Tuesday, August 8, 2017

In Search of Charlie Chan (2006)

Director: John Cork

Writer: John Cork

Starring: Howard Berlin, Jon L. Breen, Rusty Cundieff, Rush Glick, Barbara Gregorich, Ken Hanke, Carla Winter, Paul Wurtzel, Valerie Yaros

More info: IMDb

Plot: In the span of 26 minutes you get the origins of the literary character of Charlie Chan (which includes a breakdown of author Earl Derr Biggers' life) and his transition to the big screen.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

You can't do much in under a half hour talking about everything you'd like to know about one of America's most beloved fictional detectives but Cork does a fine job of presenting the basics which you'd require in an introduction.  It was interesting hearing about the origins of Chan and how many times he appeared on film before they settled on their winning formula which included Chan's aphorisms (a new word for me thanks to this film...now excuse me while I promptly forget it) and the addition of his Number One Son, Lee (played beautifully by Keye Luke) and of course what star Warner Oland brought to the character.  If you're looking for an in-depth look at the Chanverse, this obviously isn't it but if you're new to the character or know little about him then this is a great introduction into a bigger world which includes nearly 50 films.  I'm about to watch my first one.  I'll start with the first Oland picture, CHARLIE CHAN CARRIES ON (1931).

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