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FROM CHARLIE CHAN: “Truth is only path out of tangled web.”
GREETINGS… We go back a year…to 1938, as Charlie Chan takes the time to travel to Paris to attend a reunion of members of the Intelligence Service, who served during the “Great War” as it was then called. The City of Light is thrust into darkness, as the winds of war begin to blow across Europe. However, murder takes no notice, as Charlie Chan seeks to solve a killing that could cost him his own life!
OUR CHAT ROOM: Our Chat Room can be accessed the same way that we accessed by going to our “Chat Room” link at charliechan.info, or use this direct link: http://www.charliechan.info/id17.html
THIS WEEK’S PRESENTATIONS: “Charlie Chan in City in Darkness” (1939; 69 minutes) along with our “extra,” the SEVENTH episode of “Lost City of the Jungle” with Keye Luke! (1946; 16 minutes [Begin viewing at the 26:10 mark, finishing at the 42:10 mark!]).
“Charlie Chan in City in Darkness” CAST:
CAST (as credited):
Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Lynn Bari: Marie Dubon (also known as Madame Madero)
Richard Clark: Tony Madero
Harold Huber: Marcel [Spivak]
Pedro de Cordoba: Antoine
Dorothy Tree: Charlotte Ronnell
C. Henry Gordon: Prefect of Police [J. Romaine]
Douglas Drumbrille: [B.] Petroff
Noel Madison: Belescu
Leo Carroll: Louis Santelle
Lon Chaney, Jr.: Pierre
Louis Mercier: ["Gentleman"] Max
George Davis: Alex
Barbara Leonard: Lola
Adrienne d'Ambricourt: Landlady
Frederik Vogeding: Captain [Holtz]
Gino Corrado: Cafe Owner
UNCREDITED CAST (alphabetical):
Eugene Borden: Gendarme
André Cheron: Robed Man in Hallway
Ann Codee: Complainant at Police Headquarters
Albert Conti: Travel Agency Manager
Gino Corrado: Wine Cellar Proprietor
Jean De Briac: Puppeteer
Jean Del Val: Taxicab Driver
Harry Fleishmann: Baptiste
Constant Franke: Officer
Arno Frey: Pilot
John George: Victor the Gyp
Paul Irving: Doctor
Jeanne Lafayette: French Girl
Michael Mark: Mechanic
Alphonse Martell: Gendarme
Alberto Morin: Clerk
Nita Pike: Telephone Operator
Albert Pollet: Taxicab Driver
Frank Puglia: Gendarme at Steamship Office
Joseph Romantini: Gendarme
Rolfe Sedan: Hotel Manager
Tom Seidel: Philip
Lester Sharpe: Market Man
George Sorel: Plainclothes Officer
Larry Steers: Man Leaving Paris
Jaques Vanaire: Gendarme
Veola Vonn: French Girl
Poppty Wilde: One of Petroff's Girlfriends
Marek Windheim: Taxicab Driver
FEATURE SUMMARY: Charlie Chan is in Paris attending the twentieth anniversary gathering of members of the Intelligence Service, who have come together in that city to mark the occasion. There, as the City of Light is darkened by the gathering clouds of impending war, he investigates the murder of a munitions manufacturer who was supplying arms to the enemy.
FEATURE NOTES: “Charlie Chan in City in Darkness” begins with newsreel-like footage featuring actual European leaders of the moment, including Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Edward Benes (then president of Czechoslovakia), and Neville Chamberlain (then prime Minister of Great Britain, who became famous for his "Peace for Our Time" statement based on the dubious outcome of the Munich Conference which figures at the end of the film via Charlie Chan’s ominous warning).
TRIVIA: “Charlie Chan in City in Darkness” marks Lon Chaney, Junior’s second appearance in a Charlie Chan movie. His first was in “Charlie Chan on Broadway.” He also appears in “Mr. Moto’s Gamble,” which was originally slated to be “Charlie Chan at the Ringside.”
THIS WEEK’S TERM: Croix de Guerre - with Palms - A French military decoration for bravery in combat. A bronze palm is added for those cited at the army level.
Marcel Spivak: "We will get the Croix de Guerre - with palms!"
LOCATION: Our Charlie Chan Family Chat Room, which is accessed at http://www.charliechan.info/id17.html.
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 MAY 2020 POLL, found as you scroll down our Entrance Page (http://www.charliechan.info/index.html)! This month’s question: Which of these two Charlie Chan films better exemplifies the current coronavirus threat that we are now experiencing in our time?
OUR APRIL POLL RESULT:
QUESTION: Which of these two Charlie Chan films better exemplifies the current coronavirus threat that we are now experiencing in our time?
The threat of the bubonic-infected rats in Dr. Grosser's laboratory (Charlie Chan in Panama) 79%
The threat of an enemy poison gas attack on Paris (Charlie Chan in City in Darkness) 21%
DO YOU HAVE A POLL QUESTION? Please feel free to suggest a Monthly Poll question! Send your ideas to: email@example.com.
OUR CCF CHAT ARCHIVE: Please take a look at our growing collection of CCF Chat Texts from previous years and this year: http://www.charliechan.info/id630.html
NEXT WEEK: Please join us on Monday, May 25, for a shared viewing of “Charlie Chan in Panama.”
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." Updated each month, it can be found at this address: https://thepostmanonholiday.com/
THE CHARLIE CHAN FAMILY NEWSLETTER FOR THE YEAR 2019 REMAINS 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: https://thepostmanonholidayhome.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/2019-newsletter-master1-dec-28.pdf ENJOY!
SO, PLEASE JOIN US for this week’s Monday Evening Chat and Film Viewing as we join “Charlie Chan in City in Darkness.”
THANK YOU SO MUCH…
"City" has a thrilling scene when the villains tied up Charlie.
Unfortunatly most time Charlie plays assistant to a non-serious character which is a bad choice.
Usually our detective is on his own. Sometimes helps a (serious) policeman like in Broadway or Rio. But not Thacker in London. The inspector in Reno but not the Sheriff!
When I first watched this film, I thought the Parisian setting and pre-WWII atmosphere would help create a Chan film that would be unique and memorable. Then, enter Harold Huber. I think his character of Marcel almost ruins the movie. He is likeable in the scene where he and Charlie are at the dead man's house, investigating the office, but most of the time he is too loud and bumbling, and he often distracts from the film.
Yes, Huber's Marcel was a bit over the top! Today, he would probably be diagnosed as being ADHD! Some years ago, Virginia Johnson, in writing to Kay Linaker, actually asked about Huber's portrayal of Marcel. Her answer was something to the effect that it was the director's (Herbert Leeds) "fault"! I guess we can at least see this as an example of Huber's "range" as an actor.
Always great to hear from you! Take care...