Charlie Chan in Honolulu



Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 46%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 1638

hawaii honolulu, hawaii

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
August 02, 2022 at 09:29 PM

Top cast

621.6 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 7 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 8 / 10

Most Enjoyable Charlie Chan

This has to be the wildest of the Charlie Chan movies I've seen. It was Sidney Toler's first effort in the lead role, replacing Warner Oland, and it featured more comedy than any other Chan film to that point.

In this film, Chan and his number two son Tommy, his number five son Charlie Jr., and others including a doctor who keeps a live brain in his suitcase, all provide laughs. Along the way is a funny-faced lunatic animal keeper and a lion on the loose. They provide a lot of laughs.

As far as suspects go, there is a strange psychiatrist (the one with the portable brain), two pretty women, two ship's captains, a guy disguised as a cop and his suspect. I told you it was wild. It's too difficult to figure out "whodunnit," so you just sit back and enjoy the wild action and humor.

Yeah, it's silly.....but it''s tremendously enjoyable.

Reviewed by classicsoncall 6 / 10

"Honolulu Police frown on choking bay with bodies."

"Charlie Chan in Honolulu" opens with a view of the mailbox at the Chan family home, reading 'Chas. Chan' - I never really thought of the Oriental Detective as "Chas". The film is Sidney Toler's debut as the master detective, along with Victor Sen Yung's first portrayal of Number #2 Son Jimmy, although he appears in the credits simply as Sen Yung. Layne Tom, Jr. is back, this time as unnumbered son Tommy; he had appeared in "Charlie Chan at the Circus" and "Charlie Chan at the Olympics" as Number #2 Son Charlie Jr., but his age in those films does not coincide with the chronology of the Chan offspring, which is revealed in this film to be at thirteen.

With Charlie off in a rush to the Maternity Hospital for the birth of his first grandson, Tommy intercepts a phone call from the Honolulu Police stating a murder has been committed aboard the freighter Susan B. Jennings. Tommy convinces brother Jimmy to get involved with the case, then manages to stow away aboard the ship to help with the investigation. Charlie meanwhile, about to view his first grandchild strikes a comedic note describing a nurse's mistake in bringing out a black baby - "wrong flavor".

By the time the elder Chan gets wind of the murder case, Jimmy is deeply embroiled in the effort, having been mistaken for the famed detective. There's a colorful cast of characters offered here, led by the sinister presence of George Zucco's character Dr. Cardigan, a criminal psychologist who reveals his penchant for nursing a live human brain! The comedic chores of the film are handled by animal keeper Hogan (Eddie Collins), who spends most of his time keeping the free ranging Oscar the Lion in check.

The murder victim was to have received three hundred thousand dollars in a business deal, delivered by Miss Judy Hayes (Phyllis Brooks). Fellow passenger Carol Wayne is eventually revealed to be the wife of the victim, seeking a divorce and in a pact with the ship's captain to steal the money; Ms. Wayne/Hillman eventually becomes victim number two. Rounding out the passenger list aboard the freighter, and thrown in as likely suspects are a supposed Detective Arnold (Richard Lane) and his captive Johnny McCoy (Marc Lawrence). Chan smokes out the phony detective, a McCoy accomplice, as he sets up the ship's captain (Robert Barrat) to reveal his identity with a rigged gun threaded to a hidden camera; the camera reveals the person who made an attempt on Chan's life as he comes close to solving the mystery.

As Charlie Chan films go, this one is probably about middle of the road in terms of interest, though a fine effort for Sidney Toler's first portrayal of Chan. For the viewer, there's a little more to go on to solve the murders than the earlier Warner Oland mysteries, so the revelation does not come off as a complete surprise. But the real payoff comes at the end of the film when Charlie receives word that he has become a new "grand pop" - his response to the news: "In present case am only innocent bystander."

Reviewed by Jim Tritten 7 / 10

Chan clan reshuffled

Sidney Toler makes his debut as Lieutenant Charlie Chan in this who-done-it mystery where the writer actually plants sufficient clues that the alert viewer might be able to ascertain the guilty party before all is revealed at the end. Bravo - the Warner Oland Chan movies rarely offer such a treat. Toler plays a more animated Chan than did Oland - most fans have their preference. This Chan moves fast and points out more clues along the way.

The Toler series opens with a Chan family gathering and an impending birth of his first grandchild. Chan admits to having a total of 13 children of which 10 are sons. Son Lee's absence is explained as being in art school in New York and Victor Sen Yung (billed as Sen Yung) is introduced as Chan's #2 son James (as shown in closing credits). Jimmy both aids his Pop and hinders the investigation but wants to become a detective.

In Charlie Chan at the Circus, Chan's #2 son is Charlie Jr., played by Layne Tom, Jr. In this new film, Layne Tom plays #5 son Tommy but the IMDb listing and all reviews show him as Willie. The closing credits clearly show Layne Tom playing the role of Tommy Chan and I never heard anyone refer to him by name - except perhaps the ship's Captain who says he is tired of this `tommyrot.' In this film, the Chan family is awaiting birth of first grandchild - this theme forming the basis of some good comedy throughout.

The bulk of the story takes place aboard the freighter Susan B. Jennings that is taking a mixed cargo from China to the US. The cargo includes animals for a San Francisco zoo - to include Oscar the lion and Eddie Collins as a great comedic keeper. George Zucco is superb as the eccentric psychiatrist Dr. Cardigan who is keeping alive the brain of Chinese murderer Chan Ho Ping. The rest of the supporting cast does a credible job and the viewer is offered a menu of suspicious characters and planted clues. `Opinion like tea leaf in hot water - both need time for brewing.' Just stick to the main clues as they are revealed and you might just get to the end along with Lieutenant Chan.

There are fewer racial slurs in this offering although the elder Chan makes reference to the `wrong flavor' when viewing a newly born black child. Probably too much time is spent with Oscar and Al but he is funny.

Chan gathers everyone together at the end in the Captain's Cabin where he tricks the guilty party into taking a final incriminating step. The last scene is interrupted by a phone call from the hospital and the lights being turned off, but in the end, justice prevails. As in earlier Chan movies, the detective knows some facts that the viewer cannot know, but in this film those facts are not vital to figuring out the solution.

By the way, the grandchild is a boy. Recommended.

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