Thursday, June 30, 2005

I would like to
take this opportunity
to wish a very
Happy Anniversary
to two excellent
friends to this site!
* * * * *
Rush and Marie Glick,
I hope that you all
have many happy
years ahead
with all the kindess,
warmth and love
that you all have
shown to those
of us who count
ourselves lucky
know you.
* * *

Today, I am pulling a magazine, Timeline, from the stacks at our Charlie Chan Library.

It's the issue from January/February of 1999 that contains an article called Charlie Chan's Poppa: The Life of Earl Derr Biggers. It's thoroughly illustrated and well-worth checking out to see if they still have back copies availaable and what they charge for these issues.

You can right to:

Ohio Historical Society
1982 Velma Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43211-2497

Or you can reach them at

I would also like to remind everybody that our Monday Night Chats are back on Monday, starting with Charlie Chan at the Olympics on July 4, from 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. (EDT),at Rush Glick's
I'll hope to see you there and all ready to start the movie at 8:30!

Monday, June 27, 2005

We are going traveling for our Tuesday Night Movie (8:00 to 10:00 P.M. [EDT]) for Charlie Chan in Reno.

We are traveling to the ghost town of Tonopah, Nevada.

"The boomtown of Tonopah was born in 1900, when Jim Butler accidentally discovered rich silver ore while chasing a wayward burro. Butler's discovery eventually produced more than $150 million in ore and spawned Nevada's last great mining rush.

"Today, nearly a century later, Tonopah and adjacent parts of central Nevada represent the final chapter in the settlement of the American west. Located at an elevation of 6020 feet amidst the hilly terrain of the San Antonio mountains, Tonopah straddles modern US Highway 95, and serves as a pleasant stopover for travelers halfway between Las Vegas and Reno.

"Tonopah is blessed with near ideal air quality characterized by clear skies and gentle winds. The past and present exist side by side in this turn-of-the-century Nevada mining town, and Tonopah is one of the best places in the state for you to get a feel for Nevada's colorful history.

"Visitors who take time to explore Tonopah and the surrounding hills and nearby ghost towns don't have to stretch their imaginations very far to get a sense of what it was like on that fateful day in 1900 when lucky Jim Butler found the strike that set off the great turn-of-the-century mining boom in central and southern Nevada."

Courtesy of

Tomorrow night is our last Tuesday Night Chat Room--8:00 to 10:00 P.M. (EDT). We go back to Monday nights starting July 4th!

July Movies:

July 4---Charlie Chan at the Olympics

July 11--Charlie Chan in Panama

July 18--The Chinese Cat

July 25--City in Darkness

I hope you can join us!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Our Charlie Chan Library is growing! And this is one library where you DON'T have to worry about making noise . . . not when Charlie's own children are running around!
I am going to the cookbook section today for two recipes, the first of which comes from Mrs. Chan's Family Cookbook. This is an old stand-by from my sister-in-law, Cheryl:

"Pink Stuff"

Mix 1 cup Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
with 1/3 cup lemon juice

Fold in:
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 small can Mandarin oranges, drained

1 can cherry pie filling
2 cups small marshmallows
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts
1~9 ounce carton Cool Whip

This is good whether you're in a city like Reno or out in the hot, dry desert. It's good as a dessert, for that matter, or as a side dish. It's also good for a quick Fourth of July addition, too.

And "Pink Stuff" is the name I put on it when I put it in the family cookbook. Don't ask me why I never asked Cheryl what she calls it!

Courtesy of

Also good for the Fourth of July celebrations is a quick appetizer from "Recipes Stenciled in Time," a cookbook brought out by the "Thistle Hill Docent Guild," 1990, a house museum in Fort Worth, TX:

Sausage Balls

1 pound sausage
2 cups grated Cheddar Cheese
3 cups Bisquick

Mix all ingredients with hands.
Form into small bite-size balls.
You can freeze and then bring out for parties at anytime.
Bake at about 350 degrees until golden brown.
They are bet baked but can be done in a microwave.
Courtesy of

Saturday, June 25, 2005

It's always a pleasure to list the cast of characters for Charlie Chan in Reno for our last Tuesday Night Chat (8:00 to 10:00 P.M. [EDT], the movie starting at 8:30). There are so many great actors on the list, ranging from ladies like Phyllis Brooks, Pauline Moore and Kay Linaker to such types as Slim Summerville and Eddie Collins!
I'm also including a shot of our Charlie Chan "tending" to some of the suspects!

