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November 4, 2019 Our Annual MELBOURNE CUP NIGHT! "Charlie Chan at the Race Track"



FROM CHARLIE CHAN: “Useless talk like boat without oar - get no place.”

OUR CHAT ROOM: Our Chat Room can be accessed the same way that we accessed by going to our “Chat Room” link at, or use this direct link:

It’s time for our Annual Melbourne Cup Night! This is another of our most anticipated evenings of our Chan-filled year! Get ready to “place your bets” to see who walks away with our traditional winner’s prize, the vintage Chan era silver half-dollar, echoing the bet placed on Gallant Lad by Mr. Chan, himself (please see attachment)! As our evening progresses, I will be pulling random numbers, each corresponding to a particular horse in the big race. When the actual ace is run in Melbourne, Australia, after our evening concludes, the one holding the winning “ticket” gets the coin for this year. Our movie will be “Charlie Chan at the Race Track,” starring Warner Oland, ably assisted by our Number One Son, Keye Luke!

THIS WEEK’S PRESENTATIONS: “Charlie Chan at the Race Track” (1936; 70 minutes) and Chapter 3 of the radio drama, “The Baffling Murder of Col. Willoughby“ (October 1,1936; 15 minutes) starring Walter Connolly.


Warner Oland: Charlie Chan
Keye Luke: Lee Chan
Helen Wood: Alice Fenton
Thomas Beck: Bruce Rogers
Alan Dinehart: George Chester
Gavin Muir: Bagley
Gloria Roy: Catherine Chester
Jonathan Hale: Warren Fenton
G.P. Huntley, Jr.: Denny Barton
George Irving: Major [Gordon] Kent
Frank Coghlan, Jr.: Eddie Brill
Frankie Darro: "Tip" Collins
John Rogers: Mooney
John H. Allen: "Streamline" Jones
Harry Jans: Al Meers
Robert Warwick: Honolulu Police Chief Inspector (not credited)
Billy Wayne: Smithers (not credited)
Sam Flint: Ship's Captain [Captain Blake] (not credited)
Selmer Jackson: J.L. Lansing (not credited)
Ivan "Dusty" Miller: Captain Wade (not credited)
Ed Hart: Detective (not credited)
George Magrill: Detective (not credited)
David Worth: Detective (not credited)
James Flavin: Detective (not credited)
Harry Strang: Detective (not credited)
Al Kikume: Detective (not credited)
Boothe Howard: Ship's Doctor [Dr. Johnson] (not credited)
Sidney Bracey: Waiter (not credited)
Jack Mulhall: Second Purser (not credited)
William Wayne: Seaman (not credited)
Les Srechley: Seaman (not credited)
Billie Oakley: Seaman (not credited)
Charles Williams: Reporter #1 (not credited)
Eddie Fetherston: Reporter #2 (not credited)
Max Wagner: Joe (not credited)
Jerry Jerome: Chuck (not credited)
Harlan Tucker: Gangster (not credited)
Sammy Finn: Gangster (not credited)
Wilbur Mack: Gangster (not credited)
Norman Willis: Gangster (not credited)
Paul Fix: Lefty (not credited)
Holmes Herbert: Melbourne Cup Chief Steward (not credited)
Colin Kenny: Judge (not credited)
Robert E. Homans: Judge (not credited)
H. Bruce Humberstone: Gambler (not credited)
Lew Hicks: Policeman (not credited)
Bob Ellsworth: Policeman (not credited)
Lucille Miller: Secretary (not credited)
James Eagles: Chick Patton (not credited)
Bobby Tanzel: Gilroy (not credited)
Bruce Mitchell: Gateman (not credited)
Clyde McAtee: "Blackton" man (not credited)
Jack Green: "Blackton" man (not credited)
Pat O'Malley: Track Official (not credited)
Tom McGuire: Track Official (not credited)
David Thursby: Steward (not credited)
Forrest Taylor: Photo Booth Worker (not credited)
Ray Hanson: Third Officer (not credited)
Sam Hayes: Track Announcer (not credited)
Cyril Ring: Race Track Extra (not credited)
Larry Steers: Railbird (not credited)
Bobby Hale: Race Track Patron (not credited)
Neil Fitzgerald (not credited)
Josephine the monkey: Lollipop (not credited)
John Mooney (?) (not credited)

FEATURE SUMMARY: Following the suspicious disqualification of his horse, Avalanche, in the Melbourne Cup, Major Kent, a friend of Charlie Chan, returning to the United States with the thoroughbred via steamship, is found kicked to death in the horse's stall. Chan investigates when the liner stops off in Honolulu. He discovers evidence of foul play, and when the detective uncovers fraud involving another race in Los Angeles, he, along with Number One Son, Lee, seeks to expose an international gambling ring as well as the murderer.

