The House on Punchbowl Hill





















Charlie Chan's Courage

Fox Film Corporation
Distributed: Fox Film Corporation, July 6, 1934
Production: April 23 to late May 1934
Copyright: Fox Film Corporation, July 6, 1934; LP4813
Sound
Film: Black and white
Length: 7 reels, 6,589 feet
Running Time: 70-72 or 74 minutes
Source: Based on the novel The Chinese Parrot
by Earl Derr Biggers (Indianapolis, 1926)
 

Producer: John Stone
Executive Producer: Winfield R. Sheehan
Director: George Hadden
Assistant Director: Sid Bowen
Screenplay: Seton I. Miller
Photography: Hal Mohr
Camera Operator: Joseph La Shelle
Assistant Camera: W. Abbott; S. McDonald
Settings: Duncan Cramer
Film Editor: Alex Troffey
Gowns: Royer
Musical Direction: Samuel Kaylin
Sound: Alfred Bruzlin
Still Photography: Bill Thomas
Original Music: David Buttolph (not credited)
Wardrobe: Sam Benson (not credited)
Alexander Chivra: Stand-in for Warner Oland (not credited)


CAST:

Warner Oland: Charlie Chan (also posing as Ah Kim) 
Drue Leyton: Paula Graham
Donald Woods: Bob Crawford
Paul Harvey: P. J. Madden
Murray Kinnell: Martin Thorne
Reginald Mason: Alexander Crawford
Virginia Hammond: Sally Jordan
Si Jenks: Will Holley
Harvey Clark: Professor Gamble
Jerry Jerome: Maydorf
Jack Carter: Victor Jordan
James Wang: Louie Wong
DeWitt C. Jennings: Constable Brackett [Sergeant Brackett]
Francis Ford: Hewitt
Lucille Miller: Stenographer
Mary McLaren: Mother
Gail Kaye: Child
Larry Fisher: Taxi Driver
Sam McDaniel: Porter
Carl Stockdale: Train Station Lounger
Lita Chevret: Chorus Girl
Susan Fleming: Chorus Girl
Caryl Lincoln: Leading Lady
John David Horsley: Leading Man
George Magrill: Heavy
Frank Mills: Prop Man
Sherry Hall: Assistant Director
James P. Burtis: Eddie Boston
Paul McVey: Movie Director
Wade Boteler: Bliss
Teru Shimada: Jiu Jitsu Man

Frank Rice: Prospector
Paul Hurst  



SUMMARY:

Mrs. Sally Jordan asks her faithful former houseboy, Charlie Chan, who is now a detective on the Honolulu police, to personally transport an extremely valuable pearl necklace from Honolulu to San Francisco that she has agreed to sell to millionaire P. J. Madden through jewelry broker and family friend, Alexander Crawford.  Following the completed sale of the pearls, an adamant Madden states, "I want them delivered to my offices in New York and nowhere else."

However, when Crawford learns that his son, Bob, had been followed by suspicious characters, and when the elder Crawford receives conflicting instructions Madden to have the pearls brought to his house near the desert town of El Dorado, he becomes suspicious.  It is decided that Bob will precede Chan at the millionaire's desert home to make sure that the place is safe.  "Blind man feels ahead with cane before proceeding," says the detective, as Bob adds, "And I'm the one to be the cane, right?"

On the train to El Dorado, Bob meets Paula Graham, a film director's assistant who is traveling to the same town to arrange a film shoot on Madden's property.  As they approach the ranch by a hired car, driven by a local character named Will Holley, they hear two gunshots, and as they near the house, a figure is seen running off.

At the house, Bob and Paula are coldly received by Madden's assistant, Martin Thorne, who expresses surprise that Bob has arrived a day earlier than expected.  When asked about the gunfire, Thorne suggests that someone in the desert was probably "taking pot shots at jack-rabbits."  Bob and Paula are told that Madden is away, while Thorne invites Bob to stay, as Bob has revealed that the pearls will arrive by messenger the next day.

