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OUR CCF MONDAY EVENING CHAT AND FILM VIEWING FOR July 20: “Charlie Chan in the Secret Service”

FROM CHARLIE CHAN: “Suspicion, like rain, fall upon just and unjust.”

GREETINGS! This week we begin the Monogram Pictures era of the Charlie Chan film series as we join “Charlie Chan in the Secret Service.” As we know, Charlie Chan has worked for the U.S. government before, and now this becomes his official wartime position.

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: “Charlie Chan in the Secret Service” (1944; 65 minutes) along with our “extra,” the THIRD episode of “Secret Agent X-9” with Keye Luke! (1945; 20 minutes).

FEATURE SUMMARY: A scientist, George Melton, is working on an important new invention which will protect Allied shipping from German U-boat attacks. Although he has been assigned Secret Service security protection he is murdered in his Washington, D.C. home. Charlie Chan, now working for the Secret Service in Washington, is assigned to the case. Chan is soon joined by two of his children, Number Three Son, Tommy, second daughter, Iris, as well as Birmingham Brown, the chauffeur of one of the guests. When the autopsy reveals the Melton was electrocuted, Chan must determine who among the numerous suspects is the guilty party.

FEATURE NOTES: This was the first Charlie Chan film that Sidney Toler made at Monogram Pictures after leaving Twentieth Century-Fox following the cancellation of the Charlie Chan film series at that studio. Toler, who had starred as Chan in many of the Fox films, bought the screen rights to the character from the widow of writer Earl Derr Biggers and continued to star as Chan for Monogram until his death in 1947, after which time Roland Winters assumed the role. This film also marked the beginning of Charlie Chan's work with the U.S. Secret Service for the remainder of the war. Mantan Moreland also made his debut as Birmingham Brown, a character who would become a mainstay of the series for the remainder of its run. Benson Fong appeared for the first time as Number Three Son Tommy, while his sister Iris, portrayed by Marianne Quon, made her sole series appearance in “Charlie Chan in the Secret Service.”

TRIVIA: The California State Building (1931-1975) in Los Angeles is the government building used for Charlie Chan's office. Early in the film, Sidney Toler walks through the lobby of the State Building and out the entrance to the street to his waiting taxi.

TERM OF THE WEEK: hepcats - (Slang) Performers or devotees of swing or jazz in the 1940s.

Tommy Chan: "...we're hepcats of the younger generation."

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 JULY 2020 POLL, found as you scroll down our Entrance Page (! Be sure to cast your vote in this month’s poll!

CAST (as credited):

Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Mantan Moreland: Birmingham Brown
Arthur Loft: Jones
Gwen Kenyon: Inez Aranto
Sarah Edwards: Mrs. Hargue
George Lewis: Paul Aranto
Marianne Quon: Iris Chan
Benson Fong: Tommy Chan
Muni Seroff: Peter Laska
Barry Bernard: David Blake
Gene Stutenroth: Louis Philipe Vega (alias Philipe von Vegon)
Eddie Chandler: Lewis
Lelah Tyler: Mrs. Winters

UNCREDITED CAST (alphabetical):

Davidson Clark: Sgt. Billings
John Elliot: George Melton
Stan Jolley: Coroner's Assistant
George Lessey: Slade
Gene Oliver

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 27 as we share “The Chinese Cat”!

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

The Postman on Holiday
A place to explore all things surrounding Detective Charlie Chan, his creator Earl Derr Biggers, and their conne...

SO, PLEASE JOIN US as we join “Charlie Chan in the Secret Service.”


Rush Glick