Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939) - Rotten Tomatoes

Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939)

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Movie Info

Movie buffs are nearly unanimous in agreement: Charlie Chan at Treasure Island is the best of the Sidney Toler "Charlie Chan" entries. The film wastes no time getting started, with Chan (Toler) and his son Jimmy (Sen Yung) on hand when Charlie's writer friend Paul Essex (Louis Jean Heydt) dies on the Honolulu Clipper while en route to San Francisco. The police rule Essex' death a suicide, but Chan believes differently. He follows the trail of clues to the mysterious Zodiac, a crooked spiritualist. The oriental detective is aided in his investigation by Rhadini (Cesar Romero), a charming stage magician who hopes to expose Zodiac as a phony and blackmailer. After several plot twists and a couple of additional murders, all the likely suspects are gathered together during one of Rhadini's performances at Treasure Island, the San Francisco branch of the 1939 World's Fair. In a truly eerie climax, mystic Eve (Pauline Moore) who really does have psychic powers, prepares to name the killer. The revelation of the culprit is a genuine surprise, staged with topnotch showmanship by director Norman Foster, whose wife Sally Blane (Loretta Young's sister) appears in a small role as Essex's widow. Many of the magicians' props utilized in Charlie Chan at Treasure Island would do service again in 1942 in the Laurel & Hardy vehicle A-Haunting We Will Go.

Cast

Sidney Toler
as Charlie Chan
Cesar Romero
as Fred Rhadini
Pauline Moore
as Eve Cairo
June Gale
as Myra Rhadini
Victor Sen Yung
as James Chan
Douglas Fowley
as Peter Lewis
Douglas Dumbrille
as Thomas Gregory
Sally Blane
as Stella Essex
Billie Seward
as Bessie Sibley
Wally Vernon
as Elmer Keiner
Charles Halton
as Uncle Redley
Trevor Bardette
as Abdul the Turk
Louis Jean Heydt
as Paul Essex
Gerald Mohr
as Dr. Zodiac
Donald MacBride
as Chief Kilvaine
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Critic Reviews for Charlie Chan at Treasure Island

All Critics (2)

The most highly regarded of the Sidney Toler Charlie Chan series.

November 9, 2005 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

An invigorating Charlie Chan escapade and the best one in the series...

May 5, 2003 | Rating: B | Full Review…
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