Charlie Chan in Shadows Over Chinatown (1946)

     When Twentieth Century-Fox decided to drop the Charlie Chan series after Castle in the Desert (1942), Sidney Toler purchased the rights to the series and took it to Monogram Pictures.  After making 11 films with Twentieth Century-Fox, Toler would make 11 Charlie Chan films with Monogram Pictures.


Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan from the Public Domain

     Shadows Over Chinatown (1946) was the ninth film that Toler made for Monogram Pictures.  In this film, Inspector Charlie Chan is looking for Mary Connover, a missing person.  Mary disappeared because of a criminal syndicate that she was working for as an escort.  Mary’s grandmother asks Inspector Chan for helping in finding her granddaughter.

     Inspector Chan, his number 2 son Jimmy, played as usual by Victor Sen Yung, and Birmingham Brown, played by Mantan Moreland, travel to San Francisco to look for Miss Connover.  Jimmy and Birmingham find opportunities to get in to mischief as usual.  Complicating Inspector Chan’s investigation is an AWOL Marine and a private detective, who keeps getting in Inspector Chan’s way.

     Inspector Chan realizes that discovering the cause of the girl’s fear will lead to solving the case.  When a woman’s torso is found in the desert, police fear that it is Mary Connover.   However, Charlie Chan discovers it is not her by a clever anatomical observation.

     Like many of the later Charlie Chan films, this film is just over an hour.  While Sidney Toler was sick with cancer at the time of the film, he was not noticeably struggling like he would in the last two films, Dangerous Money (1946) and The Trap (1946).

     This film can only be viewed on DVD at this time.  Many of the other films are available on YouTube.  You can leave a comment or ask a question about this or any post on my Facebook pageTwitter profile and Google+ page.

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