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Shanghai Chest (1948)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, Crime | 11 July 1948 (USA)
Charlie attempts to solve a triple murder in which a dead man's finger prints show up at all three murder sites.


William Beaudine


Earl Derr Biggers (characters), Samuel Newman (original story) (as Sam Newman) | 3 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Roland Winters ... Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland ... Birmingham Brown
Tim Ryan ... Police Lt. Mike Ruark
Victor Sen Yung ... Tommy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
Deannie Best Deannie Best ... Phyllis Powers
Tristram Coffin ... Edward Seward
John Alvin ... Victor Armstrong
Russell Hicks ... Dist. Atty. Frank Bronson
Pierre Watkin ... Judge Wesley Armstrong (as Pierre Watkins)
Philip Van Zandt ... Joseph Pindello
Milton Parsons ... Mr. Grail - Undertaker
Olaf Hytten Olaf Hytten ... Bates - the Butler
Erville Alderson ... Walter Somervale
George Eldredge ... Police Sgt. Pat Finley


Vic Armstrong arrives at his Uncle Judge Armstrong's home just in time to answer the telephone. Unknown to him, his uncle has just been murdered and the culprit is right there in the room with him! Phyllis Powers, on the other end of the line, recognizes Vic's voice, but just then Vic is knocked unconscious by the murderer. When he awakens, he (for reasons known only to movie mystery writers) pulls the knife out of his uncle's back, thus putting his fingerprints all over it, and just in time for the police, having been called by a worried Phyllis, to discover him standing over the body. Well, we know he didn't do it, but the police don't agree. Can Charlie Chan recognize the boy's innocence, and find the real murderer before Vic is sent into durance vile, or even worse? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 July 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan in the Shanghai Chest See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The first of three appearances of Tim Ryan (husband of Irene Ryan) as Lt. Mike Ruark. See more »


Charlie Chan: Man who have gun either afraid or have guilty conscience.
See more »


Follows Charlie Chan at the Opera (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

Not very good but strangely enjoyable Chan mystery
7 November 2018 | by csteidlerSee all my reviews

A mysterious figure sneaks into a judge's study and stabs him. Another stealthy figure enters the room--he answers the phone when it rings and is promptly conked on the head by the shadowy murderer, who then flees.

It's the judge's nephew who wakes up on the floor and pulls the knife out of the body right at the moment the cops walk in. It looks bad for him--until a recently executed criminal's fingerprints are found on the knife. The plot thickens when a district attorney is murdered next and the same dead man's fingerprints are found....

Soon enough, Charlie Chan is on the case, with assistance once again from number two son Tommy and chauffeur Birmingham Brown. Chan thinks the case has something to do with an insurance racket; Tommy doesn't actually help much but Birmingham is called on to climb through several windows.

Roland Winters is getting comfortable as Charlie Chan but there's really not much to the role...he reads the lines just fine but the script doesn't give him a whole lot of personality. Victor Sen Yung and Mantan Moreland are familiar and amusing as Tommy and Birmingham but they don't have much new to offer either.

Tim Ryan adds a little color as a police lieutenant who joins forces with Chan. And an actress named Deannie Best is actually kind of good as the murdered judge's slinky secretary.

Overall the picture is oddly watchable...nothing much happens but at least the story keeps on moving. A typical scene is the one where our main characters go to a cemetery to dig up the executed criminal's body: Of course they go at night, of course the grave is empty, of course Birmingham and Tommy are scared...but it's all done and past before we even have a chance to be bothered by how silly it all is.

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