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The Chinese Cat

1944 1h 5m Mystery & Thriller List
Reviews 35% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings
Six months have passed since the mysterious murder of Thomas P. Manning (Sam Flint), an affluent man whose body was discovered in a locked room. The police have gotten no closer to solving the case or to uncovering the meaning of the particular chess pieces found in the victim's hand. Now, prompted by the release of a scandalous book about her father's demise, Leah Manning (Joan Woodbury) has hired eccentric detective Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) to uncover the curious truth. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (4) Critics Reviews
Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 3/5 Aug 14, 2005 Full Review Ken Hanke Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) Superior entry in the Monogram Chan series. Rated: 4/5 Dec 13, 2004 Full Review David Nusair Reel Film Reviews ...more of the same... Rated: 2/4 Nov 14, 2004 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews One of the poorer scripted Charlie Chan vehicles. Rated: C- Nov 12, 2001 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (20) audience reviews
Andy F Not the best Charlie Chan by any stretch of the imagination but number 3 son and Birmingham provide laughs. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 05/10/23 Full Review Audience Member After Warner Oland died, Sidney Toler took over as Charlie Chan with Fox's blessing for 11 films. My dad always said he liked Toler better. However, when Fox dumped the series in 1942, it moved to Monogram Pictures, a so-called Poverty Row studio. The budget dropped from $200K to $75K. Although the Chinese Cat is thought to be one of the better Monogram Chans, the low budget shows - we've got pretty spare sets and mostly fog or murky darkness. Toler is good and a bit tougher than Oland - even K. O.-ing a few crooks near the end. Mantan Moreland provides bug-eyed (racist) comic relief as Birmingham Brown. Benson Fong is wooden as Number Three Son, Tommy. For once, the crime isn't solved by Chan identifying a suspect from a group gathered together for that purpose - instead we are treated to a bit of a chase in a funhouse before the (potentially solvable) answer is revealed. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member Good old Chan murder case--Charlie Chan is forced to race the clock!! Rated 3 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 bill t This Charlie Chan film takes a while to get going, but once it gets to it's final act in the funhouse, is plenty amusing and interesting. But up until then, pretty standard. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Enjoyable and funny old school film from 1944 where Charlie Chan solves two case in one. The Murder of 3 men plus the recovery of a diamond stole a year prior. Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown adds all the enjoyment one needs for the night, he was a underrated actor and before his time. A movie for all old school Black and White Buffs 4 stars Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/23/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Chinese Cat

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Movie Info

Synopsis Six months have passed since the mysterious murder of Thomas P. Manning (Sam Flint), an affluent man whose body was discovered in a locked room. The police have gotten no closer to solving the case or to uncovering the meaning of the particular chess pieces found in the victim's hand. Now, prompted by the release of a scandalous book about her father's demise, Leah Manning (Joan Woodbury) has hired eccentric detective Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) to uncover the curious truth.
Director
Phil Rosen
Producer
Philip N. Krasne, James S. Burkett
Genre
Mystery & Thriller
Original Language
English
Release Date (DVD)
Jun 7, 2004
Runtime
1h 5m