Courtesy of Rush Glick's
Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Ricardo Cortez: Dr. Ainsley
Phyllis Brooks: Vivian Wells
Slim Summerville: Sheriff "Tombstone" Fletcher
Kane Richmond: Curtis Whitman
Victor Sen Yung (as Sen Yung): Jimmy Chan
Pauline Moore: Mary Whitman
Eddie Collins: The Gabby Cabbie
Kay Linaker: Mrs. Wayne Russell
Robert Lowery: Wally Burke
Charles D. Brown: Chief of Police King
Iris Wong: Choy Wong
Morgan Conway: George Bentley
Hamilton McFadden: Night Clerk
Arthur Rankin: The Bellhop
Fred Kelsey: Reno Desk Sergeant
Virginia Sale: The Maid Who Is Missing A Passkey
Stanley Blystone: Line-Up Officer
Jimmy Aubrey: Lineup Wiseguy ("Me #3 Son")
Brooks Benedict: Man in Line-Up
Heinie Conklin: Policeman
Bobby Hale: Undetermined Role
Chuck Hamilton: Policeman
Harry Hayden: chemistry Professor
Dick Hogan: Jack, College Boy
Al Kikume: Honolulu Policeman
Barbara MacLain: College Girl
Hank Mann: "injured" Con Man/Casino Extra
Imboden Parrish: Undetermined Role
Jack Perry: Rough Drunk
Edwin Stanley: Police Chemist
Blue Washington: Man in Line-Up*
*Courtesy of

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I'm prejudiced! I'm posting about a creature that I grew up around that will help us get into the mood for the desert of Charlie Chan in Reno--our Tuesday Night Chat Room (8:00 to 10:00 P.M. [EDT], with the movie starting at 8:30).

It's the Horned Lizard, or Genus "Phrynosoma," what we have always called horny toads. No cracks, please!


Of all the North American lizards, Horned Lizards are the most fearsome-looking and distinctive by virtue of the pointed, protruding "horns" above their eyes.


The numerous species of Horned Lizards, all members of the genus "Phrynosoma," have very wide, flattened, toad-like bodies. The tail is short but broad at the base. In most species, the back of the head and temples are crowned with a prominent row of sharp, pointed horns. The tail and sides are fringed with sharp spines. On some species the sides are adorned with a double fringe of spines. On the back, there are rows of short conical spines.

To the uninitiated, their dragon-like appearance is quite formidable. The squat form and head armor has given rise to the name "hornytoad," "horned toad" and "horned lizards." However, since there is a true toad with horns, it is best that we speak of this genus as the "Horned Lizards."

. . . . .

Range and Habitat

Horned Lizards are found only in the western portions of the United States and Mexico. There are 14 recognized species. They range from Arkansas to the Pacific Coast, and from British Columbia south to Guatemala. These lizards are creatures of hot, dry, sandy environment's.

. . . . .

Regardless of where they occur, there is a similarity in their habits. In the fall, they hibernate by burying themselves in the sand. They emerge in the spring when the sun's rays have reached a certain temperature. The first few hours of the day are spent basking, usually flattened against a rock or on slanting soil, so their back is exposed to the sun. At times, while warming up, they may fatten and tilt their bodies toward the sun to obtain maximum radiation.

As soon as their body temperature rises to a specific degree, they commence foraging for food. As the heat of the day increases, they become more active. They feed on slow-moving, ground-dwelling insects, spiders, sow bugs, and occasional tick and even items as large as the butterfly and sphynx moth larvae.

But ants seem to be their major food source. They do not pursue their victim hastily, like some lizards, but poise over it and methodically take it, in toad-like fashion, with a flick of their long, sticky tongue. The toad-like action ceases if disturbed, for they will flee as rapidly as a startled mouse.

After feeding, when ground temperature becomes too hot, they seek the shade of a shrub, partially concealing themselves. There they spend the remainder of the day. In the evening, while it is still warm, they "dig" in for the night.

. . . . .