The following day, Chan arrives, and to Bob's surprise, he is dressed as a menial, speaking in sing-song broken English, and calling himself "Ah Kim."  As the regular cook is away on family matters, Thorne decides, with a well-planted suggestion by Bob, to hire Ah Kim.

With the run of the house, Chan begins to search for clues and notices a revolver from Madden's collection that is mounted on a wall has been removed and used recently.  In Madden's bedroom, he finds a bullet hole in the wall that has been hastily covered by a painting, and blood stains on the carpet, which someone has also tried to conceal.  "Second bullet reposing in victim," states Chan. Bob believes that Thorne has murdered Madden, which Chan believes might be a possibility.

Bob and Chan are somewhat shocked when Madden shows up later that day, driven to the house by
Thorne. Bob suggests to Chan that, even though the situation is suspicious, they have no choice but to deliver the pearls to Madden as planned.  Chan states that certain things should be cleared up before the pearls are handed over, and that Madden should be stalled.

Agreeing to follow Chan's idea, Bob continues to put off the delivery of the necklace, finally convincing Madden that the pearls will be delivered on Sunday, two days hence.  As Bob leaves a fuming Madden, he suddenly hears a voice crying, "MURDER!"  As everyone runs to the source of the screams, Bob is surprised to find that it is a talking parrot.  During its dialog, the parrot speaks a phrase in Chinese, to which Chan, in the guise of Ah Kim, replies to the bird.  The next day, the "Chinese parrot" is found dead by Chan, who finds that someone used poison to do away with him.  Chan feels that the bird had been repeating things that were said during the murder at the house, and that someone had now killed the parrot to stop anyone from hearing them repeated.

Later that day, Professor Gamble, apparently an old friend of Madden's, arrives at the ranch.  Gamble, Thorne, and Madden then drive into town, leaving Chan and Bob alone at the house.  The two men continue their search for clues, turning up more useful information, including some belongings of someone named Jerry Delaney.  However, the mystery is far from solved, as Chan and Bob reach no concrete conclusion, except for the possibility that Delaney may have been the murder victim.

Chan later heads into the desert, following clues that lead him to the man who had been seen by Bob running away after the gunfire during his arrival at Madden's house on the first night.  The detective learns from this person, an old prospector named Hewitt, who had witnessed the shooting while peering through a window, that it was actually Madden who had shot some unseen person.

Meanwhile, Bob is in El Dorado sending a telegram to his father.  As he prepares to return to Madden's house, he sees Madden's cook, Louie Wong, who has just gotten off of the train, and gives him a lift back to the ranch.  As they arrive, Bob sees Chan at the garage and leaves Louie to talk with him.  As both men return to the car, they find that Louie has been killed with a knife.  When Constable Brackett is called to the scene, he immediately suspects that Ah Kim (Chan) has killed Louie in order to keep his job as cook.  However, Bob, protecting Chan's guise as Ah Kim, firmly declares that he was with Chan when Louie was murdered, and Brackett leaves, still unconvinced.

On Sunday, the movie crew arrives at Madden's house to do its shooting.  During the filming, the director asks Paula to investigate an old abandoned mine in the hills as a possible location site for the next film.  When Paula fails to return, Bob has Will Holley drive him up to the abandoned mine.  At the mine, Bob calls out to Paula, who calls back.  Suddenly Bob and Holley are captured by one of the men who had tailed Crawford back in San Francisco.  With a quick move, Bob surprises the crook, named Maydorf, and after a struggle, overcomes him.  Reaching Paula, who had been held prisoner, Bob is told that there is another captive being held.

Meanwhile, at the Madden ranch as evening falls, Sally Jordan's son, Victor, arrives and ruins Chan's investigation by informing Madden that the detective has had possession of the pearl necklace the whole time he was at the house, and that they should have been handed over days ago.  Demanding that Chan hand over the pearls, and showing the detective a note from his mother instructing him to do so, Chan reluctantly complies with Victor's wishes while requesting a signed receipt from Madden.

