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Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935)
This is the second in the Charlie Chan franchise, and there is a certain amount of the science of modern X-Ray technology involved in the solution of the crime. This is great movie as it features 17 years old Rita Hayworth (who was using her real name Cansino at the time) playing an exotic servant, Nayda.
It goes a little low-brow with Stepin Fetchit, well, and Warner Oland's "Yellow Face" routines, but if you let that slide, it's still a fun little movie.
Taking advantage of the craze of The Mummy (1932), this mystery is about catching a thief of Egyptian relics, and covering up a murder with a mummy's curse. But, Inspector Chan was brought in by the French Archeological Society to look into things and he's on the case.
The stock shots of the pyramids and the Sphinx shot from the air do set a rather mysterious tone for this Warner Oland Charlie Chan outing in which the bad guys use the cursed tomb ruse to cover their actions (not unlike a Scooby Doo episode). Controversially, Stepin Fetchit is here, for no apparent reason, as a lackey to some of the archaeologists. The character/caricature is incredibly racist but the actor himself (Lincoln Perry) became a crossover star in the 1930s. Rita Hayworth also makes an early appearance. Charlie doesn't round up the suspects here but the script allows suspicion to fall more naturally on the characters (or at least on the doctor). Nevertheless, this time the ending isn't really a surprise.
A treasured artifact from the age of the ancient Americans--Great horror-mystery!!
This house is marked for death.
A missing archeologist turns up dead in a tomb that he was researching. He is found with a bullet in the heart and inside a sarcophagus. Charlie Chan immediately begins investigating and is met with some aid by a family as well as pushback from a family cursed by the tomb. Can Charlie uncover the killer and his motive?
"Can I go now?"
"No. Get busy."
Louis King, director of Massacre, The Lion and the Horse, Thunder in the Valley, Moon over Burma, and Murder in Trinidad, delivers of Charlie Chan in Egypt. The storyline for this picture is just okay but the script and characters are fascinating. The acting is also very good and the cast includes Warner Oland, Rita Hayworth, and Pat Paterson.
"From life to death is the of reach a man."
I randomly DVR'd this picture off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) since I had never seen a Charlie Chan picture. The story/mystery was nothing special but the characters and script were so stereotypical and playfully written. But the characters had charm and the lines were often funny. I recommend watching this picture once and may watch additional Charlie Chan films.
"The circumstance is very mysterious."
1.5: Hmm. I was prompted to watch these by an article in The New Yorker that I read a year or two ago. I wasn't expecting them to be outstanding, but I was expecting something better than this. I have now seen essentially every Charlie Chan film, or at least all that were made between 1931 and 1947 (29 films). What struck me most is that these really have more in common with a television show than a feature film. Each film is essentially the same except for the "location." I guess it makes sense as they serve essentially the same purpose. One can essentially watch every film on auto-pilot comfortable in the knowledge that one knows exactly which characters will pop up and that everything will be satisfactorily resolved in the end. They are "C" picture at best. Sidney Toler is pretty good; Warner Toland is somewhat acceptable; and the other two one picture no-names are either inconsequential or awful. It is rather ludicrous that they didn't allow an actual Asian actor to play the role, but the portrayal of African-American's is much more heinous. They certainly pale in comparison to just about every other detective picture/TV series I've ever seen. None of the films rate an individual review so this will have to suffice for all 29.
one of my favorite enties in the chan series
OK Chan mystery has a fun plot but is stiff with bad comic relief. A better print might's made it more enjoyable.
Charlie Chan movies are like comfort food. And this one is one of the better ones despite the absence of number one son. There's some funny business with bowing between Chan and the Egyptian police chief ("His excellency!") a lot of good atmosphere (enhanced when you consider this was shot not 15 years after the discovery of King Tut's tomb) and a decent mystery. Because of Stepin Fetchit this film is now doubly poltically incorect and no longer gets any air play.
Two of cinema's greatest racist charactures-that got away with it because they're so good, Charlie Chan and Stepin Fetchit are put into a film together! Charlie Chan is called into Egypt for one reason or another, but, as usual, he finds a murder on his hands. A lot of the other actors do all the meaty work while Oland just stands around burbling proverbs lol. Still, this is one of the more entertaining Charlie Chan vehicles, primarily because of the bizarre addition of Mr. Fetchit.
Warner Oland does such a terrific job as Charlie Chan in this film entry in the series, it's one of the earlier episodes and it's a good one. Good supporting cast, excellent mystery. It's pretty clear from the title what the plot is about, Charlie is investigating Egyptian relic theft.