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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Charlie Chan In Reno (1939)

A young woman (Pauline Moore) is in Reno to get a divorce when she runs into the mean spirited Manhattan socialite (Louise Henry) who stole her husband (Kane Richmond). When the woman is found stabbed to death, she becomes the main suspect. Enter Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) to solve the case. Based on DEATH MAKES A DECREE by Philip Wylie and directed by Norman Foster, this is one of better entries in Fox's Charlie Chan franchise. Just about everyone except the chief suspect seems "suspect" so that Chan has his work cut out for him and for the viewer, it's fun trying to figure out whodunit. As efficient "B" programmers, the Chan movies tend to be very short (usually around 75 minutes) so there's not a lot of wasted time. Sure, there's Slim Summerville as a redneck sheriff for comedy relief but he doesn't take up too much space. As usual, all the suspects are gathered in one room so that Chan can reveal the real killer. It's such a cliche but I wouldn't have it any other way. The cast includes Ricardo Cortez, Phyllis Brooks, Victor Sen Yung and Kay Linaker.

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