- Written by Classic Cinema Online
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings back the legendary master of crime in the Charlie Chan Collection -- four beloved films making their DVD debut, and now available for the first time, newly remastered, as a single collection. Included are Shadows Over Chinatown, starring Sidney Toler in one of his last Chan films, plus Docks of New Orleans, Shanghai Chest, and The Golden Eye starring Roland Winters, the last actor to play the detective on film. The 4-disc set will sell for $39.92 SRP. Order due date is July 2.
Writer Earl Derr Biggers created Charlie Chan, a fictional Chinese-American sleuth, in a series of printed tales beginning in 1923. As early as 1926, the first of more than 48 Charlie Chan films was put on the silver screen. Actor Warner Oland, born in Sweden, began a popular run for Fox in 1931 in Charlie Chan Carries On. After its success, Fox would produce 15 more Chan films starring Oland. Not surprisingly, the films became the most popular in 1930s China.
After Oland died, Sidney Toler, an American actor with Scottish roots, took on the Chan role. Toler starred in 22 Chan films, first for Fox and later for Monogram Studios. After Toler's death, Roland Winters became Chan in six more films. The character has also been featured frequently on radio, television and in the comics.
This collection comes with four titles:
- Shadows Over Chinatown (Starring Sidney Toler)
- Docks of New Orleans (starring Roland Winters)
- Shanghai Chest (Starring Roland Winters)
- The Golden Eye (Starring Roland Winters)
I got a kick out of watching these classic mystery favorites. These are the kind of movies one can watch and they never seem to get old, and you can pick up something new every time you watch it.
For example, I noticed that it seems like the same courthouse building appears in most episodes - no matter where Chan is.
Adding a little humor to these episodes are Chan's son, Jimmy Chan (Victor Sen Yung) and his driver, Birmingham (Mantan Moreland), bungling the case while trying to help solve it. In one of the movies, Shanghai Chest, Birmingham goes nuts when he enters a funeral parlor and thinks the funeral director, who was taking a nap on a cot, is a corpse that moves. Certainly his character adds additional charm with that eye bulging, fearful expression he was so famous for.
Interested in purchasing this set? It can be found at the WB Shop online.
Be sure to check out these other Charlie Chan Collections, as well:
TCM Spotlight: Charlie Chan Collection DVD
The Amazing Chan And The Chan Clan : The Complete First Season