Tommy Chan
Robert Livingston: John Stanley
Beverly Jons: Joan Farnsworth
Martin Garralaga: Pedro Lopez
George J. Lewis: Captain Juan Gonzalez
Charles Stevens: Manuel (thug leader)
Nils Asther: Professor Paul Evans
Carol Forman: Sonia Cabot
Leslie Denison: Professor Henry Farnsworth
Erville Anderson: Professor Scott
Jay Silverheels: Diego (thug with knife)
Fred Cordova: Felipe (undercover agent)
Juan Duval: Dr. Castalare
Frank Leyva: Jose (undercover agent)
Milton Ross: Pete (a thug)
*See Rush Glick's

A Real History Lesson in The Feathered Serpent!
Our Charlie Chan movie for our Monday Night Chat Room,*
The Feathered Serpent, is based on historical fact.
I'd love to give the whole lesson here but I'll
make do with poviding a photograph from the
very interesting site at
*(See Rush Glick's

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Bonus Question for Charlie Chan in Shanghai was what do Charlie Chan in Paris and Shanghai have in common?

Charlie discovers Lee in town because Lee arranged his visit to coincide with his father's visit!

Charlie Chan History
It seems I have a little catching up to do in the History Department!
In early May of 1931, Fox Films completed production on "The Black Camel."
May 1 of 1948, Monogram Pictures released "The Sky Dragon."
May 2 in 1940, "Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise" opened at the Roxy Theatre in New York City.
Monogram Picture's "Black Magic" (aka "Meeting at Midnight")
began production on May 3, 1944.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Bonus Question for our Monday
Night Chat Room Movie,
"Charlie Chan in Shanghai"*:
What does Charie Chan in Paris
have in common with
Charlie Chan in Shanghai?
I'll post the answer on Tuesday!