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
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Warner Oland's second appearance as Chan, and the only entry shot on location in Honolulu, in April-May 1931. See more »
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 »
Look here, Inspector, I haven't time to sit around for Chinese picture puzzles! My ship sails at midnight!
You are rejected suitor.
But I've given you an airtight alibi.
Sorry, but alibi have habit of disappearing like hole in water.
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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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