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Charlie Chan At The Opera

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  Charlie Chan At The Opera Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
7.00 /10
Warner Oland , Boris Karloff , Keye Luke
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Directed by: H. Bruce Humberstone
Written by: Scott Darling, Charles Belden from story by Bess Meredyth, based on character created by Earl Derr Biggers

Released: 1937
Origin: US
Colour: BW
Length: 66

The Chinese detective (Warner Oland, pictured right with Boris Karloff) investigates a backstage murder.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Charlie Chan first appeared in a 1926 serial, House Without a Key. The Charlie Chan series of B-movies were released from 1931 to 1949, with the wise Chinese detective - inspired by a real-life model, Chang Apana, who lived in Honolulu - played by Warner Oland (in 16 films, 1931-7), Sidney Toler (in 21 films, 1938-47) and Roland Winters (6 films, 1947-9).

This one is the best, featuring an intriguing atmosphere, a complex whodunit plot and Oland in his 13th attempt at the role. Boris Karloff is a memorable guest star, playing a bonkers baritone; and Oscar Levant and William Kernell wrote a cod opera, Carnival, specially for the film. The director makes clever use of a set borrowed from the 1937 film Cafe Metropole.

Others in the series which won a measure of critical acclaim are Charlie Chan At The Circus (1936), Charlie Chan On Broadway (1937), Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939), Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum (1940) and Castle in the Desert (1942).

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