. . . when found partially covered with sand, they are rather easily captured. Their defense mechanism is quite limited. When caught by hand, they may distend their bodies by filling their lungs with air and twist their head in a futile attempt to scratch you with their horns. On occasion they spurt blood from the corners of their eyes, which is startling, to say the least.

[Please check out the website for the whole fascinating article!]

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Fox Films released "Charlie Chan in Egypt" on June 21, 1935.

Courtesy of Rush Glick's, where we will watch "Charlie Chan at the Race Track" at 8:00 to 10:00 (EDT), with the movie starting at 8:30.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Today is another Charlie Chan History day but with a slight difference for our Tuesday Night Chat Night Movie, Charlie Chan at the Race Track (8:00 to 10:00 [EDT])
The "Santa Juanita" Race Track was filmed at the Santa Anita Race Track so it's appropriate to know a little more about the actual place where it was actually took place:
"Santa Anita Park is a California horse racing landmark located in Arcadia, in the outskirts of Los Angeles. Santa Anita race track opens annually on December 26, with daily racing continuing through late April. The track has a fall meeting that is presented by the Oak Tree Racing Association, and this takes place each year from early October thru early November.
"Santa Anita Park occupies approximately 320 acres. It's landmark, a 1,100-foot-long Grandstand seats 26,000 guests. The giant Infield area accommodates many thousands more. Behind the scenes are 61 barns, capable of housing more than 2,000 horses and a complete equine hospital.
"The track opened its doors for the first time on December 25, 934. Opening day attendance was placed at 30,777. The inaugural running of the famed Santa Anita Handicap took place on February 23, 1935. It was the nation's first $100,000 race, a staggering purse for a horse race, and that put Santa Anita on the horse racing map. The track was home to the legendary Seabiscuit, the winner of the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap.
"Racing halted in 1942 during World War II but resumed in 1945. In 1984, the track was the site of the arena equestrian events of the Summer Olympics and more than 200,000 people attended the events. On March 2, 1085, the all time single-day attendance record was achieved when 85,527 people attended the Santa Anita Handicap.
"Other notable track records are the following:
"-$36,264,799-Santa Anita record for total amount bet in a single day (Nov. 6, 1993)
"-$27,20,000-Amount of money Santa Anita Foundation has contributed to various charitable/benevolent organizations since 1934.
"-120,000,000-Approximate number of people that have passed through the doors of Santa Anita since Opening day in 1934.
"-$43,505,744,634-Total money wagered by Santa Anita patrons since Opening Day 1934. . . .
"Santa Anita race track hosts some of the most prominent stakes events including the San Pasqual Handicap, Monrovia Handicap, Santa Ysabel Stakes, Santa Catalina Stakes and many more. . . ."
Courtesy of

Courtesy of Rush Glick's, which also lists the Santa Anita Park at 285 West Huntington Drive in Arcadia.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

We have two trivia questions for our Tuesday Night Chat Room Movie, Charlie Chan at the Race Track at (8:00 to 10:00 [EDT] with the movie starting at 8:30).

1. What do CC at the Race Track and Charlie Chan in Panama have in common? [Please note that we will be watching CC in Panama on July 11, when we'll be back on MONDAY nights at our regular time!)

2. What do the following Charlie Chan movies have in common?
Charlie Chan in Shanghai
Charlie Chan's Secret
Charlie Chan at the Race Track
Charlie Chan at the Olympics
Charlie Chan on Broadway
Charlie Chan in Honolulu
Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise
Dangerous Money
Dead Men Tell
Dark Alibi
The Chinese Ring
. . . . .
And now for Charlie Chan like you may never have seen him before!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Today is an important day in Charlie Chan History for those of us who love--and frankly prefer--Keye Luke as Lee Chan, Charlie Chan's # 1 son.

Keye Luke was born in Canton, China, on June 18, 1904.

What most people don't know is that Luke's love of art and boxing may have had an effect on the Charlie Chan series.

His art work is seen in "Charlie Chan in Shanghai" in the drawing that he did of himself with his "# 1 female telephone call" friend. We also see him draw a copy of a map in "The Feathered Serpent."

His Lee Chan is on the way to an art exhibit where he has one of his works on display in the course of "Charlie Chan in Monte Carlo," the last film Luke was in until the already-mentioned "The Feathered Serpent."

