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FROM CHARLIE CHAN: “Only very clever man can bite pie without breaking crust.”

GREETINGS as we continue our Charlie Chan family Film Tour for 2020! This week’s film, “The Black Camel,” is the second entry of the Charlie Chan film series proper. It is also the oldest film in the series that is available to us today, and we see Warner Oland still developing his “take” on Charlie Chan. We also see none other than Bela Lugosi who was fresh off of his film, “Dracula.” Dwight Frye, also a major character in the Lugosi film, appears as well in our feature.

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:

THIS WEEK’S PRESENTATIONS: “The Black Camel” (1931; 71 minutes) along with our “extra,” the fourth episode of “The Green Hornet“: “The Thundering Terror” (21 minutes).

Warner Oland: Charlie Chan
Sally Eilers: Julie O'Neill
Bela Lugosi: Tarneverro
Dorothy Revier: Shelah Fane
Victor Varconi: Robert Fyfe
Murray Kinnell: Smith
William Post, Jr.: Alan Jaynes
Robert Young: Jimmy Bradshaw
Violet Dunn: Anna
J.M. Kerrigan: Thomas MacMasters
Mary Gordon: Mrs. MacMasters
Rita Rozelle: Luana
Otto Yamaoka: Kashimo
Dwight Frye: Jessop (not credited)
C. Henry Gordon: Huntley Van Horn (not credited)
Robert Homans: Chief of Police (not credited)
Bo Ling: Number One Chan Daughter (not credited)
Louise Mackintosh: Librarian (not credited)
Hamilton MacFadden: Movie Director [Val Martino] (not credited)
Melvin Paoa: Hawaiian Beach Boy (not credited)
Richard Tucker: Wilkie Ballou (not credited)
James Wang: Wong (not credited)
Marjorie White: Rita Ballou (not credited)
(Unknown): Miss [Diana] Dixon (not credited)

FEATURE SUMMARY: Hollywood star Shelah Fane, who is in Hawaii shooting a film on location, is murdered in her beach house in Waikiki. Detective Charlie Chan of the Honolulu Police Department is called on to investigate. "Death is a black camel that kneels unbidden at every gate. Tonight black camel has knelt here," Chan tells the assembled suspects.

FEATURE NOTES: The novel “The Black Camel,” by Earl Derr Biggers, was originally published serially in The Saturday Evening Post between May 18 and June 22, 1929. Sources conflict concerning the release date of the film. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, some scenes were shot in Honolulu, where some of the film's music was also recorded.

TRIVIA: Sally Eilers, who plays Julie O’Neill in “The Black Camel,” traveled with her husband, famed cowboy movie star, “Hoot” Gibson aboard the ‘City of Los Angeles’ to Honolulu along with the rest of the cast and crew of the movie. Stan Laurel, taking a break from filming, was also among the ship’s passengers.

WORD OF THE WEEK: applesauce - (Slang) Nonsense; foolishness.

Charlie Chan's Oldest Daughter: “Ah, that's a lot of applesauce!"

TIME: We begin with greetings at 7:30 EASTERN TIME. Then, we share our “extra” presentation, the FOURTH chapter of the movie serial “The Green Hornet,“ which will be followed at exactly 8:15 when we roll our feature film for our Monday evening, “Eran Trece.”

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. Fortunately, OUR FEATURE IS AVAILABLE ONLINE, so please use the link provided at our Chat Room.

OUR MONTHLY POLL: Please take a moment to cast your vote in our January 2020 POLL, found as you scroll down our Entrance Page (! This month’s question: “For my sole Charlie Chan New Year’s resolution for 2020, I will strive to:” Now…VOTE!!


In your opinion, who provided the better "pairing" with Birmingham Brown?

Number Two Son, Jimmy (later known as "Tommy") 64%

Number Three Son, Tommy 36%

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

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, February 3, for a shared viewing of “Charlie Chan in London.”

AND DON’T MISS THIS GREAT CHARLIE CHAN BLOG!: Continuing strongly in 2020, great blog site, The Postman on Holiday, offered by our own Charlie Chan and Earl Derr Biggers expert, 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:

THE CHARLIE CHAN FAMILY NEWSLETTER FOR THE YEAR 2019 IS NOW AVAILABLE! HonoluLou has edited and produced this year's recap of the past year, 2019, for all things Charlie Chan. This tour de force issue can be accessed at: ENJOY!

SO, PLEASE JOIN US for this week’s Monday Evening Chat and Film Viewing as we share “The Black Camel.”



Rush Glick