Classic Detective

by jon_m_phillips | created - 23 Sep 2017 | updated - 23 Sep 2017 | Public
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1. Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939)

Approved | 74 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

Charlie's investigation of a phony psychic during the 1939 World Exposition on San Francisco's Treasure Island leads him to expose a suicide as murder.

Director: Norman Foster | Stars: Sidney Toler, Cesar Romero, Pauline Moore, Victor Sen Yung

Votes: 1,521

2. Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938)

Approved | 67 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

While Charlie is distracted with the birth of his first grandchild, son Jimmy impersonates his father in order to investigate a murder aboard a freighter in the harbor.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone | Stars: Sidney Toler, Phyllis Brooks, Victor Sen Yung, Eddie Collins

Votes: 1,463

3. Charlie Chan's Secret (1936)

Approved | 72 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The heir to a huge fortune is presumed drowned, then shows up, is then murdered.

Director: Gordon Wiles | Stars: Warner Oland, Rosina Lawrence, Charles Quigley, Henrietta Crosman

Votes: 1,297

4. Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935)

Approved | 73 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

While investigating the theft of antiquities from an ancient tomb excavation, Charlie discovers that the body of the expedition's leader concealed inside the mummy's wrappings.

Director: Louis King | Stars: Warner Oland, Pat Paterson, Thomas Beck, Rita Hayworth

Votes: 1,746

5. And Then There Were None (1945)

Approved | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Seven guests, a newly hired personal secretary and two staff are gathered on an isolated island by an absent host and someone begins killing them off one by one. They work together to determine who the killer is. Could it be one of them?

Director: René Clair | Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, Roland Young

Votes: 11,861

6. Charlie Chan in the Secret Service (1944)

Approved | 63 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Charlie Chan is an agent of the U.S. government assigned to investigate the mysterious death of an inventor.

Director: Phil Rosen | Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Arthur Loft, Gwen Kenyon

Votes: 1,398

7. Charlie Chan in The Chinese Cat (1944)

Passed | 66 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Charlie Chan investigates the locked-room murder of a chess expert.

Director: Phil Rosen | Stars: Sidney Toler, Joan Woodbury, Mantan Moreland, Benson Fong

Votes: 1,241

8. The Red Dragon (1945)

Approved | 64 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Chan is faced with suspects in a stolen atomic bomb formula case, that are being killed with bullets that are not fired from a gun.

Director: Phil Rosen | Stars: Sidney Toler, Fortunio Bonanova, Benson Fong, Robert Emmett Keane

Votes: 609

9. The Shanghai Cobra (1945)

Approved | 64 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Someone is attempting to steal radium stored in a bank. Death by cobra venom connects a number of murders. Charlie investigates.

Director: Phil Karlson | Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Benson Fong, James Cardwell

Votes: 999

10. The Scarlet Clue (1945)

Approved | 65 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Charlie discovers a scheme for the theft of government radar plans while investigating several murders.

Director: Phil Rosen | Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Ben Carter, Benson Fong

Votes: 1,206

11. Charlie Chan in Rio (1941)

60 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

On the trail of a singer who killed the man she loved in Honolulu, Charlie finds her stabbed to death when he ultimately catches up to her in Rio.

Director: Harry Lachman | Stars: Sidney Toler, Mary Beth Hughes, Cobina Wright, Ted North

Votes: 1,184

12. Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise (1940)

Passed | 76 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Charlie tries to discover the identity of a strangler who strikes multiple times on a cruise ship bound from Honolulu to California.

Director: Eugene Forde | Stars: Sidney Toler, Marjorie Weaver, Lionel Atwill, Victor Sen Yung

Votes: 1,154

13. Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum (1940)

Approved | 63 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

An escaped convicted murderer hides out at a New York wax museum where he hopes to get plastic surgery, which will help him revenge himself on Charlie Chan.

Director: Lynn Shores | Stars: Sidney Toler, Victor Sen Yung, C. Henry Gordon, Marc Lawrence

Votes: 1,406

14. Charlie Chan in Panama (1940)

Approved | 67 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

Inspector Chan investigates a group of travelers, one of whom is a saboteur.

