Docks of New Orleans (1948)

     On March 21, 1948, Monogram Pictures released the second Charlie Chan film starring Roland Winters as Charlie Chan, Docks of New Orleans.  Winters was desperate to gain the role and dyed his blonde hair black for the screen test.  Winters secured the role but had less power than the late Sidney Toler.

     Toler bought the rights to the series from Twentieth Century-Fox in 1942.  Toler made 11 films with Monogram Pictures between 1944 and 1946.  When Toler died of cancer in early 1947, Monogram Pictures wanted to continue with one of their most profitable series.


Roland Winters as Inspector Charlie Chan from the Public Domain

     Winters’ first turn as Inspector Chan was The Chinese Ring (1947), which was a scene by scene reproduction of Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939).  In Docks of New Orleans (1948), Winters again stars in a remake of the first Mr. Wong film, Mr. Wong, Detective (1938) but Monogram at least made several changes to the plot.

     A wealthy industrialist enlists Inspector Chan’s protection after he receives death threats over a new nerve gas produced by his company.  The killer cleverly disposes of the industrialist and targets his partners as well.

      Charlie Chan has to solve the crime before more murders are committed while keeping the nerve gas out of the hands of foreign agents.

     So far, I have only found this film on DVD.  You can find the box set containing this movie at many on-line retailers or maybe your local library.  Fans of the series will want to view this film and compare Winters to the other classic Charlie Chan actors, Warner Oland and Sidney Toler.

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