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FROM CHARLIE CHAN: “In my business, always expect to find something wrong.”

GREETINGS! This week, as we celebrate the birthday of EARL DERR BIGGERS, Charlie Chan’s “Poppa,” we follow Charlie Chan who is on the trail of the notorious “Cobra Killer” in a case that has its roots nearly a decade in the past and half a world away!

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 Shanghai Cobra” (1945; 64 minutes) along with our “extra,” the EIGHTH episode of “Secret Agent X-9” with Keye Luke! (1945; 20 minutes).
FEATURE SUMMARY: Charlie Chan is sent by the government to investigate several murders connected with a bank where a vital store of radium is kept. A number of employees of the bank have been killed by an injection of cobra venom. Chan remembers a similar case back in Shanghai in 1937, but the suspect in those murders, his face disfigured in an explosion, escaped. Number Tree Son, Tommy, and assistant Birmingham Brown help the detective as the trio places themselves in mortal danger as they track down the illusive "Cobra Killer."

FEATURE NOTES: The title card for this film reads: “Charlie Chan in ‘The Shanghai Cobra’." In “The Shanghai Cobra,” we see an odd one-way video jukebox operated from a distant location. This is very probably an adaptation of the idea of "Soundies," popular during the early to mid-1940s. Soundies, precursors of today's music videos, were viewed on special 16 mm rear-projected machines called Panorams. These machines were located in bars, restaurants, nightclubs, etc.

TRIVIA: Actual footage of the Japanese bombing of Shanghai is used in the flashback sequence.

As THIS WEEK’S BONUS we have an interesting “double-meaning” sequence of dialogue between Birmingham Brown and Tommy Chan that we will see in this week’s film:

Charlie Chan (to Birmingham): "You get illegal U-turn ticket?

"Mr. Chan, I'll tell you just how- Tommy, you tell him!"

Tommy: "I warned you, Birmingham, I said, 'No U-turn here'."

"Yeah, that's what you said, 'No, you turn here'!"

Tommy: "I said, 'No U-turn here'."

"That's what I did! You said, 'No, you turn here'!"

Tommy: "Pop, I told him! I said, 'No U-turn here'!"

"That's what you said, No, you turn here', and I did!"

Tommy: "You see what I mean, Pop? I said, 'No U-turn here'!"

"Mr. Chan, did you hear? He said, No you-'"

Charlie Chan: "Please! Please! You turn so many U-turns you have my head spinning like Merry-go-round!"

TERM OF THE WEEK: peacherino - (Informal) Variant of peach. A very attractive woman.
Joe: "...he went through here like a flash chasing the peacherino."
THIS WEEK’S IMAGE: (Attached) Tommy Chan insists that they are inside the location of the laundry that had a secret trap door leading to the city sewer system below.

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
Mantan Moreland: Birmingham Brown
Benson Fong: Tommy Chan
James Cardwell: Ned Stewart
Joan Barclay: Paula Webb (alias Pauline Webster and Paula van Horn)
Addison Richards: John Adams (alias Jan van Horn)
Arthur Loft: Bradford Harris (alias Special Agent Hume)
Janet Warren: Lorraine
Gene Stutenroth: Morgan
Joe Devlin: Taylor
James Flavin: H.R. Jarvis
Roy Gordon: Walter Fletcher
Walter Fenner: Inspector Harry Davis

UNCREDITED CAST (alphabetical):

Andy Andrews: Police Officer Outside Joe's Coffee Shop
Bob Blair: Corning
George Chandler: Joe Nelson
Cyril Delevanti: Larkin
John Goldsworthy: Manwaring
Stephan Gregory: Samuel Black
Karen Knight: Telephone Switchboard Supervisor
Mary Moore: Rita
Tiny Newlin: Guard
Dianne Quillan: Telephone Operator
Bob Reeves: Police Officer
Jack Richardson: Mailman
Bill Ruhl: Gregory
Leonard Mudie: Horace Karlos
Tom Quinn: Chemist
Charles Sherlock: Sergeant McGraw
Emmett Vogan: Hamilton
Charles Wagenheim: Rausch
Crane Whitley: Cooper (alias Carper and Cauper)

OUR MONTHLY POLL: Please take a moment to cast your vote in our August 2020 POLL, found as you scroll down our Entrance Page (!


QUESTION: Which would you choose as the better "prison movie" in the Charlie Chan series?

Charlie Chan in London 59%

Dark Alibi 41%

Please cast your vote in our AUGUST 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, August 31 as we watch “The Red Dragon”!

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, REMEMBER, PLEASE JOIN US for this week’s feature: “The Shanghai Cobra.”


Rush Glick