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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CHARLIE CHAN ON BROADWAY (1937)


Warner Orland’s penultimate appearance as Charlie Chan rates near the top of the series. There’s only a modest amount of the generic trimmings that drag down so many Chan pics, and regular megger Eugene Forde is uncharacteristically peppy. He even manages to jazz things up visually with some neat camera moves that do double and even triple narrative duty in a twisty tale about a good-time gal who returns to NYC with a secret diary everyone wants to get their hands on. Then, when the solution to the crime comes out, it’s a real trope busting surprise. The supporting cast is better than average, look for a young Leon Ames, and Key Luke’s Number One son even gets to have a legit flirtation. Good fun. And listen close to check out the name of the newspaper publisher in this FOX flick . . . ready, it's Murdock! I kid you, not.

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