Jimmy Chan also refers to his older brother, Lee, being in New York in "art school" in "Charlie Chan in Honolulu."

Keye Luke also loved the art of boxing. There is no way of knowing what--if any--direct effect this had on the making of "Charlie Chan at the Ringside" since it was never finished, Warner Oland walking off the set and passing away before returning to the Chan movies.

The studio did use at least part of the unfinished picture and utilized it (and Keye Luke as Lee Chan) as "Mr. Moto's Gamble," part of their Mr. Moto series with Peter Lorre in the title role.

Keye Luke also played "Clancy" in the boxing-oriented "Bowery Blitzkrieg, with the East Side Boys (with Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall and company).

Luke may have loved boxing but he ironically became known for the martial arts series of "Kung Fu" on television years later.

Courtesy of

Friday, June 17, 2005

Today I am posting the cast of characters* for our Tuesday Chat Room Movie, Charlie Chan at the Opera. [Start time is 8:00 to 10:00 (EDT) at]
This is one of the longer casts in the Chan series:
Warner Oland: Charlie Chan
Keye Luke: Lee Chan
Helen Wood: Alice Fenton
Thomas Beck: Bruce Rogers
Alan Dinehart: George Chester
Gavin Muir: Bagley
Gloria Roy: Catherine Chester
Jonathan Hale: Warren Fenton
G.P. Huntley (as G.P. Huntley, Jr.): Denny Barton
George Irving: Major Gordon Kent
Frank Coghlan, Jr.: Eddie Brill, Jockey
Frankie Darro: "Tip" Collins, Jockey
John Rogers: Mooney, Ship Cabin Steward
John Henry Allen: "Streamline" Jones
Harry Jans: Al Meers
Sidney Bracey: Ship's Steward
James Eagles: Chick Patten
Robert Ellsworth: Cop
Eddie Fetherston: Reporter
Sammy Fin: Gangster
Neil Fitzgerald: Undetermined Role
Paul Fix: Lefty
James Flavin: Detective at Headquarters
Sam Flint: Ship's Captain
Jack Green: Pinkerton Man
Ray Hanson: Third Officer
Eddie Hart: Detective
Sam Hayes: Radio Announcer
Holmes Herbert: Chief Steward, Melbourne Cup
Lew Hicks: Cops
Robert Homans: Judge
Boothe Howard: Ship's Doctor
H. Bruce Humberstone: Gambler
Selmer Jackson: J.L. Lansing, Racing Secretary
Jerry Jerome: Chuck
Colin Kenny: Judge
Al Kikume: Plainclothes Policeman in White Suit
Wilbur Mack: Bookie
George Magrill: Detective
Clyde McAtee: Pinkerton Man
Tom McGuire: Track Official
Ivan Miller: Wade
Lucille Miller: Secretary
Bruce Mitchell: Gateman
Jack Mulhall: Second Purser
William Oakley: Seaman
Pat O'Malley: Track Official
Cyril Ring: Race Track Extra
Leslie Sketchley: Seaman
Larry Steers: Railbird
Harry Strang: Detective
Bobby Tanzel: Gilroy
Forrest Taylor: Man Who Says "I'll phone Al"
David Thursby: Steward
Harland Tucker: Joe, Gangster
Max Wagner: Joe
Robert Warwick: Police Chief
Billy Wayne: Smithers
Charles Williams: Reporter
Norman Willis: Gangster
David Worth: Detective
*Courtesy of

Courtesy of Rush Glick's

Thursday, June 16, 2005

It's time for our Charlie Chan History Book, again, and it includes our movie for next Tuesday's chat room: Charlie Chan at the Race Track*:

Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan at the Race Track in mid-June, 1936.
Also in mid-June of 1940, Twentieth Century-Fox completes production of Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum.
Monogram completes production on The Shanghai Cobra in mid-June of 1945.
Monogram Pictures begins production in mid-June, 1946, on "Dangerous Money."
Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan at Treasure Island on June 16, 1939.
. . . .
*See Rush Glick's

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

To help us get into the mood for our next Tuesday Chat Night Movie,*
Charlie Chan at the Race Track, I've pulled a photograph from Rush Glick's notes on the movie at

"Santa Anita Park, located at 285 West Huntington Drive in the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia, opened in 1934. It served as the backdrop for much of the action in 'Charlie Chan at the Race Track.' although it was called 'Santa Juanita' in the film. The inaugural running of the Santa Anita Handicap took place in 1935, becoming the nation's first $100,000 race, a staggering purse at that time for a horse race, which put Santa Anita on the horseracing map. Other Hollywood movies have been shot at Santa Anita over the years, including the Marx Brothers' 'A Day at the Races' in 1937."

