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The Black Camel (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 21 June 1931 (USA)
The unsolved murder of a Hollywood actor several years earlier and an enigmatic psychic are the keys to help Charlie solve the Honolulu stabbing death of a beautiful actress.

Director:

Hamilton MacFadden (uncredited)

Writers:

Earl Derr Biggers (novel), Hugh Stanislaus Stange (adaptation) (as Hugh Stange) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warner Oland ... Inspector Charlie Chan
Sally Eilers ... Julie O'Neil
Bela Lugosi ... Tarneverro
Dorothy Revier ... Shelah Fane
Victor Varconi ... Robert Fyfe
Murray Kinnell ... Archie Smith
William Post Jr. ... Alan Jaynes
Robert Young ... Jimmy Bradshaw
Violet Dunn Violet Dunn ... Anna
J.M. Kerrigan ... Thomas MacMasters
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. MacMasters
Rita Rozelle Rita Rozelle ... Luana
Otto Yamaoka ... Kashimo
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Storyline

Movie star Sheila Fayne is seeing wealthy Alan Jaynes while filming in Honolulu, Hawaii, but won't marry him without consulting famed psychic Tanaverro first. Tanaverro confronts her about the unsolved murder of fellow film star Denny Mayo three years earlier, and she decides to reject Jaynes' proposal. When Sheila is found shot to death in her beach-front pavilion, Charlie Chan of the Honolulu Police investigates. Written by Sister Grimm <srgrimm@teleport.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The unsolved secrets of Hollywood See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan in the Black Camel See more »

Filming Locations:

Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Oland's second appearance as Chan, and the only entry shot on location in Honolulu, in April-May 1931. See more »

Goofs

When Charlie is inspecting underneath the table, the motion of the light spot on the floor does not correspond to the position of Charlie's flashlight. See more »

Quotes

Alan Jaynes: [angrily] Look here, Inspector, I haven't time to sit around for Chinese picture puzzles! My ship sails at midnight!
Charlie Chan: You are rejected suitor.
Alan Jaynes: But I've given you an airtight alibi.
Charlie Chan: Sorry, but alibi have habit of disappearing like hole in water.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

I Have a Thought in My Heart for You
(uncredited)
Written by Sol Hoopii Jr.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Here we go!
30 September 2006 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

The 2nd real Charlie Chan film, the earliest to survive of the 38 that Warner Oland and then Sidney Toler churned out over the next 16 years for Fox and Monogram. Pretty faithful to Earl Derr Bigger's book, this only suffers mildly from the echoey staginess associated with early talkies, with some erratic acting but also some lovely smoky visuals of "Honolulu".

A woman with a dark past is stabbed to death at a hotel - of course all of the guests along with the butler and maid are involved for Charlie to sort through and mull over. Unravelling the threads of the mystery Charlie proved his eyes had microscopic capabilities (wonder how much DNA fingerprinting would've slowed him down?) - and that he was one of those "very clever men able to bite pie without breaking crust". There's a beautiful scene with the entire Chan Clan at the breakfast table that's worth a look on it's own. It all runs delightfully true to form, the excellent polished cast playing up well, especially young Robert Young and Bela Lugosi.

I can't speak for everyone else of course but I still cherish the hope films 1/3/4/5 will one day be found for the additional 5 hours pleasure.


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