Charlie Chan in the Secret Service by Phil Rosen |Phil Rosen, Sidney Toler, Gwen Kenyon, Mantan Moreland | 27616908339 | DVD | Barnes & Noble
Charlie Chan in the Secret Service

Charlie Chan in the Secret Service

Director: Phil Rosen

Cast: Phil Rosen, Sidney Toler, Gwen Kenyon, Mantan Moreland

     
 
Charlie Chan in the Secret Service (1944) looks almost beautiful on this DVD. Most Monogram releases from the '40s have appeared in broadcast and video incarnations in recent decades. The full-frame (1.33:1) transfer is crystal clear and largely blemish free, and extremely crisp, comparing favorably with the image on the old MGM/UA laserdisc box from the end of

Overview

Charlie Chan in the Secret Service (1944) looks almost beautiful on this DVD. Most Monogram releases from the '40s have appeared in broadcast and video incarnations in recent decades. The full-frame (1.33:1) transfer is crystal clear and largely blemish free, and extremely crisp, comparing favorably with the image on the old MGM/UA laserdisc box from the end of the '80s. The volume has been set very low, but the sound is clean and becomes crisp once the playback volume is boosted. The 65-minute movie gets 16 chapter markers, which is extremely generous and helpful, given the way the information and plot developments are packed so closely together. There are no bonuses to speak of, apart from bonus English, French, and Spanish subtitles. The disc opens automatically on startup to a very simple three-selection menu.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Charlie Chan in the Secret Service (1944) is a fascinating movie (if not always a very exciting one) on a multitude of levels. The first of the Chan films to be produced by Monogram Pictures (which revived the series two years after 20th Century Fox dropped the Chan movies). It avoids the usual cheap and threadbare look of most Monogram features, with a good-sized cast and decently furnished (if not exactly opulent) sets. But more than that, the entire mindset of the movies altered in the two years that had elapsed since the Fox series ended -- in the earlier Charlie Chan movies, Inspector Chan was a respected presence among the more educated higher-ups in law enforcement in the mainland United States, but he was treated as an outsider (and often an unwelcomed one) among the rank-and-file police and less imaginative government officials. Additionally, as a member of the Honolulu police force, Chan was considered less than a full American citizen, as Hawaii was a possession, but not a part of the United States. But in Charlie Chan in the Secret Service, made at the height of American involvement in World War II, he is treated with respect by every police officer and official from the top down, and a welcomed ally, much as the Chinese were in the fight against the Japanese empire. One has the sense that Honolulu and Hawaii -- though not yet admitted to the Union, thanks to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the omnipresent awareness that the U.S. Pacific Fleet was headquartered there -- were every bit as much a part of the United States as San Francisco or Chicago. The story itself is a little predictable, and the setting, with all of the characters restricted to the house in which the murder took place, is a little claustrophobic. But the movie has its virtues in pacing and atmosphere and including the introduction of Mantan Moreland as driver Birmingham Brown, who is a lot smarter than most of the characters around him, despite some elements of stereotyping. Another strong point is the presence of Marianne Quon as Chan's daughter.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/06/2004
UPC:
0027616908339
Original Release:
1944
Rating:
NR
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:05:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Screen format: full-frame; English mono; English, French, and Spanish language subtitles

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sidney Toler Charlie Chan
Gwen Kenyon Inez Arranto
Mantan Moreland Birmingham Brown
Marianne Quon Iris Chan
Arthur Loft Jones
Lelah Tyler Mrs. Winters
Benson Fong Tommie Chan
Eddy Chandler Lewis
George Lessey Slade
Muni Seroff Peter Laska
Sarah Edwards Mrs. Hargue
George Lewis Paul Arranto
Barry Bernard Actor
Gene Roth Luiz Vega

Technical Credits
Phil Rosen Director
James S. Burkett Producer
George Callahan Screenwriter
James Callahan Screenwriter
Martin G. Cohn Editor
Glen Glenn Sound/Sound Designer
Al Greenwood Set Decoration/Design
Karl Hajos Musical Direction/Supervision
Philip N. Krasne Producer
Dave Milton Set Decoration/Design
Ira Morgan Cinematographer
George Moskov Production Manager

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title/Bombs Away [:08]
2. Charlie on the Case [5:06]
3. Death Became Him [2:45]
4. The Cocktail Hour [6:10]
5. By the Book [5:12]
6. "It's No Bouquet" [3:17]
7. Private Eye [2:10]
8. Stranger Than Fiction [4:10]
9. He Who Holds the Keys [6:04]
10. Electric Company [2:05]
11. Lights Out [2:21]
12. Who Left the Room [2:35]
13. Closet Case [2:45]
14. Murder He Wrote [4:28]
15. Three's a Charm [5:43]
16. Last Shot/End Credits [4:18]

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