CONCLUSION:

When Madden signs the receipt with his left hand, Chan quickly grabs the necklace and pulls a gun, knowing that the real Madden is right-handed.  Brackett suddenly arrives on the scene and, believing that Chan is in the process of robbing Madden, fails to pay any heed to Chan's protests to the contrary.  Just as Chan is forced to hand the pearls back, the real Madden, with his arm in a sling and dried bloodstains on the shoulder of his shirt, suddenly walks in with Bob, Paula, and Holley, who has a gun in Maydorf's ribs.

After a quick struggle, the false Madden, who is a look-alike and actor named Jerry Delaney, and who had attempted to impersonate Madden years earlier as part of a racket in New York, is subdued.  Madden then rightly accuses Thorne of having double-crossed him.  As he tries to slip away, Chan stops professor Gamble, revealing that, hidden on his person is the knife that was used to kill Louie Wong.

With the case solved, and the pearls safely in the hands of their new owner, Chan, Bob, and Paula take the train out of El Dorado.  On the rear platform, Paula and Bob are seen embracing as the train leaves.

NOTES: This is one of the four "lost" Charlie Chan films.  The summary has been made using a script that can be viewed in its entirety among our collection of "lost" Charlie Chan film scripts.  Sources conflict concerning the credits for director and cameraman.  While production charts list both George Hadden and Eugene Forde as directors and Arthur Miller as the cameraman, reviews and the Fox trade paper advertising billing sheet credits only Hadden as the director and lists Hal Mohr as the cameraman.  According to a press book for this film, this was Hadden's first directorial assignment; he had been theatrical producer David Belasco's "right-hand man" during the last six years of Belasco's life, and had worked as a dialog director in films.  According to the Motion Picture Herald, some scenes of Charlie Chan's Courage were shot in the Mojave Desert.  In 1927, Universal Pictures produced a film, based on the same source, entitled The Chinese Parrot, directed by Paul Leni and starring Marian Nixon with Kamiyama Sojin portraying Charlie Chan.

Adapted from: AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE CATALOG - Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American Feature Films, 1911-1960



CHARLIE CHAN'S APHORISMS:

Always pleasant journey which ends among old friends.

Blind man feels ahead with cane before proceeding.

Setting hen squats cautiously on thin egg.

Much fuel tempt man to build fire.

Large sugar bowl draws many flies.
 
Always danger where men are evil, but knowledge best weapon for protection.
 
Must not too soon come to conclusion.  Too many mixed drinks make big headache.
 
Man who does not listen at keyhole never gets earache.
 
Man's soul is lost that does not grieve the death of faithful servant.

Left-handed man always uses left hand.

Anxious man hurries too fast and stubs big toe.
 
Round-about way often shortest path to correct destination.


OTHER WORTHY STATEMENTS:

Responsibility makes them rest heavy on unworthy stomach - like sour rice.  (Regarding the valuable Cavanaigh pearls that he was carrying in a money belt)
 
Present location very agreeable place for murder.  (To Bob, regarding the bedroom in Madden's house)

(Bob: "No chance of finding him. It'd be like hunting for a needle in a haystack.")
 Only requires careful inspection of hay.  (Regarding a missing witness)

Most upsetting discovery - like bumble bee in honorable trousers.  (Upon finding "Madden", the supposed murder victim, alive, thus requiring Chan and Bob Crawford to start over and find another theory)

Inscrutable fates reveal steps toward true solution.


Ancient bones creak with pleasure.  (Regarding his sore back after overcoming Delaney)

Most happy to see corpse from bedroom alive.  (To Madden after Chan sees that he is alive)



REVIEW:

Variety, August 28, 1934

Done from 'The Chinese Parrot,' this is one of the least successful of the Charlie Chan series.  Without Warner Oland it would probably drop to the sort of story the indies sometimes make with much the same plot.