Director: Norman Foster | Stars: Sidney Toler, Jean Rogers, Lionel Atwill, Mary Nash

Votes: 1,206

15. Murder Over New York (1940)

Approved | 65 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

When Charlie's old friend from Scotland Yard is murdered when they attend a police convention in New York, Chan picks up the case he was working on.

Director: Harry Lachman | Stars: Sidney Toler, Marjorie Weaver, Robert Lowery, Ricardo Cortez

Votes: 1,100

16. Charlie Chan in Reno (1939)

Approved | 71 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Mary Whitman, an old friend of Charlie's in Reno for a divorce, finds herself accused of murdering the woman her husband planned to marry after the decree became final.

Director: Norman Foster | Stars: Sidney Toler, Ricardo Cortez, Phyllis Brooks, Slim Summerville

Votes: 1,223

17. Charlie Chan in London (1934)

Open | 79 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Charlie visits a wealthy country home in England. Suspects in the murder range from a housekeeper, to a stableman, to a lawyer.

Director: Eugene Forde | Stars: Warner Oland, Drue Leyton, Ray Milland, Mona Barrie

Votes: 1,756

18. Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo (1937)

Passed | 72 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Although Charlie and Lee are in Monaco for an art exhibit, they become caught up in a feud between rival financiers which involves the Chans in a web of blackmail and murder.

Director: Eugene Forde | Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Virginia Field, Sidney Blackmer

Votes: 1,299

19. Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937)

Approved | 68 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Returning from European exile where she avoided testifying against her criminal associates, a former singer with a tell-all diary is murdered to ensure her silence.

Director: Eugene Forde | Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Joan Marsh, J. Edward Bromberg

Votes: 1,279

20. Charlie Chan at the Opera (1936)

Passed | 68 min | Mystery

A dangerous amnesiac escapes from an asylum, hides in the opera house, and is suspected of getting revenge on those who tried to murder him 13 years ago.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone | Stars: Warner Oland, Boris Karloff, Keye Luke, Charlotte Henry

Votes: 1,875

21. Charlie Chan at the Olympics (1937)

Approved | 71 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

When a strategically important new aerial guidance system is stolen, Charlie traces it to the Berlin Olympics, where he has to battle spies and enemy agents to retrieve it.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone | Stars: Warner Oland, Katherine DeMille, Pauline Moore, Allan Lane

Votes: 1,453

22. Charlie Chan at the Race Track (1936)

Approved | 70 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

When a friend of Charlie's is found kicked to death by his own race horse on board a Honolulu-bound liner, the detective discovers foul play and uncovers an international gambling ring.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone | Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Helen Wood, Thomas Beck

Votes: 1,310

23. Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)

Approved | 72 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

While visiting the circus with his family, Charlie is recruited by the big top's co-owner to investigate threatening letters that he's received.

Director: Harry Lachman | Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, John McGuire, Shirley Deane

Votes: 1,458

24. Charlie Chan in Shanghai (1935)

Approved | 71 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

When a prominent official is murdered at a banquet honoring Charle Chan, the detective and son Lee team up to expose an opium-smuggling ring.

Director: James Tinling | Stars: Warner Oland, Irene Hervey, Jon Hall, Russell Hicks

Votes: 1,269

25. Charlie Chan in Paris (1935)

Approved | 72 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Hired to investigate forged bonds, Charlie is thwarted by the murder of his undercover agent, but the arrival of son Lee helps him uncover the true culprits.

Directors: Lewis Seiler, Hamilton MacFadden | Stars: Warner Oland, Mary Brian, Thomas Beck, Erik Rhodes

Votes: 1,415

26. Charlie Chan's Courage (1934)

Approved | 70 min | Mystery

Charlie is hired to deliver a pearl necklace to a millionaire at his ranch. When murder intervenes he disguises himself as a Chinese servant and begins sleuthing.

Directors: Eugene Forde, George Hadden | Stars: Warner Oland, Drue Leyton, Donald Woods, Paul Harvey

Votes: 417

27. Charlie Chan's Greatest Case (1933)

70 min | Mystery

When a good-for-nothing man named Dan is stabbed to death and his arm broken, Charlie Chan is on the case. His first clue comes from the victim's sister, who noticed a prowler wearing a glow-in-the-dark wristwatch.

