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Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 27 March 1936 (USA)
While visiting the circus with his family, Charlie is recruited by the big top's co-owner to investigate threatening letters that he's received.

Director:

Harry Lachman

Writers:

Robert Ellis (original screen play), Helen Logan (original screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warner Oland ... Charlie Chan
Keye Luke ... Lee Chan
John McGuire ... Hal Blake
Shirley Deane ... Louise Norman
Francis Ford ... John Gaines
J. Carrol Naish ... Tom Holt
Paul Stanton ... Joe Kinney
Boothe Howard Boothe Howard ... Dan Farrell
Drue Leyton ... Nellie Farrell
Wade Boteler ... Police Lt. Macy
Shia Jung Shia Jung ... Su Toy
George Brasno George Brasno ... Tim
Olive Brasno Olive Brasno ... Tiny
Maxine Reiner ... Marie Norman
Franklyn Farnum ... Mike - Ticket Taker
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Storyline

Charlie receives fourteen free passes to the circus for him and his entire family but soon realizes that there are strings attached as the big top's co-owner asks his guest to investigate threatening letters that he's received. Before the famous detective can, the man is murdered. Charlie soon finds out that the co-owner was not a particularly pleasant or well-liked individual, and among the many suspects are his partner, a snake charmer and the menagerie's gorilla. Son Lee, usually an enthusiastic assistant for his father, is distracted by the show's beautiful contortionist. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan no Circo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The action occurs mostly at the Kinney & Gaines Combined Circus. See more »

Goofs

Charlie turns on a gramophone to play some eastern music in order to 'charm' a snake on his bed, but snakes follow the movements of the snake-charmer rather than the rhythm of the music, and Charlie Chan remains still. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Chan: Mind like parachute - only function when open.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Like most of the Warner Oland Chan films, this one really delivers
25 May 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Fans of the Charlie Chan films should see this film for one reason in particular--it's a very rare chance to see the entire huge Chan clan in a single film. In most Chan films, there are one or two of the Chan children along to "help"(?) their father. However, here there are all twelve plus Mrs. Chan--a real rarity and proof that Charlie had interests other than police work!

The film is set at a circus where there is a mysterious murder--supposedly perpetrated by an ape! However, things don't add up and it's up to Charlie and his romantically challenged oldest son, Lee, to solve the crime. Along the way, you'll see midgets, tall guys, trapeze artists and the like--all providing an unusual and welcome backdrop to the investigation. Practically everything works well, though in 1930s fashion, there is an ape that is obviously just some guy in a gorilla costume (so I'll deduct a point). A bad cliché, but otherwise a great and exciting film--as are all the Chan films starring Warner Oland (the series, unfortunately, sagged a bit after his death).


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