Oland works hard to lift the action, but with no great success.  The script lingers too long over the introduction and when it does pick up a little acceleration, the quickening comes too late to whip up interest which has largely flagged through the long drawn out exposition.

Even Oland is handicapped by a script which requires him to assume the disguise of a Chinese servant and largely stand around and snoop over a murder.  He is suave, he reels off Chinese adages and he looks mysterious, but he is seldom able to create momentary suspense.  The story fairly ambles along to its conclusion with Chan contributing nothing to the discovery of the criminal. It's a tough assignment.

Story revolves around a pearl necklace which is sold for delivery to a millionaire at his ranch.  Chan brings the jewels from Honolulu.  The son of the woman who offers the necklace goes to the ranch with the understanding that Chan will follow and make delivery if all is well.

All isn't well.  A murder has been committed just as the boy drives up with a girl location scout.  They hear shots, but can find no clew.  Chan follows and engages as a servant. After that he is chiefly engaged in looking suspicious while the residents of the ranch glower and act mysteriously.

Apparently the part of the girl has been added for romance, but there is little of the romantic and that not interesting.  Girl is played by Drue Leyton, who does her best.  Donald Woods makes a stiff juvenile lead.  Some of the bits are better played than the leads, but no program credit is given.

Story will please mildly in the lower brackets. It's not de luxe material.

 
 

SCRIPT NOTES:

PROBABLE DATE: Early to mid-February 1934 (NOTE: Information from the script indicates that Charlie Chan arrived in San Francisco on Thursday, February 12, and that the case was concluded on Sunday, February 15.  Were these days and dates correct, the year would be 1931.  However, Charlie Chan's mention of the family's most recent child, a girl [the twelfth Chan offspring], shown in this movie in a photograph which was also presumably the same one that is seen in the next film, "Charlie Chan in London," means that these adventures must be contiguous, or at least very close in time.  Therefore, we must place the adventure depicted in "Charlie Chan's Courage" in the year 1934, with Charlie Chan's involvement being, due to the railroad ticket found at P.J. Madden's house, which was clearly dated February 8, four days in the early part of February, beginning on a Thursday morning, probably the 15th, and concluding on the following Sunday evening, which may have been the 18th, with Bob Crawford, who mentioned the dates perhaps having been confused.)
 
LOCATIONS: Aboard the President Pierce, landing in San Francisco, California, San Francisco, and El Dorado, California
 
THE PRICE OF THE RING THAT ALEXNDER CRAWFORD SOLD TO MR. VAN HUSEN: $8,000
 
THE NAME OF THE WOMAN FOR WHOM MR. VAN HUSEN WAS PURCHASING THE ABOVE RING: Evelyn Fontaine
 
SALLY JORDAN'S COMMENT REGARDING P.J. MADDEN: "...the Wall Street plunger..."
 
THE TREASURED NECKLACE THAT WAS A GIFT FROM HER FATHER, MR. CAVANAUGH, THAT SALLY JORDAN WAS NOW SELLING: The "Cavanaugh Pearls"
 
THE NAME OF SALLY JORDAN'S LATE HUSBAND: Fred
 
THE AMOUNT THAT P.J. MADDEN WAS WILLING TOM PAY FOR THE ABOVE NECKLACE: $300,000
 
THE AMOUNT THAT SALLY JORDAN'S FATHER HAD PAID FOR THE CAVANAUGH PEARLS "THIRTY YEARS AGO": $150,000
 
ALEXANDER CRAWFORD'S ASSESSMENT OF THE PEARLS: "That necklace is one of the finest sets of matched pearls in the world.  It's worth a half million on today's market."
 
WHEN THE NECKLACE WOULD ARRIVE FROM HONOLULU, ACCORDING TO SALLY JORDAN: "Thursday morning."
 