Courtesy of
. . . . .
*Chat Nights are from 8:00 to 10:00 (EDT) with the movie starting at 8:30. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Now . . . for our answers to our Charlie Chan Trivia quiz from
1. Which three of the following actors portrayed Charlie Chan in the movies?
0 Warner Oland
0 Sidney Toler
0 J. Carroll Naish
0 Roland Winters
0 Ho Chi Minh
0 Peter Lorre
[Oland, Toler and Winters all played Chan in the movies. Ironically, J. Carroll Naish played in Charlie Chan at the Circus and then went on to play Chan . . . on English television!]
2. How many children did Charlie Chan have?
0 Two
0 Six
0 Fourteen
0 Siamese Twins
[Duh! Fourteen]
3. What was the first Charlie Chan movie?
0 Charlie Chan Takes a Chance
0 Charlie Chan in Honolulu
0 Behind That Curtain
0 Charlie Chan Takes Two with Eggroll
[Technically, the first Chan movie was Behind That Curtain (even if he did have a VERY small role!) but our intrepid Chinese detective had already been on the big screen twice: In the 1926 serial House Without a Key, with George Kuwa as Chan; and in the 1927 serial The Chinese Parrot, with Kamiyama Sojin as Chan and (surprise!!) George Kuwa as Louis Wong.]
4. Which of these Charlie Chan movies was adapted from an Earl Derr Biggers novel?
0 Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise
0 The Black Camel
0 The Chinese Ring
0 Charlie Chan Does the Hula
[Their answer? The Black Camel but Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise was a remake of Charlie Chan Carries On. A side note is that The Chinese Ring is almost a word for word adaptation of Mr. Wong in Chinatown!]
5. Which other Asian detective followed in the movie tradition of Charlie Chan?
0 James Lee Wong
0 Judge Dee
0 Mr. Moto
0 Lo Fat
[This one is a real pip! Their answer was Mr. Moto but . . . Judge Dee was adapted from books written by a Caucasian as was Charlie Chan. Mr. Moto was their Japanese counterpart from J.P. Marquand's books. The James Lee Wong movies were based on the Collier Magazine serials by Hugh Wiley as The Saturday Even Post serialized the Chan movies.]

A publicity still from Thank You, Mr. Moto with Philip Ahn, courtesy of

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I have something new today: a Charlie Chan Trivia Quiz, courtesy of
I may leave this here for several days so you'll have time to think about the questions:
1. Which of the three of the following actors portrayed Charlie Chan in the movies?
0 Warner Oland
0 Sidney Toler
0 J. Carroll Naish
0 Roland Winters
0 Ho Chi Minh
0 Peter Lorre
2. How many children did Charlie Chan have?
0 Two
0 Six
0 Fourteen
0 Siamese Twins
3. What was the first Charlie Chan movie?
0 Charlie Chan Takes a Chance
0 Charlie Chan in Honolulu
0 Behind That Curtain
0 Charlie Chan Takes Two with Eggroll
4. Which one of these Charlie Chan movies was adapted from an Earl Derr Biggers novel?
0 Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise
0 The Black Camel
0 The Chinese Ring
0 Charlie Chan Does the Hula
5. Which other Asian detective followed in the movie tradition of Charlie Chan?
0 James Lee Wong
0 Judge Dee
0 Mr. Moto
0 Lo Fat

This photo of Warner Oland is courtesy of
Have fun and good luck.

