Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 3


The Black Camel (1931)     Charlie Chan's Secret (1936)
Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937)     Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo (1937)

Behind That Curtain (1929)

 

Fans of detective Charlie Chan's suspenseful mysteries and fortune cookie wisdom will find joy as they dodge bullets with some of the Chinese policeman's most thrilling and dangerous cases. A staple of 30s and 40s Hollywood, Charlie Chan's profound wit and lighthearted counsel in the face of the criminal element has made him a cinematic icon, transcending generations and stereotypes to become one of film's most beloved crime-solvers. Four of Charlie Chan's most-ingenious cases make their DVD debut in The Charlie Chan Collection “Volume Three“ starring the original and often-imitated but never equaled Warner Oland as the sage detective including Charlie Chan's Secret, Charlie Chan On Broadway, Charlie Chan At Monte Carlo and The Black Camel, which also stars Bela Lugosi (Dracula). The collection also includes the 1929 film Behind That Curtain Charlie Chan's premiere appearance in a sound film.


Titles

 


 

The Black Camel
Stars Warner Oland, Bela Lugosi, Robert Young, Victor Varconi, J.M. Kerrigan and Marjorie White
Directors: Hamilton MacFadden
Theatrical Release Date: June 21st, 1931
This may be an important movie historically. Not only does it appear to be the earliest surviving of the Warner Oland Charlie Chan movies, but it may be the first time a horror star was cast as a red herring in a mystery. I base this assumption on the fact that Bela Lugosi was the first horror star (yes, Lon Chaney predated him, but he was never really a "horror star" per se, nor do I think he was ever used as a red herring in a mystery), and this movie gives him a very high credit, indicating that it must have been made after he gained fame in DRACULA.

Excerpt from Dave Sindelar's scifilm.org musings located HERE
 

Charlie Chan's Secret

Stars  Warner Oland, Rosina Lawrence, Charles Quigley, Henrietta Crosman, Edward Trevor and Astrid Allwyn
Directors: Gordon Wiles
Theatrical Release Date: January 17th, 1936
A serial-like pace and some stylish directorial choices by Gordon Wiles distinguish this "Charlie Chan" entry. The reading of a will is delayed until young Fred Gage (Edward Trevor), one of the principal heirs to the fortune, can be located. Gage shows up at the family mansion, only to be promptly murdered. It is now up to detective Charlie Chan (Warner Oland), an old friend of the family, to protect dowager Henrietta Lowell (Henrietta Crossman), from harm.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE
 

Charlie Chan on Broadway
Stars Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Joan Marsh, J. Edward Bromberg and Douglas Fowley
Directors: Eugene Forde

Theatrical Release Date: September 18th, 1937
A superior Charlie Chan mystery. Charlie (Oland) and Number One Son, Lee (Luke), arrive by steamship in New York and get involved with newspaper gossip reporters, the underworld element, and the nightclub crowd. They are tracking down a murderer who wants to get hold of a diary that will expose the rackets and lots of other scandals in town. This was a hard whodunit to figure out, as the most unlikely one ends up as the murderer.

Excerpt from Dennis Schwartz review at Ozu's world located HERE


Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo
Stars Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Virginia Field, Sidney Blackmer, Harold Huber and Kay Linaker
Directors: Eugene Forde
Theatrical Release Date: December 17th, 1937
Synopsis - While on a gambling junket in Monaco Charlie Chan is called upon to solve a couple of murders; a casino messenger who was on his way to Paris with a million dollars in bonds and the second is a Chicago gangster. Typical Chan fare with authenticity as some of the dialogue in French.

Posters

Theatrical Releases: Various from 1931 - 1937

  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Recommend:

DVDBeaver whole-heartedly recommend all five of the Fox Charlie Chan Boxsets:

 

Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC
Time: About 7 hrs. total on four discs (one dual sided)
Audio English (original mono) 
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 (Behind that Curtain is 1.15) 

Edition Details:

• Disc 1: Charlie Chan's Secret (1936) - Commentary by Film Critic Ken Hanke & Film Historian John Cork **Charlie Chan and the Rise of the Modern Detective **Dr. Henry Lee: The Modern Day Charlie Chan **Restoration Comparison **Still Gallery
• Disc 2: Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937) - The World of Charlie Chan **Chanograms: The Aphorisms of Charlie Chan **Restoration Comparison **Still Gallery
• Disc 3: Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo (1937) Side A:  - Charlie Chan is Missing: The Last Days of Warner Oland **Restoration Comparison **Still Gallery **"Warner Oland is Charlie Chan" Poster Gallery
Side B: **"Behind That Curtain" (B&W) (91:00) **Released in 1929, this film features the first appearance of the Charlie Chan character at Fox.
• Disc 4: Charlie Chan - The Black Camel (1931) **Full Frame Feature - B&W **Commentary by Film Critic Ken Hanke & Film Historian John Cork **Charlie Chan's Chance: A Recreation of a Lost Chan **Restoration Comparison **Still Gallery


DVD Release Date: August 14th, 2007

4 standard Keep Cases inside a cardboard box
Chapters: 20 each

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: Although the main features of this boxset are housed in individual keep cases (see images below) they are not sold separately at this time and can only be obtained in the Fox Charlie Chan Collection Volume 3 Boxset. They have been transferred in the NTSC standard, coded for Region 1 with original mono audio and optional yellow English, French or Spanish subtitles. All are single layered except The Black Camel which is dual layered. Disc 3 has Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo on one side and Behind That Curtain (in 1.15 ratio) on the other. 4 of the 5 features start with this caveat:

Image: Aside from ...On Broadway the image quality appears slightly inferior to the Vol. 2 collection (reviewed HERE) showing the similar weaknesses of source material and age of Vol. 1. Contrast is quite strong from digital manipulation but there is noise artifacts and apparent muddiness of detail. Digital restoration (Fox spent over $2 million restoring all of their Chan and Mr. Moto films) would have benefited more from dual-layered transfers but the restoration comparisons support a noticeable improvement. I continued my love affair with this vintage cinema. The films in this boxset might be some of the best Chan films I have seen. I expect the series would have continued much longer if Oland had lived longer.   

Audio - Decent with minimal hiss and overall dialogue remains consistent and clear. It is expected that there is some dynamic weakness being mono and considering the age of the films but it is easily good enough for standard viewing. Comparatively speaking it may be a at about the same level as the video quality - or perhaps slightly superior at times.

Extras - Charlie Chan's Secret and The Black Camel have very good commentaries by film critic Ken Hanke and Film Historian John Cork. As well as restoration comparisons, stills and poster galleries there are 6 featurettes; Charlie Chan and the Rise of the Modern Detective, Dr. Henry Lee: The Modern Day Charlie Chan, The World of Charlie Chan, Chanograms: The Aphorisms of Charlie Chan, Charlie Chan is Missing: The Last Days of Warner Oland and Charlie Chan's Chance: A Recreation of a Lost Chan.

Well, the Warner Oland cycle is now complete and I think this may be my favorite of the three boxsets for both the films (all four 'full' Chans are very entertaining viewing)  as well as the extensive supplements. It seems Fox saved the best for last.    

Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus


Extras: Featurettes - "Charlie Chan and the Rise of the Modern Detective, Dr. Henry Lee: The Modern Day Charlie Chan, The World of Charlie Chan,Chanograms: The Aphorisms of Charlie Chan, Charlie Chan is Missing: The Last Days of Warner Oland and Charlie Chan's Chance: A Recreation of a Lost Chan.". Plus commentaries, Restoration Comparison, galleries.


 

Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

The Black Camel USA 1931


Starring Warner Oland, Bela Lugosi, Robert Young, Victor Varconi, J.M. Kerrigan and Marjorie White

 

 

 


Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Charlie Chan's Secret USA 1936


Starring  Warner Oland, Rosina Lawrence, Charles Quigley, Henrietta Crosman, Edward Trevor and Astrid Allwyn 

 

 

 


Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Charlie Chan on Broadway USA 1936


Starring Stars Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Joan Marsh, J. Edward Bromberg and Douglas Fowley

 

 


Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo USA 1937


Starring Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Virginia Field, Sidney Blackmer, Harold Huber and Kay Linaker

 


Behind That Curtain (note 1:1.15 ratio)

 

 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Recommend:

DVDBeaver whole-heartedly recommend all five of the Fox Charlie Chan Boxsets:

 

Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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