TCM Spotlight Charlie Chan Collection

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America's favorite detective is back in this 4 disc special being released by Warner Brothers Tuesday, June 8!

A little trivia:
Charlie Chan is a fictional Chinese American detective who was created in 1923 by Earl Derr Biggers, who wanted to break the stereotypical attitude that always seemed to portray the Chinese as inept.

The first Charlie Chan was played by Asian actor George Kuwa in 1926, and three other actors portrayed him in 1927, 1929, and twice in 1931.

Then, from 1931 through 1937, the part was played by Warner Oland with one part in 1937 being played by Anibal de Mar and another by an unknown actor.

When Oland passed away, the part was played by Sidney Toler from 1938 through 1946, who was then replaced with Roland Winters until 1949.

Since then the part has been played by Ross Martin in 1973, and Peter Ustinov in 1981.

Chan, a one time cop from Honolulu Police Department, was quite the witty sleuth, but also quite the family man, having had a wife and 11 kids.

The movies you'll enjoy in this 4 disc set are:

Dark Alibi (1946)
Charlie Chan - Sidney Toler
Birmingham Brown - Manton Moreland
Tommy Chan - Benson Fong

In this episode, an ex-con who has become "clean" is wrongly accused and convicted of a bank robbery and murder. He was mysteriously lured to and locked in an abandoned theater at the time the crime was committed, so how did his finger prints end up all over the crime scene?

As it turns out, it is found that two others may have been wrongly convicted of similar crimes, too, but the other two have since died.

Charlie Chan decides that this is a case worth checking out, and he does, with some interesting results.

Manton Moreland and Benson Fong bumble their way around, messing a few things up for Charlie, but, of course, true to the nature of Charlie Chan things manage to work themselves out anyway.

Dangerous Money (1946)
Charlie Chan - Sidney Toler
Willie Best - Chattanooga Brown
Jimmy Chan - Victor Sen Yung

You might laugh through this one. Charlie Chan is on a ship at sea, and members of a show troupe are murdered. Chan decides to find out "whodunnit", as usual.

The twist in this movie also turns out to be kind of funny - there's a rather masculine looking woman shooting knives at people. What's up with that?! You'll find out when you watch the movie!

The Trap (1946)
Charlie Chan - Sidney Toler
Birmingham Brown - Manton Moreland
Jimmy Chan - Victor Sen Yung

A show troupe of ladies is on break in a beach house, run by a house keeper with a bad attitude towards showgirls. One by one the ladies are being killed, but who's doing it and why? Charlie Chan is called to investigate.

He sets a trap for the would be killer only to have it blown by the fumbling Birmingham Brown and Jimmy Chan. Charlie Chan manages to work that to his advantage, though, and solve the case.

The Chinese Ring (1947)
Charlie Chan - Roland Winters
Birmingham Brown - Mantan Moreland
Tommy Chan - Victor Sen Yung

A mysterious Chinese woman of class stops by Charlie Chan's home asking to see him, but refuses to give her name. As she waits in the parlor for Birmingham Brown to let the detective know he has a visitor, she is killed by a poison dart that is shot through a window by an unknown assailant. As she is dying, she writes "Captain K" on a piece of paper.

It turns out that the mysterious woman is a Chinese Princess who is visiting America with a million dollars for the purpose of buying airplanes for some political activist cause. She's dead, her money is stolen, and there are no planes. Additionally, there's more than one Captain K.

Charlie Chan puts the pieces of this one together to solve the mystery.

The TCM Spotlight Charlie Chan Collection will be available on DVD June 8, 2010! Enjoy these four beloved movies in one collection for yourself or send them as a Father's Day gift.

For more information, please visit the Warner Brothers website at

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