4 November 2011 | mmhicks
Contrary to many of the reviews, I think this is one of the best Charlie Chan movies and one of my my personal favorites. It's wonderfully escapist, taking place as it does, in a fabled location over 70 years ago.
The plot is a bit more sophisticated than many of the Chan films - no cigarettes that cause one to drop dead after one puff or poison gasses fabricated by Hollywood writers. The plot remains true to reality as valuable bonds pass from one set of slippery hands to another causing the murder of two people.
The production is stylish and most of the actors do a great job. The hyperactive, super energetic #1 son is only minimally so in this film, however Harold Huber as the chief of police overdoes himself in his brash and noisy performance. He is on camera almost as much as Chan and quickly becomes an irritant. His French accented English is almost as bad as his Brooklyn accented French.
Interestingly, all of the French characters speak French in the film - something one might expect in an art house film, but hardly in a B-movie. It certainly lends an air of authenticity but might be detracting to those who have not studied French.
Automobiles of the era play a big part in the film, the star vehicle being the gorgeous Rolls convertible that is featured in several scenes. There are many scenes of various cars - from beat-up taxis to limos fit for a king. (Watch the limo that pulls up to Karnoff's villa to pick up the bank messenger.) Also it seems that the police ride around in convertibles in Monaco!