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Steve is absolutely right. The line you quote is definitely apocryphal, and is perhaps based on other, similar things that Mantan Moreland said garnered from several movies. "Feets don't fail me now," etc. was never uttered in a Charlie Chan movie. In one film, and I cannot say which one it was for certain, Moreland talks to his feet saying something to the effect that, "I'll tell you when to go..." "THE CHINESE CAT" comes to my mind, but that may not have been it.
Dear Steve and Rush,
Thanks or taking the time to stop my fool's errand. I have a number of Oland and Toler Chan movies on video, rented all the others I could, and went online to every Mantan Moreland site out there, but couldn't find anything near those phrases. Finally, when I was listening to Little Feat's great concert album, "Feat Don't Fail Me Now" the other night, I decided to write you folks for help. If I'da done it sooner, I coulda saved a bunch of time.
If, indeed, yours was, as you put it, a "fool's errand," it is one that is and has been shared by many, evidently! As mentioned above, the statement is something of an "urban legend," and does come up un discussion from time to time. At least this all points to the lasting memory of Mantan Moreland.
call me crazy, but I thought he used a phrase like that in one of the Winters Chan films. It's the one film where they visit a funeral parlor at night. It had Milton Parsons in it as a character named Grail. Or maybe the phrase is "I'll tell you when to go". And didn't Willie Best make a similar comment in one of the Toler movies?
THAT WASN'T MANTAN MOORELAND THAT SAID THAT. IT WAS EDDIE ANDERSON AS ROCHESTER. I THINK IT WAS IN A TOPPER MOVIE.