AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Charlie Chan's Courage
Director: George Hadden (Dir)
Release Date:   6 Jul 1934
Production Date:   23 Apr--late May 1934
Duration (in mins):   70-72 or 74
Duration (in feet):   6,589
Duration (in reels):   7
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Cast:   Warner Oland (Charlie Chan)  
    Drue Leyton (Paula Graham)  
    Donald Woods (Bob Crawford)  
    Paul Harvey (J. P. Madden/Jerry Delaney)  
    Murray Kinnell (Martin Thorne)  
    Reginald Mason (Alexander Crawford)  
    Virginia Hammond (Sally Jordan)  
    Si Jenks (Will Holley)  
    Harvey Clark (Professor Gamble)  
    Jerry Jerome (Maydorf)  
    Jack Carter (Victor Jordan)  
    James Wang (Wong)  
    De Witt C. Jennings (Sergeant Brackett)  
    Francis Ford (Hewitt)  
    Lucille Miller (Stenographer)  
    Mary McLaren (Mother)  
    Gail Kaye (Child)  
    Larry Fisher (Taxi driver)  
    Sam McDaniels (Porter)  
    Carl Stockdale (Station lounger)  
    Lita Chevret (Chorus girl)  
    Susan Fleming (Chorus girl)  
    Caryl Lincoln (Leading lady)  
    John David Horsley (Leading man)  
    George Magrill (Heavy)  
    Frank Mills (Prop man)  
    Sherry Hall (Assistant director)  
    James P. Burtis (Eddie Boston)  
    Paul McVey (Director)  
    Wade Boteler (Bliss)  
    Teru Shimada (Jiu jitsu man)  
    Paul Hurst    
    Frank Rice    

Summary: Mrs. Sally Jordan asks her faithful, former houseboy, Charlie Chan, now a detective with the Honolulu police force, to personally transport to El Dorado a pearl necklace that she has sold to millonaire J. P. Madden, as something seems suspicious in the transaction. Bob Crawford, son of the jewelry store owner who has set up the deal, precedes Chan to Madden's house to insure that the place is safe and, on the train, meets Paula Graham, a film director's assistant traveling to El Dorado to arrange a film shoot on Madden's property. As they approach the ranch by cab, they hear gunshots. Inside the house, Martin Thorne, Madden's secretary, bends over a body in the bedroom and, when he answers Paula and Bob's knock, tells them that Madden is away and urges Bob to stay, though Bob has revealed that the pearls will arrive the next day by messenger. Chan arrives the next day dressed as a menial, calling himself "Ah Kim," and Thorne hires him as the new cook, as the regular cook is away. While snooping around, Chan notices that a revolver from Madden's collection has been removed and used recently. In Madden's bedroom, he finds bullet holes in the wall and blood stains on the carpet, which someone had attempted to conceal. Believing Madden to have been murdered by Thorne, Bob is amazed when Jerry Delaney, whom he believes to be Madden, shows up. As Bob and Chan drive into the garage one night, they find the dead body of the former cook. The cook's talking Chinese parrot, who made comments suggestive of a murder, is then discovered poisoned, which reveals to Chan that both the cook and the bird witnessed something amiss. Delaney demands that the necklace be handed over, and privately Bob asks Chan for the goods, but Chan is not yet convinced that everything is as it should be and holds on to Mrs. Jordan's property. Chan and Bob discover a suitcase in the attic that belongs to Delaney and ascertain that he arrived by train the night before Bob's arrival. The movie crew finally arrives, and when the director asks Paula to investigate an old mine where he wants to shoot a scene, a crook jumps out and attacks her. Bob goes looking for Paula, discovers her at the mine and struggles with the crook before finally overpowering him. Paula tells Bob that there is another captive in the mine, Madden. Soon after, Victor Jordan, Sally Jordan's son, arrives at the Madden ranch and blows the whole investigation by telling Delaney that Bob should have handed over the pearls days earlier and demanding that Chan, or "Ah Kim," deliver the pearls as his mother instructed. Delaney uses his left hand to sign a receipt, and Chan, knowing Madden to be right-handed, grabs the pearls and pulls a gun on him. Sergeant Brackett arrives and doesn't believe that "Ah Kim" is really Chan; he gives the pearls back to Delaney, just as Madden enters with a bandaged shoulder. Madden reveals that Delaney, his look alike, has a history of impersonating him and accuses Thorne, rightly, of double-crossing him. The case solved and the pearls safely delivered, Paula, Bob and Chan travel back to San Francisco, and on the rear train platform, Paula and Bob embrace happily. 

Production Company: Fox Film Corp.  
Distribution Company: Fox Film Corp.  
Director: George Hadden (Dir)
  Eugene Forde (Dir)
  Sid Bowen (Asst dir)
Producer: John Stone (Prod)
  Winfield R. Sheehan (Exec prod)
Writer: Seton I. Miller (Scr)
Photography: Hal Mohr (Photog)
  Arthur Miller (Photog)
  Joseph La Shelle (Cam op)
  W. Abbott (Asst cam)
  S. McDonald (Asst cam)
Art Direction: Duncan Cramer (Settings)
Film Editor: Alex Troffey (Film ed)
Costumes: Royer (Gowns)
Music: Samuel Kaylin (Mus dir)
Sound: Alfred Bruzlin (Sd)
Production Misc: Bill Thomas (Still photog)
Country: United States
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
Fox Film Corp. 6/7/1934 dd/mm/yyyy LP4813

Physical Properties: Sd:
  b&w:

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Detective
 
Subjects (Major): Chinese Americans
  Detectives
  Doubles
  Impersonation and imposture
  Murder
  Necklaces
 
Subjects (Minor): Abduction
  Cooks
  Fights
  Millionaires
  Mines
  Motion picture crews
  Parrots
  Ranches
  Rescues
  Secretaries

Note: The plot summary was based on a screen continuity in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. Sources conflict concerning the credits for director and cameraman. While production charts list both George Hadden and Eugene Forde as directors and Arthur Miller as the cameraman, reviews and the Fox trade paper advertising billing sheet credits only Hadden as director and lists Hal Mohr as the cameraman. According to a pressbook for the film, this was Hadden's first directorial assignment; he had been theatrical producer David Belasco's "right-hand man" during the last six years of Belasco's life, and had also worked as a dialogue director in films. According to MPH , some scenes in this film were shot in the Mojave Desert.
       Universal Pictures produced a film based on the same source in 1927 entitled The Chinese Parrot , directed by Paul Leni and starring Marian Nixon, with K. Sojin as "Charlie Chan." (see entry below). For more information on the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry above for Charlie Chan Carries On

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   14 Jul 1934.   
Daily Variety   23 Apr 34   p. 2.
Daily Variety   29 Jun 34   p. 3.
Film Daily   25 Aug 34   p. 3.
Harrison's Reports   21 Jul 34   p. 114.
HF   28 Apr 34   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Apr 34   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   21 May 34   p. 10.
International Photographer   Jun 34   p. 21.
Motion Picture Daily   3 Jul 34   p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald   26 May 34   p. 32.
Motion Picture Herald   1 Sep 34   p. 33.
New York Times   25 Aug 34   p. 16.
Variety   28 Aug 34   p. 15.

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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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