AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo
Director: Eugene Forde (Dir)
Release Date:   21 Jan 1938
Premiere Information:   New York opening: week of 17 Dec 1937
Production Date:   20 Sep--mid-Oct 1937
Duration (in mins):   71
Duration (in feet):   6,465
Duration (in reels):   8
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Cast:   Warner Oland (Charlie Chan)  
    Keye Luke (Lee Chan)  
    Virginia Field (Evelyn Grey)  
    Sidney Blackmer (Victor Karnoff)  
    Harold Huber (Jules Joubert)  
    Kay Linaker (Joan Karnoff)  
    Robert Kent (Gordon Chase)  
    Edward Raquello (Paul Savarin)  
    George Lynn (Al Rogers)  
    Louis Mercier (Taxi driver)  
    George Davis (Pepite)  
    John Bleifer (Ludwig)  
    Georges Renavent (Renault)  
    Constant Franke (Croupier)  
    André Cheron (Croupier)  
    Joseph Romantini (Attaché)  
    Albert Pollet (Attaché)  
    Victor Delinsky (Gendarme)  
    Alphonse Martell (Gendarme)  
    Louis Lubitch (Gendarme)  
    Robert Graves (Gendarme)  
    George Sorel (Gendarme)  
    Jean Perry (Gendarme)  
    Jean De Briac (Doorman)  
    Manuel Paris (Doorman)  
    Eugene Borden (Hotel clerk)  
    Gennaro Curci (Waiter)  
    Antonio Filauri (Waiter)  
    John Picorri (Waiter)  
    Sherry Hall (Bartender)  
    Marcelle Corday (Concierge)  
    Leo White (French butler)  
    Emile Bistagne    
    Art Dupuis    

Summary: Charlie Chan and his son Lee attempt to leave Monte Carlo, where Chan is a shareholder in a casino, to go to Paris, where a painting by Lee will be exhibited, but on the road to the Nice airport, their taxi breaks down. Chan and Lee continue on foot until they see an expensive roadster leave another car and find a dead man in the other car. Upon investigating, they learn that the dead man was Renault, a bank messenger on his way to Paris with $1,000,000 in metallurgical bonds, now missing, which belonged to Victor Karnoff, who is staying at the Hotel Imperial. They also discover that three metallurical bonds were that day offered for sale at a Monte Carlo bank by Al Rogers, a bartender at the hotel. Chan recognizes the roadster in front of the hotel and learns that it belongs to Evelyn Grey, who is a resident there. Police inspector Joubert and Chan find her with Paul Savarin, a stock broker and Karnoff's bitter rival. Although she admits stopping by the car, Evelyn says that she fled in fright when she saw Chan and Lee approach. Joubert learns from a messenger that Karnoff's chauffeur Ludwig, who drove Renault and was in league with Savarin, was found dead. Later that day, Karnoff's wife Joan, who earlier begged Rogers to give her back the three bonds, admits to him that she stole them from his room, and he gives her until noon the next day to repay him. The next morning, Evelyn promises Gordon Chase, Karnoff's secretary, that she will not see Savarin again. After Chan learns that Evelyn has been living in luxury with no visible means of income and that Joan pawned jewelry that morning for $25,000, the price of the three bonds, he and Joubert go to interrogate Rogers, but find him dead in his room with an open valise full of Karnoff's bonds. Joubert believes that Rogers committed suicide and that the case is closed, but Chan suggests they go to Karnoff's suite, where they also find Joan, Savarin, Gordon and Evelyn. Joan confesses that Rogers, whom she married seven years earlier and whom she thought had obtained a divorce, was blackmailing her. She had given him the three bonds, but stole them back when she learned of her husband's deal, and had her brother, Gordon, replace them in Karnoff's safe. Chan surmises that Gordon must be the murderer because only he had a key to the valise, and that the valise was found open in Rogers' room, with no damage to its lock. Gordon confesses and berates Evelyn, for whom he says he stole from Karnoff months ago. When he was in danger of being exposed, he murdered Rogers to place the blame on him. Gordon then escapes through a window, but he is run over by a car. Joubert insists that Evelyn and Savarin leave Monte Carlo and gives his friends, Chan and Lee, another send-off in the same, backfiring taxi. 

Production Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Distribution Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Director: Eugene Forde (Dir)
  Saul Wurtzel (Asst dir)
Producer: John Stone (Assoc prod)
Writer: Charles Belden (Scr)
  Jerry Cady (Scr)
  Robert Ellis (Orig story)
  Helen Logan (Orig story)
Photography: Daniel B. Clark (Photog)
Art Direction: Bernard Herzbrun (Art dir)
  Haldane Douglas (Art dir assoc)
Film Editor: Nick DeMaggio (Film ed)
Costumes: Herschel (Cost)
Music: Samuel Kaylin (Mus dir)
Sound: Bernard Freericks (Sd)
  Harry M. Leonard (Sd)
Country: United States
Series: Charlie Chan

Source Text: Based on the character "Charlie Chan" created by Earl Derr Biggers.
Authors: Earl Derr Biggers

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. 21/1/1938 dd/mm/yyyy LP8366

PCA NO: 3797
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Detective
Subjects (Major): Bonds
  Chinese Americans
  Monte Carlo (Monaco)
  Police inspectors
Subjects (Minor): Automobile accidents
  Business competition
  Fathers and sons
  Taxicab drivers

Note: This was Warner Oland's last film. Oland began Charlie Chan at the Ringside in Jan 1938, but production was halted due to a dispute between Oland and the studio, according to news items. That film was subsequently produced in the "Mr. Moto" series as Mr. Moto's Gamble (see below). Oland died 6 Aug 1938 in Stockholm as he was preparing to sail to the U.S. to work on a new "Charlie Chan" film, after having been in ill since the Spring. This film was his sixteenth role as "Charlie Chan." For information concerning other films in the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry below for Charlie Chan Carries On

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   13 Nov 1937.   
Daily Variety   1 Nov 37   p. 3.
Film Daily   5 Nov 37   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Sep 37   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Oct 37   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   1 Nov 37   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald   20 Oct 37   p. 43.
Motion Picture Herald   6 Nov 37   p. 33.
New York Times   18 Dec 37   p. 18.
Variety   22 Dec 37   p. 17.

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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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