Charlie Chan In Egypt (1935) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi (Size: 698.00 MB) (Files: 3)
Charlie Chan In Egypt (1935) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Charlie Chan In Egypt (1935).rtf
Charlie Chan In Egypt (1935)
When Egyptologists open the undisturbed tomb of powerful High Priest Ameti in the Valley of the Kings, the first digger peering inside the burial chamber dies suddenly, and later Professor Arnold, head of the expedition, vanishes mysteriously on a trip to the Upper Nile.
When pieces of the excavated treasure begin to turn up on the antiquities black market, Charlie Chan is brought in by the expedition's underwriters, the French Archeaological Society, to investigate.
While examining the inventory, Chan discovers that the mummy wrappings of the ancient priest contain the murdered body of the missing archaeologist. Among the suspects are Professor Thurston, who admits to surreptitiously selling the artifacts to pay for the expeditions continued support, Dr. Racine, who believes his financial contribution to the enterprise entitles him to a share of the treasure, Tom Evans, an archaeologist fired by Arnold, Snowshoes, a servant claiming to be descended from Ameti,and Edfu Ahmed, who still believes in the ancient deities and objects to the plunder of the tomb.
Another murder and other attempted murders will occur before Chan reveals the identity and motive of the real killer.
Warner Oland ... Charlie Chan
Pat Paterson ... Carol Arnold
Thomas Beck ... Tom Evans, Archeologist
Rita Hayworth ... Nayda (as Rita Cansino)
Jameson Thomas ... Dr. Anton Racine
Frank Conroy ... Professor John Thurston
Nigel De Brulier ... Edfu Ahmad, Servant
Paul Porcasi ... Inspector Fouad Soueida
Arthur Stone ... Dragoman
James Eagles ... Barry Arnold, Carol's Brother
Frank Reicher ... Dr. Jaipur
George Irving ... Professor Arnold
This has always been one of my favourite Warner Oland Chan's, made even more suitably murky and mysterious by the passage of time and the way it's been handled since it was made.
Charlie's in Egypt to track down the person responsible for leaking valuable ancient artifacts into European collections, finding murder as well. With some fantastic atmospheric sets as backdrop and a great cast he and the ever dependable Thomas Beck act as a team to get to the bottom of the mystery and nab the culprit. Every other post has highlighted the main problem with it: Stepin Fetchit. It's a shame they put him in but it's not a problem to me as I don't watch it for him shuffling and mumbling along but for the main story unfolding around the rest of the cast. His major scenes could easily be cut out or altered to save everyone's black and white blushes today - but where would you stop? Airbrush cigarettes, smoke and alcohol, cgi over carbon non-neutral cars or low efficiency lightbulbs, even change Oland to a white Swede and superimpose a black superhero in goodie Beck's place to engage a more proactive and socially inclusive demographic, erase mention of Egypt to try to disguise the colonial connotations etc? And of course if we went that far also add plenty of mindless graphic sex and violence because that's OK in todays crazy world; the Nazis would have simply burned all the prints of this and everything considered similar and revised the history books.
With all its faults I'm grateful for what we've got – some of the early Chan's are lost forever – at the very least for an insight into the human mental condition as it existed in Hollywood in 1935 but more for as it exists around the world today. If you really don't like it you could campaign for its destruction, but if you like watching pre WW2 b&w middle brow detective movies containing innumerable dead people like this like me watch it without angst as a good film.
The texture of this movie is as lumpy as the crunchiest peanut butter. The problem lies partly in the conventional 1930's Hollywood wisdom that audiences couldn't be trusted to sit through 60-70 minutes of suspense and sleuthing unless you provided comic relief. Too often, as here, the comic element was totally extraneous to the story. Enough has been said by other commentators about Stepin Fetchit's unwelcome presence. Stupid, lazy, and cowardly, his "coon" stereotype was the answer to a white supremacist's dream. More to the point, he isn't even very funny here. His character fits in with Warner Oland's Charlie Chan like oil and water. One anticipated comic scene in which the bazaar merchant shows SF the long-lost tomb of his "ancestors" fails to materialize. (If it was ever shot, it probably ended up on the cutting room floor.) Paul Porcasi's fastidiously polite Inspector Fouad also seems superfluous. One longs for the presence of Keye Luke in this movie, as the best humor in the Charlie Chan series always came out of Charlie's natural interaction with his sons.
The other problem with Charlie Chan in Egypt is thin plotting. Why should Professor Thurston need to kill his nephew Barry and attempt to kill his niece Carol with the mysterious drug "mapuchari" when he has already hidden away the treasures of the 21st Dynasty in a secret room? It seems that Charlie is not given enough clues to go on when he reveals Thurston as the murderer. Actually, the bulk of the evidence, such as it is, seems to point to the major-domo Edfu Ahmad, played by the sinister-looking Nigel de Brulier. As a direct descendant of the High Priest Amete, he has a vested interested in saving his tomb from desecration by foreigners. And what is a teenaged Rita Hayworth doing here as the servant girl Nayda, peeping through the shrubbery as Charlie investigates Barry's murder? Is she is league with Edfu Ahmad, or merely getting some screen exposure while adding her decorative presence to the proceedings? Also, the complicity of the chemist Daoud Atrash is not made clear. He claims ignorance of the drug mapuchari, but is he on the level? If Atrash didn't provide Thurston with the drug, who did? In the last analysis, this is not among the the strongest films in the Chan series due to its unevenness. This in spite of the truly eerie tomb setting, which recalls the chills we got in no less a picture than the original Boris Karloff classic The Mummy.
Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) finds mystery and murder, naturally, in the secret chambers of an Egyptian tomb, amid lots of hocus-pocus about figurines and ornaments with mysterious powers. With a runtime of just 73 minutes the story is rather thin, and the whodunit puzzle isn't very good. But I suspect the film's appeal in 1935 had more to do with the novelty of Egyptian decor and production design than with the film's plot, some of which is not explained. And I did not like the Snowshoes character, at all. He may have been included as comic relief, but there is nothing about him that is funny, and the character is irrelevant to the whodunit puzzle. The actor playing the part whines and mumbles in a most disagreeable manner. I found him truly annoying.
The film's B&W cinematography is marginally acceptable. However, in the copy I watched the images were grainy. At the film's beginning, they used stock footage of Egyptian sites to foster the illusion of being in Egypt. Acting ranges from acceptable to laughably melodramatic. The man playing Barry Arnold, in particular, dreadfully overplays his role, with those bug-eyed histrionics.
Although "Charlie Chan In Egypt" is not a complete waste of time, there are other films in the Charlie Chan series that are much better.
* Was the main feature at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood with The Girl from 10th Avenue (1935) starring Bette Davis and was billed accordingly on the theater marquee. A photo of the theater marquee taken at the time is in the collection of the L.A. Public Library. It shows a matinee crowd exiting to the street. This movie also starred a young Rita Hayworth before she was a star.