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Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 6 September 1940 (USA)
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

Writers:

John Francis Larkin (original screen play) (as John Larkin), Earl Derr Biggers (based on the character created by: Charlie Chan)
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Inspector Chan investigates a group of travelers, one of whom is a saboteur.

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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.

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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
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sidney Toler ... Charlie Chan
Victor Sen Yung ... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
C. Henry Gordon ... Dr. Cream
Marc Lawrence ... Steve McBirney
Joan Valerie ... Lily Latimer
Marguerite Chapman ... Mary Bolton
Ted Osborne Ted Osborne ... Tom Agnew (as Ted Osborn)
Michael Visaroff ... Dr. Otto Von Brom
Hilda Vaughn ... Mrs. Rocke
Charles Wagenheim Charles Wagenheim ... Willie Fern
Archie Twitchell ... Carter Lane
Eddie Marr Eddie Marr ... Grenock (as Edward Marr)
Joe King ... Inspector O'Matthews
Harold Goodwin ... Edwards
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Storyline

A wax museum run by a demented doctor contains statues of such crime figures as Jack the Ripper and Bluebeard. In addition to making wax statues the doctor performs plastic surgery. It is here that an arch fiend takes refuge. The museum also houses a statue of Charlie. Frustrated number-two son kicks statue in rear; oops, number-two son wrong in his assumption. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Death In The Electric Chair Faces Charlie Chan---at the hands of a murderer twelve years dead! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The round mummy's casket that Jimmy chan keeps hiding in was also used in Charlie chan at treasure island as a main prop in rhadini's stage show where he's trying to debunk the great zodiacs claims of being a true mystic See more »

Goofs

When Inspector Matthews comes in through the museum window, his coat is wet from the thunderstorm outside. Seconds thereafter, although his face still has rain dripping from it, his coat is now dry. See more »

Quotes

Inspector O'Matthews: I think I'll catch your act tonight, Charlie. In fact, I'll go with you.
Charlie Chan: No, please. Mice only play when cat supposed to be in bed.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Dark Alibi (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spooky times in the Chamber of Horrors
2 July 2002 | by Jim TrittenSee all my reviews

Excellent series entry and one of Sidney Toler's best Chan films. New direction by Lynn Shores gives this series a new look and feel. The most significant feature of this film is the mixing of suspicious characters with very realistic wax figures in the dark dungeon-like Dr. Cream's Chamber of Horrors on the New York waterfront (admission 25¢) Naturally it is raining outside most of the time (thunder and lightening to boot) and the lights keep going out.

Witty dialog add to the enjoyment. Chan provides his usual pearls of wisdom: `Knowledge only gained through curiosity,' `Mice only play when cat supposed to be in bed,' and `Sometimes better to see and not tell…' We can thank writer John Larkin who also penned a few other good Chan films including `Charlie Chan at Treasure Island.'

The story unfolds quickly and the comic relief provided by Jimmy Chan is more subtle than it other entries. Plenty of suspects, lots of misdirection, more than enough clues, and in the end Chan reveals what he knew that could not be known by the viewer; i.e. you can only guess who is the killer. Nevertheless, just sit back and enjoy this one. My wife even liked it. Highly recommended.


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