We have a special moment in Chan History today.
"The Saturday Evening Post" started publishing installments "The Keeper of the Keys" by Earl Derr Biggers on June 11, 1932.
The serialization of Derr Biggers' last Chan novel continued through to July 16, 1932.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Let's remember that this week's movie, Charlie Chan in Honolulu, will be on TUESDAY (for June only) at 8:00 to 10:00 (EDT), with the movie starting at 8:30!
This is one of the great entries in the Chan Series, regardless of how you feel about Sidney Toler as Charlie!
The story is great, starting out with the family at table with the added suspense of Charlie's # 1 grandchild being born.
The setting is fun . . . a freighter with a great cast of character actors!
Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Victor Sen Yung: Jimmy Chan
Phyllis Brooks: Judy Hayes
John "Dusty" King: George Randolph
Robert Barrat: Captain Johnson
Eddie Collins: Al Hogan
Claire Dodd: Elsie Hillman, alias Carol Wayne
Marc Lawrence: Johnnie McCoy
Richard Lane: Mike Hannigan (alias Detective Arnold)
Layne Tom, Jr.: Willie Chan
Philip Ahn: Wing Foo
Paul Harvey: Chief Inspector Rawlins
Arthur Loft: Peabody
Grace Key: Mrs. Chan
Florence Ling: Ling [Number One Daughter]
Iris Wong: Number Two Daughter
Barbara Jean Wong: Number Tree Daughter
Faye Lee: Number Four Daughter
Margie Lee: Number Five Daughter
Sinclair Yip: Number Three Son
David Dong: Number Four Son
Frank Dong: Number Five Son
Richard Alexander: Tough Crewman Chomping Cigar as Jimmy Questions Him
James Flavin: Homicide Division Desk Officer
Al Kikume: Police Officer Molokai

We have another day out of Charlie Chan History!
Twentieth Century-Fox began Charlie Chan on Broadway on June 10, 1937.
(Courtesy of Rush Glick's

Thursday, June 09, 2005

It's time to pull a book or two from our Charlie Chan Library Shelf!
Our Tuesday (for June only) Night Chat Room* has Jimmy Chan with his own business cards. I don't couldn't find anything about those kind of cards but I can help with the social use of calling calls back in the days when Charlie Chan in Honolulu was made.

A modern calling card, courtesy of
To quote the etiquette maven, Miss Manners:
"Social cards were the voice mail of their day. That is, leaving them on friends indicated that you had attempted to deliver your message directly even if you had timed the delivery so as to avoid doing so. The code system of corners bent saved you (and those nice white kid gloves you wore when you went calling) from having to write out the message.
"A card with its upper left corner bent forward means 'I was here, and sorry not to find you in.'
"A bent upper right corner means 'Congratulations.'
"A bent lower right corner means 'Condolences.'
"Finally, a bent lower left corner means, 'I'm leaving town, so goodbye.'"
(Courtesy of
From "The Army Wife" by Nancy Shea; Harper & Brothers, publishers; third edition; page 159:
"In some circles, such as the United States Army, it was tradition prior to World War II to write 'p.p.c.' (pour prender conge [meaning 'to take leave']) in the lower left hand corner instead of bending it."
"The Army Wife," page 81:
"It was also customary for people to have joint calling cards as well as the officer and his wife to have their own cards. They could leave one card and the officer leaving one of his when calling on another couple. It could get tricky when calling on a household without joint cards or with several members of a family because the officer left a card for each person called on while his wife left cards for each lady called on: 'A lady NEVER calls socially on a man; so she leaves a card for each adult woman only. An officer leaves a card for each person called on."
*From 8:00 to 10:00 (EDT) at

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Our Monday Night Chat is tonight, Tuesday night, at the regular time: 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. (EDT) with tonight's movie, The Shanghai Cobra, starting at 8:30 P.M.
I thought I'd post a picture from the movie to help get us in the mood . . . Janet Warren as the Record Machine Operator, Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan and Benson Fong as Tommy Chan:
Courtesy of Rush Glick's

We are taking another page out of our Charlie Chan History Book: Fox Films released The Black Camel on June 7, 1931.
I found a couple of lobby cards of The Black Camel that you might enjoy!
The first one is courtesy of Rush Glick at

This one is courtesy of Just don't ask me where the right half is!

Monday, June 06, 2005

It's blooper time for The Shanghai Cobra, our TUESDAY Night Chat Room Movie! Tuesdays for the month of June only but at the regular time: 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. (EDT) with the movie starting at 8:30 P.M.