FEATURE NOTES: The Roxy Theatre in New York billed this film as “At the Race Track with Charlie Chan.” ‘Variety’ reviewed the movie as “Chan at the Race Track.” According to ‘Motion Picture Herald’ and ‘Liberty,’ some scenes in the film were shot at Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, California, and the film contained footage of "some of the most spectacular events of the recent racing season." ‘Motion Picture Herald’ also notes that the film "has a semi-topical significance in as much as a great antipodean horse, Pharlap, brought to this country a few years ago [from Australia], died under circumstances that have never been fully explained." ‘Liberty’ notes that Technical Director Monroe Liebergold had been a jockey for the well-known horse breeder H. P. Whitney. Although ‘Hollywood Reporter’ production charts list Neil Fitzgerald and John Mooney as additional actors, and only Neil Fitzgerald's participation in the final film has been confirmed.

Horses are, by their nature, not loners. It has long been a common practice for thoroughbred racehorses to be paired with a horse known as a companion pony which provides both a source of friendship and support. However, as we see in the case in Charlie Chan at the Race Track of Streamline’s pet monkey, Lollipop, these companion animals are not limited to horses. Other animals, such as dogs, goats, sheep, and, yes, monkeys, have been known to provide companionship to racehorses. In her article “What is a Companion Pony?” Jill Pellettieri notes that the famous horse Seabiscuit had a number of different companion animals and a horse named Pumpkin enjoyed the company of a dog named Pocatell and a spider monkey named Jo-Jo.

TRIVIA: The ship seen portraying the SS ‘Oceanic’ through stock footage in our feature was the Canadian Pacific liner RMS ‘Empress of Japan.’

WORD OF THE WEEK: plank - To put or set down emphatically or with force.

Detective: "What the kid means is to plank your dough on the nag's schnozola."

TIME: We begin with acrid arrivals and ghoulish greetings at 7:30 EASTERN TIME. Then, we share our “extra” presentation, part 3 of “The Baffling Murder of Col. Willoughby,” which will be followed at exactly 8:15 when we roll our first feature for our Monday evening, “Charlie Chan at the Race Track.”

LOCATION: Our Charlie Chan Family Chat Room, which is accessed at

IF YOU LACK A COPY OF OUR FILM: Often our features can be found online. Happily, our feature as well as our extra are available online. Please use the links provided at our Chat Room. (Please note that the online copy of “Charlie Chan at the Race Track” has a lengthy movie trailer at the beginning for “House of the Sixth happiness.)

OUR MONTHLY POLL: Please take a moment to cast your vote in our NOVEMBER 2019 POLL, found as you scroll down our Entrance Page (! This month’s question: “Would you like to see a revival of the collaborative group-produced Charlie Chan film script project?” WE CAN’T TAKE NOTE IF YOU DON’T VOTE!


“Which would you most likely participate in to celebrate the Charlie Chan family Home's platinum 20th anniversary, Sunday, October 3, 2021?”

A trip to Earl Derr Biggers' home, Warren, Ohio and dinner at the nearby Welchfield Inn. 0%

A trip to Honolulu, Hawaii with tour of the HPD police museum, Chang Apana's grave, a Charlie Chan tour by Hawaii Steve's "Honolulu Ghost & Mystery Tours," and dinner at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. 42%

Organize a one-day Charlie Chan symposium (location to be determined) with discussion groups, guest speakers, and dinner. 42%

Meet at an existing film-related conference or convention, possibly pre-arranging to participate in some way such as hosting a film presentation with a group discussion, a "live" chat, etc. 16%

OUR CCF CHAT ARCHIVE: Please take a look at our growing collection of CCF Chat Texts from previous years and this year:

NEXT WEEK: Please join us on Monday, November 11, as we join together for a viewing of “Docks of New Orleans.”

DON’T MISS THIS GREAT CHARLIE CHAN BLOG!: A great blog site, The Postman on Holiday, offered by our own Lou Armagno which is: "A place to explore all things surrounding Detective Charlie Chan, his creator Earl Derr Biggers, and their connection with Hawaii, Cleveland, and mystery fiction." It can be found at this address:

DO YOU HAVE A POLL QUESTION? Please feel free to suggest a Monthly Poll question! Send your ideas to:!

SO, PLEASE JOIN US for this week’s Monday Evening Chat and Film Viewing as we celebrate the Melbourne Cup horse race with “CHARLIE CHAN AT THE RACE TRACK.”


Rush Glick