THE LOCATION OF P.J. MADDEN'S DESERT HOME: El Dorado, California
 
ACCORDING TO P.J. MADDEN, WHEN HE WOULD LEAVE SAN FRANCISCO FOR EL DORADO: "...this afternoon..."
 
ACCORDING TO P.J. MADDEN, HIS PLANNED TIME TO LEAVE EL DORADO FOR NEW YORK: "After a few days..."
 
P.J. MADDEN'S TERMS FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE CAVANAUGH PEARLS: "...fifty thousand down...the balance within thirty days of delivery."
 
ACCORDING TO MARTIN THORNE, THE LENGTH OF TIME THAT HE AND P.J. MADDEN WOULD STAY IN EL DORADO: "...until Saturday..."
 
P.J. MADDEN'S DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PEARLS: "I want them delivered to my offices in New York and nowhere else."
 
P.J. MADDEN'S PAST, ACCORDING TO HIMSELF: "I used to be a bellboy in the hotel where (Sally Jordan) gave (her) parties."
 
CHARLIE CHAN'S CURRENT HONOLULU POLICE RANK: Detective Sergeant
 
CHARLIE CHAN'S JOB WITH SALLY JORDAN DURING HIS EARLY YEARS: "...(Sally Jordan's) number one (house) boy."
 
ACCORDING TO SALLY JORDAN, THE NAME OF THE SHIP THAT CHARLIE CHAN TOOK FROM HONOLULU AND HIS ARRIVAL DAY IN SAN FRANCISCO: "Thursday morning on the President Pierce."
 
THE NAME OF THE MEN'S CLUB TO WHICH BOB CRAWFORD BELONGED: The Metropolitan Club
 
THE DOCK TO WHICH BOB CRAWFORD HAD THE TAXI TAKE HIM TO MEET CHARLIE CHAN: Pacific Navigation Dock
 
A DESCRIPTION OF THE CAVANAUGH PEARLS: "...a gorgeous triple string containing about one hundred and fifty large and exquisitely matched pearls."
 
"OLD FRIENDS" OF CHARLIE CHAN:
 
Sally Jordan - (Sally Jordan: "He's [Charlie Chan] always been devoted to me.")
 
Alexander Crawford - (Charlie Chan: "Mr. Crawford always honored guest at Jordan home.")
 
Bob Crawford - (Charlie Chan: "Fondly recall many races from cookie jar to back door.")
 
ACCORDING TO ALEXANDER CRAWFORD, WHERE AND WHEN P.J. MADDEN NOW WANTED THE PEARLS DELIVERED: "He wants the pearls delivered [to his ranch]...tomorrow." (Friday)
 
THE CITY WHERE P.J. MADDEN'S DAUGHTER LIVED: Chicago
 
THE CITY TO WHICH BOB CRAWFORD FLEW IN ORDER TO CATCH THE AFTERNOON TRAIN TO P.J. MADDEN'S RANCH: Los Angeles
 
ACCORDING TO WILL HOLLEY, THE DISTANCE FROM EL DORADO TO P.J. MADDEN'S RANCH: "...twelve miles each way..."
 
ACCORDING TO WILL HOLLEY, THE AMOUNT OF GASOLINE REQUIRED TO MAKE THE TRIP IN HIS CAR: "...a gallon and a half..."
 
THE FARE CHARGED BY WILL HOLLEY: "...seventy-five cents...And five cents tax.")
 
THE TYPE OF RING WORN BY PAULA GRAHAM: Emerald
 
ACCORDING TO WILL HOLLEY, WHERE LOUIE WONG HAD GONE AND WHY: "Louie went to Los Angeles yesterday (Thursday)...he inherited some money."
 
THE NAME OF P.J. MADDEN'S "CHINESE PARROT": Tony
 
ACCORDING TO WILL HOLLEY, THE TYPE OF GUNSHOT THAT WAS HEARD AS THE GROUP APPROACHED P.J. MADDEN'S RANCH HOUSE: "Sounded like a forty-five."
 