One blooper that Shanghai Cobra shares with Charlie Chan in the Secret Service is our Charlie leaving a Federal Building that's supposed to be in Washington, D.C., during World War II.

For starters, what is the California State Flag doing flying in front of a Washington building at any time?!?!

You'll notice few people and even fewer cars on the street when Washington was so crowded that people couldn't find transportation or rooms to stay even overnight, much less for an extended period.

The other blooper involves Charlie being in Shanghai eight years before The Shanghai Cobra takes place when Jan Van Horn had been arrested there. Van Horn had been taken aboard a police boat--in handcuffs and bandages (from a burn).

The two policemen with him were standing with Van Horn in the boat (don't ask me why--I've never understood why they made him stand either!) so it was easy for Van Horn to distract one and push the other off balance. So he jumps out of the boat and swims off, still in handcuffs with bandages still covering his head and hands.

Any body that can do that should have been given the role of Superman in my book!

This picture doesn't have anything to do with the bloopers but it does show the "jukebox lady" who figures in the mystery of The Shanghai Cobra!

Courtesy of Rush Glick at

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Our Tuesday Night Chat Room Movie*, The Shanghai Cobra, has an unusual item: A jukebox that is operated by remote control, as it were. You put your coin in the slot and tell the operator what you want to hear. The operator, in another location entirely, starts your song and it's put through to your jukebox.
Don't ask me how it works. The closest thing I've seen is in anther movie, The Crime Doctor's Diary, the last entry in the series with Warner Baxter as the Crime Doctor.
But I have checked out
"The word Jook is an old African-American term, meaning to dance, sometimes used with sexual connotations. It has also been suggested that the Southern jute crop fields had workers who frequented low class road houses or makeshift bars, which were called juke (or Jute) joints, where these early Jukeboxes would appear.
"Whatever the origin, the juke joint was a spot for dancing, and the jukebox provided the music. By 1927, The Automatic Music Instrument Company created the world's first electrically amplified multi selection phonograph. With this amplification, suddenly the Jukebox could compete with a large orchestra, for the cost of a nickel. Prohibition assured the jukeboxes success, as every underground speakeasy needed music, but could not afford a live band. Tavern owners were privileged to have a jukebox, which drew in customers, and was provided by an operator at no charge.
"The importance of the jukebox to Bluesmen, and the White Country and Rockabilly artists at Sun Records cannot be underestimated. Much of early radio was live concerts staged at fashionable hotels, like the ritzy Peabody Hotel's Skyway broadcasts where a young Sam Phillips started his broadcasting career. These radio concerts were of respectable music of the day; light Classical, Swing, Jazz orchestras, or show tunes. The lower class Blues "Race music," or Rockabilly, were not held in high esteem as worthy of a radio broadcast. So Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Muddy Waters, Bessie Smith, Roosevelt Sykes, and Carl Perkins with their wild rebel music had to find another medium.
"Aside from the Chitlin Circuit (Black patrons and musicians), the jukebox was the only place to hear this type of music, from the late 1920's until the late 1950's. In it's heyday, the jukebox provided the power to sell hundreds of records at once for artists like Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
"The jukebox was color blind in a segregated world. Black patrons thought Bill Black, Carl Perkins, and Steve Cropper were Negroes singing, while White patrons, were exposed to, and accepted Black artists work, never having seen the performer in person.
"After the depression, jukebox sales rose dramatically, as leading manufacturers Wurlitzer, Seeburg, and Rock-Ola, devised spectacular creations of wood, metal, and phenollic resins which danced behind tubes of enchanting cellophane, Polaroid film, and plastic.
"Interestingly enough the Rock-Ola name had nothing to do with Rock n' Roll. Like Seeburg, and Wurlitzer, it was the last name of the companies founder, Canadian David Rockola. During World War II from 1942 till early 1946, jukebox production was halted by the US government to conserve labor and materials for war efforts. Wurlitzer's 1946 model 1015 was the most popular of the era with more than 56,000 units shipped under the slogan "Wurlitzer Is Jukebox."
*See Rush Glick's