Director: Hamilton MacFadden | Stars: Warner Oland, Heather Angel, Roger Imhof, John Warburton

Votes: 375

28. Charlie Chan's Chance (1932)

73 min | Mystery

Charlie is the intended murder victim here, and he avoids death only by chance. To find the murderer (since, of course, murder does occur), Charlie must outguess Scotland Yard and New York City police.

Director: John G. Blystone | Stars: Warner Oland, Alexander Kirkland, H.B. Warner, Marian Nixon

Votes: 405

29. Charlie Chan Carries On (1931)

76 min | Mystery

Charlie steps in to solve the murder of a wealthy American found dead in a London hotel. Settings include London, Nice, San Remo, Honolulu and Hong Kong. Fast-paced with lots of wisecracking.

Director: Hamilton MacFadden | Stars: Warner Oland, John Garrick, Marguerite Churchill, Warren Hymer

Votes: 470

30. The Thin Man (1934)

TV-PG | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton

Votes: 25,137

31. The Woman in Green (1945)

Approved | 68 min | Drama, Mystery

Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed. Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Hillary Brooke, Henry Daniell

Votes: 5,089

32. The Jade Mask (1945)

Not Rated | 66 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Eccentric scientist Harper lives in a spooky mansion with all the trimmings: hidden lab, secret panels, inscrutable butler, and greedy relatives with unusual talents. When Harper seems to ... See full summary »

Director: Phil Rosen | Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Edwin Luke, Hardie Albright

Votes: 1,063

33. Black Magic (1944)

Approved | 67 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Charlie searches for a murderer amidst numerous ghosts conjured up by a strange variety of spiritualists and occultists.

Director: Phil Rosen | Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Frances Chan, Joseph Crehan

Votes: 1,232

34. The Trap (1946)

Approved | 68 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

When a troupe of showgirls with their impresario and press agent vacation at a Malibu Beach resort, two of them are garroted. Charlie takes on the case assisted by Number Two Son Jimmy and faithful chauffeur Birmingham Brown.

Director: Howard Bretherton | Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Victor Sen Yung, Tanis Chandler

Votes: 909

35. Dangerous Money (1946)

Approved | 66 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

A treasury agent on the trail of counterfeit money confides to fellow ocean liner passenger Charlie Chan that there have been two attempts on his life.

Director: Terry O. Morse | Stars: Sidney Toler, Gloria Warren, Victor Sen Yung, Rick Vallin

Votes: 986

36. Shadows Over Chinatown (1946)

64 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Charlie investigates murders connected with insurance fraud. This one is set in San Francisco's Chinatown.

Director: Terry O. Morse | Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Victor Sen Yung, Tanis Chandler

Votes: 621

37. Dark Alibi (1946)

Approved | 61 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A public defender enlists Charlie to exonerate one of his clients, an ex-con falsely accused of bank robbery and murder, scheduled for execution in nine days.

Director: Phil Karlson | Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Ben Carter, Benson Fong

Votes: 1,036

38. Castle in the Desert (1942)

62 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Charlie Chan investigates apparent poisonings at a mystery mansion in the Mojave Desert.

Director: Harry Lachman | Stars: Sidney Toler, Arleen Whelan, Richard Derr, Douglass Dumbrille

Votes: 1,165

39. Dead Men Tell (1941)

Approved | 61 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

A treasure map in four pieces, the ghost of a hanged pirate, a talking parrot, and a ship full of red herrings complicate Charlie's search for a murderer on board a docked ship.

Director: Harry Lachman | Stars: Sidney Toler, Sheila Ryan, Robert Weldon, Victor Sen Yung

Votes: 1,072

40. City in Darkness (1939)

Approved | 75 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

While in Paris for a reunion on the eve of World War II, Charlie finds that the murder of an hated businessman leads him to a conspiracy to smuggle arms to Germany.

Director: Herbert I. Leeds | Stars: Sidney Toler, Lynn Bari, Richard Clarke, Harold Huber

Votes: 1,118



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