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Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum

1940 1h 3m Mystery & Thriller List
80% Tomatometer 5 Reviews 59% Audience Score 100+ Ratings The Chinese detective (Sidney Toler) and his No. 2 son (Sen Yung) seek villains hiding among statues of the infamous. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (5) Critics Reviews
Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Aug 12, 2005 Full Review Steve Crum Kansas City Kansan Typical Toler take on Chan. Rated: 3/5 Oct 25, 2004 Full Review Michael Szymanski Rated: 3/5 Aug 21, 2003 Full Review Ken Hanke Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) Fairly effective, but not one of the best series entries Rated: 3/5 Sep 18, 2002 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews If you disregard all the holes in the story, then you should find this one to be a refreshing thriller. Rated: B Aug 9, 2001 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (11) audience reviews
andy f This one's a corker. I much prefer Sidney Toller's take on Chan and the jokes are better! This is a lot of fun with the usual overly complicated cast of characters and plot. A better Wax museum movie than many of the horror films that covered the same subjec! Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review kevin w The murderer is never the point of these films, it's watching the inscrutable Chan (and son) on the chase, defying the odds while keeping the fun element a going concern. Here all concerned ramble about in a ooooo-scary wax museum. By the time the murderer is revealed, taken away by the late arriving police, it hardly matters anyway. That's why they made so many of these ... these Chinese (while having zero to do with anything actually Chinese) hamburgers. I wonder how they'd remake one of these nowadays? Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Another entry with Sidney Toler as Chan (after Warner Oland died but before the series moved to low-budget Monogram Pictures). Here Charlie (with "help" from Number Two Son Jimmy) knows he is being lured into a trap by an escaped killer who he sent to death row with his testimony. The action take place in a Wax Museum dedicated to killers and crime (creating a pretty creepy mise-en-scene) and as usual a host of character actors are trotted out (sometimes with very little real differentiation) to play the role of red herrings. The solution here is either too easy (one main clue) or impossible if you judge that clue to be the kind of classic misdirection that usually takes place in these films. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member Lots Of Fun Characters In This Chan Mystery--Spooky times in the Chamber of Horrors!! Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Audience Member 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. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review Audience Member This is a very enjoyable Charlie Chan film, loaded with mystery and suspense. A killer is loose in the wax museum, but who is it. Film does a good job of making everyone a suspect. With all the mystery and suspense comes some comedy as usual, Sidney Toler does a great job with his sayings. If I was going to see one Chan movie it would be this one. Worth 3 1/2 stars Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/23/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis The Chinese detective (Sidney Toler) and his No. 2 son (Sen Yung) seek villains hiding among statues of the infamous.
Lynn Shores
Ralph Dietrich, Walter Morosco
Mystery & Thriller
Original Language
Release Date (DVD)
Sep 16, 2008
1h 3m