Daily Archives: January 1, 2022

Charlie Chan in Rio (1941)

*. The penultimate Fox Chan film, and they were running so low on material they had to recycle, or remake, The Black Camel. It’s the same basic plot, complete with the pin stuck in the shoe that leaves scratches on the floor, though some of the roles are a bit different.
*. This is kind of disappointing, both for showing a lack of creativity and for the fact that The Black Camel was a better version of a not very good story in the first place (though one that was actually based on one of the original Earl Der Biggers novels).
*. Harold Huber is back again. He’d been a police chief in Monte Carlo in Charlie Chan in Monte Carlo, a police detective in New York in Charlie Chan on Broadway, a gendarme in Paris in City in Darkness, and now he’s the chief of police in Rio. He gets around almost as much as Charlie. That’s versatility.
*. This isn’t one of the better Chan movies, but it has a few nice touches. There’s a gag they use a couple of times when someone asks for a presumably alcoholic beverage and Charlie changes this to lemonade and coffee. There’s the first use of subtitles to show Charlie and Jimmy exchanging information in what I assume is Mandarin in order to fool the guests, with a joke at the end that the Chinese maid doesn’t know what they’re saying, as she was raised in the U.S.
*. Victor Sen Yung has more to do, and while the role is as limited as ever he’s pretty good at carrying things. We leave off with him being called up by the army, which would have been a good note to end on.