6.8/10
1,121
28 user 13 critic

City in Darkness (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 1 December 1939 (USA)
While in Paris for a reunion on the eve of World War II, Charlie finds that the murder of an hated businessman leads him to a conspiracy to smuggle arms to Germany.

Director:

Herbert I. Leeds

Writers:

Robert Ellis (screen play), Helen Logan (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan
Lynn Bari ... Marie Dubon
Richard Clarke Richard Clarke ... Tony Madero (as Richard Clark)
Harold Huber ... Marcel
Pedro de Cordoba ... Antoine (as Pedro De Cordoba)
Dorothy Tree ... Charlotte Ronnell
C. Henry Gordon ... Prefect of Police J. Romaine
Douglass Dumbrille ... Petroff (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Noel Madison ... Belescu
Leo G. Carroll ... Louis Santelle (as Leo Carroll)
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Pierre
Louis Mercier Louis Mercier ... Max
George Davis ... Alex
Barbara Leonard ... Lola
Adrienne D'Ambricourt ... Landlady
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Storyline

Chan goes to Paris for a reunion with friends from World War I. There he investigates the murder of a munitions manufacturer who was supplying arms to the enemy. At the end Charlie preaches to us about the dangers of peace conferences. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

PARIS! BLACKOUT!...but there's no blackout for crime...and the great detective is commandeered!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 December 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan na Cidade das Trevas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Philadelphia Thursday 5 November 1953 on WPTZ (Channel 3); it first aired in Portland OR Saturday 21 November 1953 on KOIN (Channel 6), in Phoenix Wednesday 9 December 1953 on KOOL (Channel 10), in Detroit Monday 21 December 1953 on WXYZ (Channel 7), in Cleveland Saturday 8 January 1954 on WXEL (Channel 8), in both Pittsburgh and in Cincinnati Sunday 24 January 1954 on WJKF (Channel 53) and on WLW-T (Channel 5), in New York City Saturday 30 January 1954 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Baltimore Monday 22 February 1954 on WBAL (Channel 11), in Lansing MI Thursday 8 April 1954 on WILS (Channel 54), in Los Angeles Sunday 23 May 1954 on KNBH (Channel 4), and in San Francisco Thursday 16 June 1955 on KRON (Channel 4). See more »

Goofs

When Harold Huber is thrown from the raised doorway of the hotel steps by the bouncer, the mattress on the cobblestones can be seen in the shot. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Charlie Chan: [referring to the Munich conference] A wise man once said, "Beware of spider who invites fly into parlor."
See more »

Connections

Followed by Charlie Chan in The Chinese Cat (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly timely but also disappointing entry into the series
11 July 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

By his fourth film in the series, Sidney Toler had settled into the Charlie Chan role quite nicely. In many ways, this is a fascinating film to watch because of its historical value--as it talks about the events leading up to WWII as well as the assumption that the Munich Agreement would avert war. As a history teacher, this is great stuff--a real insight into Europe on the eve of war.

However, despite the interesting backdrop of Paris as it prepares for war, the film ultimately is destroyed by one man--Harold Huber. This was Huber's third Chan film--having played a French inspector in Monte Carlo as well as a New York inspector. The problem in this film wasn't his accent (here and in the previous film, Huber was fine with his fake French accent), but how incredibly obnoxious and stupid his character was. This film did not feature a Chan child but most of the blundering was done by Huber. This might have worked had they not made Huber five times stupider than any of the Chan children. Plus, Huber came on so strong and was so dominant in the film that you really wanted him to die, as he completely over-shadowed Toler. Because of this, this might just be the worst Chan film that Fox Studios made. Watchable but annoying.


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