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OUR ANNUAL CCF VIRTUAL HALLOWEEN PARTY, October 26: “Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum”

FROM CHARLIE CHAN: “Justice can be brought to dead men.”

HORRIFIC GREETINGS! We have now reached that time of the year, when skies darken, the rising moon is bathed in blood, and the dead rise from their slumber! It is time for our Annual Charlie Chan Family Virtual Halloween Party, where we gather together, VIRTUALLY COSTUMRD as any character – good or otherwise, human or animal or apparition! - from a movie from the Charlie Chan film series! Our identities will be “unmasked” at the end of our evening! And, lest I neglect to tell you, our featured film will be “Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum”…spooky, indeed!

OUR HAUNTED CHAT ROOM: If you dare, 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 PRESENTATION: “Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum” (1940; 63 minutes) along with our “extra,” the FOURTH episode of “The Adventures of Smilin’ Jack” with Keye Luke…and Sidney Toler! (1943; 20 minutes).

FEATURE SUMMARY: Escaped killer Steve McBirney vows to get even with Charlie Chan whose testimony was key in his conviction. Recovering from plastic surgery at an eerie wax museum run by Dr. Cream, the killer lies in wait. Chan is lured to the museum through an offer to participate in a live radio broadcast there. Fortuitously escaping a death trap, Chan, along with Number Two Son, Jimmy, investigates the murder of one of the other participants which is connected to a crime that occurred a decade before.

FEATURE NOTES: According to David Robert Cellitti, the wax figure of Charlie Chan (and, perhaps we may assume that the rest of the wax figures used in the film) was made by a studio in Los Angeles called The Stubergh's, which was run by Katherine Stubergh. ‘The late Katherine Stubergh was my mentor. She supplied wax figures for such films as “House of Wax,” “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” “The Frozen Ghost” and many other pictures...including “Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum”.’

CAST (as credited):

Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Sen Yung: Jimmy Chan
C. Henry Gordon: Dr. Cream
Marc Lawrence: Steve McBirney (also called "Mac")
Joan Valerie: Lily Latimer
Marguerite Chapman: Mary Bolton
Ted Osborn: Tom Agnew
Michael Visaroff: Dr. Otto von Brom
Hilda Vaughn: Mrs. [Joe] Rocke
Charles Wagenheim: Willie Fern
Archie Twitchell: Carter Lane
Edward Marr: Grenock
Joe King: Inspector O'Matthews
Harold Goodwin: Edwards

UNCREDITED CAST (alphabetical):

Walter Bacon: Sidewalk Passerby
Stanley Blystone: Bailiff
Jimmy Conlin: Tour Guide
David Newell: Courtroom Attorney
Brick Sullivan: Pete
Charles Trowbridge: Judge
Emmett Vogan: Prosecuting Attorney


TRIVIA: Lee Tung Foo, who plays Armstrong’s butler in our film, also supplies the voice of the apartment manager of Princess Mei Ling’s apartment building.

TERM OF THE WEEK: Hell's Kitchen - For decades after the Civil War, Hell's Kitchen on New York City's West Side between 14th and 52nd Streets, and Eighth Avenue and the waterfront, and the Tenderloin just to the east, frequently boiled over with crime and corruption. Notorious gangs ruled the streets between the tenements, grog shops, slaughter houses, railroad yards, and gas works. During prohibition Hell's Kitchen was the domain of Owney Madden and "Mad Dog" Coll who scared even the city's underworld.

Dr. Cream: "A little boy from New York's Hell's Kitchen..."

THIS WEEK’S IMAGE: Mrs. Joe Rocke explains her presence to Charlie Chan and son, Jimmy (note the handcuffs attached to his left wrist) as they are suddenly surprised by the true killer's appearance.

For a viewing of more than 500 images from ALL films in the Charlie Chan series, please visit our Gallery:

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. Happily, OUR FEATURE IS AVAILABLE ONLINE! (SOMETIMES there are occasional 5-second commercial intrusions. If so, after the 5 seconds, click on “Skip Ad”.)

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


QUESTION: Which Charlie Chan film offers the best "shipboard" murder(s)?

“Charlie Chan Carries On” (as seen through the Spanish language version, “Eran Trece”) 0%
“Charlie Chan at the Race Track” 11%
“Charlie Chan at the Olympics” 6%
“Charlie Chan in Honolulu” 6%
“Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise” 38%
“Dead Men Tell” 38%
“Dangerous Money” 6%
Please cast your vote in our OCTOBER 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: It’s MELBOURNE CUP NIGHT again! This is another annual event that we have been celebrating since the very beginning of our Chat Room gatherings in 2000! Will YOU be the winner of this year’s vintage 1936 silver half-dollar?

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:

SO, REMEMBER, IF YOU DARE, PLEASE JOIN US for this week’s feature, “Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum” as we march to the macabre together during our ANNUAL CCF VIRTUAL HALLOEEN PARTY!


Sinisterly Yours,

Rush Glick