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FROM CHARLIE CHAN: “Man who walk have both feet on ground.”

GREETINGS! We have now reached the final stop of our Fox era Charlie Chan films. World events dictated that 20th Century-Fox could no longer depend on the international market for their films, so, the Chan series came to a close with “Castle in the Desert.”

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: “Castle in the Desert” (1942; 63 minutes) along with our “extra,” the SECOND episode of “Secret Agent X-9” with Keye Luke! (1945; 20 minutes).

FEATURE SUMMARY: A guest is murdered at Manderley Castle, a medieval reconstruction located in the middle of the Mojave Desert, which is owned by wealthy historian Paul Manderley and his wife, Lucy, who is a descendent of the notorious Borgia family. Charlie Chan, who was summoned to the castle earlier, and Number Two Son, Jimmy, away on leave from the U.S. Army, quickly get to work trying to unravel the mystery.

FEATURE NOTES: Although an August 15, 1941 ‘Hollywood Reporter’ news item stated that John Larkin would write the screenplay for this film based on an original story by producer Ralph Dietrich, no other contemporary source confirms Dietrich's contributions to the picture as a writer. According to a studio press release and another ‘Hollywood Reporter’ news item, Janis Carter was originally cast as Brenda Hartford. The Variety review erroneously lists the film's running time as 51 minutes. “Castle in the Desert” was the last Charlie Chan film produced by Twentieth Century-Fox. After Sidney Toler obtained the film rights to the character from the widow of Earl Derr Biggers, he continued to make Chan films at Monogram Pictures. It is interesting to note that Victor Sen Yung's life would soon share a parallel with that of Charlie Chan's Number Two Son, Jimmy, as he would soon be joining the U.S. Army Air Forces for the duration of World War II.

TRIVIA: “Manderley Castle,” this week’s “Castle in the Desert,” was most probably influenced by the real-life “Scotty’s Castle” (, located in Death Valley.

TERM OF THE WEEK: Spanish War (also Spanish Revolution, Spanish Civil War) - A war fought in Spain between the years 1936 and 1939. The fascists, led by Generalissimo Franco eventually prevailed due to the military assistance provided by Germany.

Lucy Manderley: "He was killed in the Spanish War."

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.

CAST (as credited):

Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Arleen Whelan: Brenda Hartford
Richard Derr: Carl Detheridge
Douglas Dumbrille: [Paul] Manderley
Henry Daniell: Watson King (also known as Jim; alias Cesare Borgia)
Edmund MacDonald: Walter Hartford
Sen Yung: Jimmy Chan
Lenita Lane: Lucy Manderley (formally known as Lucia and Princess Lucrezia della Borgia)
Ethel Griffies: Madame Saturnia (also called Lizzie)
Milton Parsons: [Arthur] Fletcher
Steve Geray: Dr. Retling
Lucien Littlefield: [Professor] Gleason

UNCREDITED CAST (alphabetical):

Oliver Blake: Hotel Owner
George Chandler: Bus Driver
Paul Kruger: Servant
Tex Phelps: Townsman
Oliver ********* Hank
Eric Wilton: Wilson

QUESTION: Whom do you feel most like in your life?

Charlie Chan 43%

Birmingham Brown 57%

Please take our JULY Poll!

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, July 20 as we share “Charlie Chan in the Secret Service”!

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: The Postman on Holiday

SO, PLEASE JOIN US as we join “Castle in the Desert.”



Rush Glick