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"Charlie Chan in Egypt," from 1935, came only about a dozen years after the earthshaking discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun by archeologist Howard Carter. This discovery rocked the world with tales of ancient curses and ancient treasures, influencing everything from Art Deco, fashion, and architecture.
In the wake of all this, which was still vivid in the minds of moviegoers, Charlie Chan entered that milieu with an adventure complete with mummies and curses from the distant past! The very beginning of "Charlie Chan in Egypt" features a scene of the opening of a tomb, reminiscent of Carter's first glimpse of what Tut's tomb contained through the initial opening of that tomb. We also witness the mysterious demise of a worker, suggesting the first death-by-curse.
Throughout the Chan film series, we see real-world connections, both cultural and historical. This aspect of the movies offers an added treat that I for one, greatly enjoy. I also recall the late Joanne Walsh telling us on a number of occasions during our Monday Evening Chats, how she would use Charlie Chan movies to teach her young children some history, and "Egypt" fit in well in that regard.
Rush, that was so wise of Joan (RIP) to teach history to her children through Charlie's films! I hadn't really thought of it, but I spent a decade of Sundays watching Chan films with my grand kids. They loved them, mostly laughed their way through each one every weekend and fighting about which film we'd see. Hopefully, their little gray cells soaked-up something in the process about history and events.
It's also okay to watch our favorite detective and have FUN! :) In fact, it seems that you and the kids had a GREAT time! I would guess, however, that some of the "teachable" elements made their silent mark...
Your 50 years of Charlie Chan enthusiasm fuels the soul! I have found that virtually ALL films in the series offer at least one tidbit of history! The film that we will be watching for our Monday Evening Chat this week, "Charlie Chan in Shanghai," is no exception! Shanghai was a British possession, as is shown, the opium trade was a blight at the time of our movie, the League of Nations is noted, and more.
I know that you will continue to enjoy these great and historically relevant pictures! Also, please consider joining us for one of our upcoming Monday evenings!