Charlie Chan in The Chinese Cat (1944)
The Chinese Cat (1944) is one of the eleven Charlie Chan films produced by Monogram Pictures with Sidney Toler in the lead role. The film begins with Leah Manning, played by Joan Woodbury, seeking Inspector Chan’s assistance in clearing her mother of her stepfather’s murder a year before.
Mrs. Manning was acquitted of the murder but a criminologist has just released a “fiction” book which is a thinly veiled retelling of the murder. The criminologist lays the blame for the murder on the dead man’s wife. The book states that the detective assigned to the case fell in love with Leah Manning and bungled the case.
Tommy Chan accepts the case but Inspector Chan honors Tommy’s acceptance. Inspector Chan makes a wager with the criminologist that he will find the real killer who is not Mrs. Manning. Inspector Chan has no shortage of suspects as Mr. Manning was involved with a gang of criminals.
Mr. Manning’s former business partner Webster Deacon, played by Cy Kendall, tries to encourage Mrs. Manning to call off Inspector Chan. Mrs. Manning refuses despite what the investigation may do to her husband’s company. Inspector Chan tells Tommy that this case is his most baffling but will it prove to difficult for even Charlie Chan.
Cy Kendall was born Cyrus Willard Kendall in St. Louis, MO on March 10, 1898. Kendall was a large man who often played gangsters amidst a few roles as a policeman. He died of sudden heart attack on July 22, 1953 at 55 years of age.
The Chinese Cat is one of the best of the Monogram films starring Sidney Toler. The film runs about 65 minutes. Like most of the Monogram films, this film is available in the public domain. You can view it on YouTube by clicking here.
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