AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Chinese Parrot
Director: Paul Leni (Dir)
Release Date:   23 Oct 1927
Duration (in feet):   7,304
Duration (in reels):   7
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Cast:   Marian Nixon (Sally Phillimore)  
    Florence Turner (Sally Phillimore, older)  
    Hobart Bosworth (Philip Madden/Jerry Delaney)  
    Edward Burns (Robert Eden)  
    Albert Conti (Martin Thorne)  
    K. Sojin (Charlie Chan)  
    Fred Esmelton (Alexander Eden)  
    Ed Kennedy (Maydorf)  
    George Kuwa (Louie Wong)  
    Slim Summerville (Prospector)  
    Dan Mason (Prospector)  
    Anna May Wong (Nautch dancer)  
    Etta Lee (Gambling den habituĂ©)  
    Jack Trent (Jordan)  

Summary: Sally Randall, daughter of a wealthy Hawaiian planter, marries Phillimore, the man of her father's choice, even though she has sworn her love to Philip Madden; tearing from her throat the expensive pearls given her by her father, Madden declares that one day he will buy her at the same price. Twenty years later, now a widow in financial straits, Sally offers the pearls for sale in San Francisco. Accompanied by her daughter, Sally, she is astonished to discover Madden bargaining for the pearls, which she has entrusted to Chan, a Chinese detective, with the sale contingent on her delivery of the jewels to his desert home. Madden is taken prisoner by yeggs and is impersonated by Jerry Delaney, who welcomes Sally and Robert Eden, the jeweler's son. While Chan is secretly conducting an investigation, the jewels are stolen by various parties, but it develops that a Chinese parrot has witnessed the kidnapping and told him about it. 

Production Company: Universal Pictures Corp.  
Production Text: Universal-Jewel
Distribution Company: Universal Pictures Corp.  
Director: Paul Leni (Dir)
Producer: Carl Laemmle (Pres)
Writer: J. Grubb Alexander (Scen and adpt)
  Walter Anthony (Titles)
Photography: Ben Kline (Dir of photog)
Country: United States
Language: English
Series: Charlie Chan

Source Text: Based on the novel The Chinese Parrot by Earl Derr Biggers (Indianapolis, 1926).
Authors: Earl Derr Biggers

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Universal Pictures Corp. 24/8/1927 dd/mm/yyyy LP24331

Physical Properties: Si:

Genre: Mystery
Subjects (Major): Chinese Americans
  Plantation owners
  San Francisco (CA)

Note: Fox Film Corp. produced another adaptation of Earl Derr Biggers' novel in 1934 under the title Charlie Chan Carries On (see entry above). That film was directed by George Hadden and Eugene Forde and starred Warner Oland as "Charlie Chan." The Chinese Parrot was the first feature filmin which Biggers' famous Chinese detective appeared. For additional information on other "Charlie Chan" films, please consult the entry below for the 1931 Fox production Charlie Chan Carries On , directed by Hamilton MacFadden and starring Warner Oland and Marguerite Churchill and search the series name in the Advanced Search.  

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   8 Jan 1928.   
New York Times   2 Jan 1928   p. 28.
Variety   11 Jan 1928   p. 27.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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