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:
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JOHN BURKE'S INTRODUCTION:
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."
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JOHN BURKE'S EPILOGUE:
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.