Friday, June 03, 2005

It's time again for Joe's Beef Stew!!
Okay . . . okay . . . so it's my family's recipe. Face it--Joe isn't giving his out so you're stuck with ours!!
And, yes, I am posting it again for I've forgotten how many times. No complaints yet and maybe there's somebody who hasn't seen it yet!
I'm also including a lobby card with Joe, himself, to go with it:
. . . . .
Mrs. Chan's* Beef Stew
. . .
Salt, flour and brown two to three cups of chopped-up meat in a dutch oven. You can add beer (that's been allowed to come to room temperature) or Port wine. If you get thirsty, just remember that water is healthier for you anyway! Mother always tried to use left-over prime rib roast but who goes to that much trouble these days?
Cook one large, white, cut-up onion plus four stalks of celery that have been cut into one-inch pieces and cooked until carmelized over low heat for about 30 minutes in a skillet. (Carmelizing is done by putting butter, margarine, Pam, etc., in a skillet and cooking the vegetables over low heat until they start getting a golden glaze on them.)
Add them to the dutch oven with:
2 large and diced potatoes
Carrots, sliced
Lima Beans
Whole Tomatoes (big can, breaking up into chunks--I have no idea why Mother went to the trouble of getting canned tomatoes)
Garlic, chopped, minced, or dried (dried garlic should be put into the beer first and anybody who drinks it shouldn't be messing with somebody else's beer anyway--unattended or not!)
1 tablespoon Sugar
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Bay leaf or two (just be sure to get them out before anybody tries to eat them)
Let cook until a fork slides easily in and out of the meat.
Serve with your choice of bread or cornbread and enjoy!
*For those who are new . . . Mrs. Chan was the "nom de Chan" for my late Mother, Becky Truesdale, who loved her old movies and good food and sharing them!

Courtesy of Rush Glick at

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The cast for Tuesday's Chat Night Movie,* The Shanghai Cobra, has some well-known characters. Or at least their faces are familiar!
Gene [Stuten]Roth, as Morgan, was also seen in such diverse shows as in The Three Stooges shorts and the Perry Mason series with Raymond Burr in the 1950's. He also appeared in Charlie Chan in the Secret Service with Cyril Delevanti (here as Detective Larkin in Cobra) as the butler.
Addison Richards, as John Adams, was another character actor of note, having played Polly Benedict's father in the Andy Hardy movies.
James Flavin, as H.R. Jarvis, was one of the sailors who went in search of King Kong with Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, and Bruce Cabot.
George Chandler is the best known of the character actors in Shanghai Cobra as Joe, the coffee shop owner, who kept trying to sell his home-made-from-scratch stew!
Have fun seeing who you recognize!
Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland: Birmingham Brown
Benson Fong: Tommy Chan
James Cardwell: Ned Stewart
Joan Barclay: Paula Webb
Addison Richards: John Adams
Arthur Loft: Bradford Harris
Janet Warren: Record Machine Operator
Gene Roth (as Gene Stutenroth): Morgan
Joe Devlin: Taylor
James Flavin: H.R. Jarvis
Roy Gordon: Walter Fletcher
Walter Fenner: Police Inspector Harry Davis
Andy Andrews: Patrolman Outside Joe's Coffe Shop
George Chandler: Joe, Coffee Shop Owner
Cyril Delevanti: Dectective Larkin
John Goldsworthy: Inspector Mainwaring
Stephen Gregory: Samuel Black
Karen Knight: Switchboard Supervisor
Mary Moore: Rita, Laundry Clerk
Paul Newlan: Big Bank Guard
Diane Quillan: Phone Operator
Jack Richardson: Letter Carrier
William Ruhl: Mr. Grey

*We are having our Chat Nights on Tuesdays for the month of June only. Regular time is 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. (EDT) with the movie starting at 8:30 P.M. See Rush Glick's

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

How good is your "eye"?!?!
The reason I ask is that I have a few questions to keep in mind while you watch this Tuesday's Chat Night Movie,* The Shanghai Cobra. I'll post my answers next Wednesday.
. . . . .
What do Secret Service and Shanghai Cobra have in common?
. . . . .
What do Black Camel, Olympics and Shanghai Cobra have in common?
. . . . .
What do Shanghai Cobra and Dark Alibi have in common?
Here's a clue!

*See Rush Glick's