Charlie Chan in Honolulu Reviews

  • Jan 04, 2015

    The first of the new series (still at 20th Century Fox) with Sidney Toler as the wise detective after Warner Oland's unexpected death. This time, murder takes place on Charlie's doorstep on a freighter docked in Pearl Harbor. But Charlie is distracted with his first grandchild's impending birth - so Number Two Son Jimmy tries to handle the case himself to comic effect. In fact, there is probably too much intended comedy in this outing - the mystery itself almost plays second fiddle to Eddie Collins' drunken clowning and a pet lion wandering around (not to mention Number Five Son getting into trouble too). There are the usual red herrings strewn about to implicate one or more of the sketchily drawn cast of character actors. Still, there is plenty of nostalgia value for dreams of late night TV watching with Dad.

    The first of the new series (still at 20th Century Fox) with Sidney Toler as the wise detective after Warner Oland's unexpected death. This time, murder takes place on Charlie's doorstep on a freighter docked in Pearl Harbor. But Charlie is distracted with his first grandchild's impending birth - so Number Two Son Jimmy tries to handle the case himself to comic effect. In fact, there is probably too much intended comedy in this outing - the mystery itself almost plays second fiddle to Eddie Collins' drunken clowning and a pet lion wandering around (not to mention Number Five Son getting into trouble too). There are the usual red herrings strewn about to implicate one or more of the sketchily drawn cast of character actors. Still, there is plenty of nostalgia value for dreams of late night TV watching with Dad.

  • Feb 09, 2013

    Comedy/ Drama/ Wild Animals/ Murder--Chan clan reshuffled!!

    Comedy/ Drama/ Wild Animals/ Murder--Chan clan reshuffled!!

  • Oct 17, 2012

    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.

    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.

  • Aug 02, 2011

    Entertaining, if a bit dated. I'm partial to Warner Oland's Charlie Chan but Toler does a good job. Despite the title, the plot actually takes place on a boat rather than in Honolulu. The characters were amusing.

    Entertaining, if a bit dated. I'm partial to Warner Oland's Charlie Chan but Toler does a good job. Despite the title, the plot actually takes place on a boat rather than in Honolulu. The characters were amusing.

  • Jul 21, 2011

    Although I may have to get used to Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan (taking over from Warner Oland, who died after completing Charlie Chan in Monte Carlo), the mystery here is pretty good, with Chan trying to figure out who shot someone on board a freighter. Oh, Keye Luke is gone too, but I do like Victor Yung as a suitable replacement as the number 1. son. There seems to be a Bud Abbott impersonator on board too, but let's just forget about that. This isnt the best of the lot, and again. Toler will have to be getting used to, but it's all right.

    Although I may have to get used to Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan (taking over from Warner Oland, who died after completing Charlie Chan in Monte Carlo), the mystery here is pretty good, with Chan trying to figure out who shot someone on board a freighter. Oh, Keye Luke is gone too, but I do like Victor Yung as a suitable replacement as the number 1. son. There seems to be a Bud Abbott impersonator on board too, but let's just forget about that. This isnt the best of the lot, and again. Toler will have to be getting used to, but it's all right.

  • Jun 28, 2009

    An excellent mystery and one of the best in the Charlie Chan series. It's a big plus having some laughs thrown in with the suspense. Sidney Toler does a great job, as does the supporting cast. Very enjoyable.

    An excellent mystery and one of the best in the Charlie Chan series. It's a big plus having some laughs thrown in with the suspense. Sidney Toler does a great job, as does the supporting cast. Very enjoyable.

  • Oct 01, 2008

    really good for a b movie serial

    really good for a b movie serial

  • Jul 14, 2005

    An excellent mystery and one of the best in the Charlie Chan series. It's a big plus having some laughs thrown in with the suspense. Sidney Toler does a great job, as does the supporting cast. Very enjoyable.

    An excellent mystery and one of the best in the Charlie Chan series. It's a big plus having some laughs thrown in with the suspense. Sidney Toler does a great job, as does the supporting cast. Very enjoyable.