Charlie Chan and #1 son Lee get mixed up with a mysterious woman on board a ship bound for New York. Unbeknownst to Chan, the woman is the former girlfriend of a gangster with information that, if published, could blow the lid off the underworld. She hides a small package in Chan's luggage to make sure it gets to New York safely. Shortly after arriving in New York, the woman is murdered in an office at the Hottentot Club. Can Chan discover the woman's secret and find her killer?
Charlie Chan on Broadway is yet another very solid entry in the Chan series. Warner Oland and Keye Luke are as good and entertaining as ever. Plus, anytime I see the names Marc Lawrence or Leon Ames in the credits, I know I'm in for a good time. But the highlight of this one has to be the killer's identity. It completely caught me off guard.
BIG TIME SPOILERS - If you've seen enough of the Charlie Chan movies (or any other detective type movies from the 30s and 40s), there are a few absolutes you can generally count on. One of them is that the Chan movies usually feature a young couple in love. While both may come under suspicion at some point in the movie, they are always exonerated by the end to continue their dreamy relationship. That's not the case in Charlie Chan on Broadway. One of the last people I expected - the male half of the ideal couple - is found to be the killer. It really threw me for a loop! END OF BIG TIME SPOILERS
Overall, I'm very pleased to have discovered a "new" Charlie Chan film. I look forward to revisiting it many times in the future.
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