P.J. MADDEN'S WHEREABOUTS, ACCORDING TO MARTIN THORNE: "...he's in Palm Springs."
 
ACCORDING TO MARTIN THORNE, WHEN P.J. MADDEN WAS TO RETURN: "...tomorrow noon."
 
THE MOTION PICTURE COMPANY FOR WHICH PAULA GRAHAM WORKED: Imperial Picture Corporation
 
THE DAY THAT THE IMPERIAL PICTURE CORPORATION HAD PLANNED TO SHOOT ON LOCATION AT MADDEN'S RANCH: Saturday
 
THE TIME, AS INDICATED BY THE CLOCK, AS MARTIN OPENS THE DOOR OF BOB CRAWFORD'S ROOM, AWAKENING HIM: 2:18 (a.m.)
 
THE CALIBER OF BOB CRAWFORD'S PERSONAL GUN: .32
 
THE NAME TAKEN BY CHARLIE CHAN WHILE POSING AS P.J. MADDEN'S HOUSE BOY: Ah Kim
 
THE TIME, ACCORDING TO THE CLOCK SHOWN, AS MARTIN THORNE AND P.J. MADDEN RETURN TO THE RANCH: 12:30 (p.m.)
 
ACCORDING TO CHARLIE CHAN, THE ROUND-TRIP DISTANCE FROM P.J. MADDEN'S RANCH TO PALM SPRINGS: "...ninety miles."
 
THE CHANGE IN DISTANCE ON THE ODOMETER OF P.J. MADDEN'S CAR, AS WAS NOTED BY CHARLIE CHAN: 44 miles
 
P.J. MADDEN'S ANNOUNCED DAY OF DEPARTURE FOR CHICAGO: Saturday
 
THE DAY THAT P.J. MADDEN WOULD ALLOW THE FILM COMPANY TO USE HIS RANCH FOR FILMING: Sunday
 
THE MAKE OF CAR DRIVEN BY WILL HOLLEY: Ford
 
BOB CRAWFORD'S DISPARAGING NAME FOR PAULA GRAHAM'S SUPPOSED FIANCEE: Wilbur
 
ACCORDING TO PAULA GRAHAM, THE NAME OF HER FIANCE: Jack
 
ALEXANDER CRAWFORD'S TELEPHONE NUMBER: Montrose 3531
 
THE NAME OF P.J. MADDEN'S "CHINESE PARROT": Tony
 
ACCORDING TO P.J. MADDEN, HOW HE CAME TO ACQUIRE TONY THE PARROT: "A sea captain gave him to me five years ago."
 
THE CHINESE DIALECT SPOKEN BY TONY THE PARROT: Cantonese
 
ACCORDING TO PROFESSOR GAMBLE, THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF TONY'S DEATH: "Probably hypertrophic cirrhosis."
 
PROFESSOR GAMBLE'S PROFESSION: Zoologist
 
THE ANIMAL MENTIONED BY PROFESSOR GAMBLE: Sauromalus ater
 
THE TEXT OF THE LABEL IN THE SUIT COAT FOUND BY BOB CRAWFORD IN P.J. MADDEN'S ATTIC:
 
"Louis & Barnes, Inc.
17th & Broadway,
New York, N.Y."
 
THE NAME WRITTEN ON THE ABOVE LABEL IN INK: "JERRY DELANEY"
 
ACCORDING TO CHARLIE CHAN, THE INFORMATION REGARDING THE RAILROAD TICKET PRESUMABLY BELONGING TO JERRY DELANEY: "Chicago to Palm Springs...purchased February 8th."
 
THE DATE OF JERRY DELANEY'S ARRIVAL IN EL DORADO, ACCORDING TO BOB CRAWFORD'S CALCULATIONS: "That would get him to Palm Springs on the 11th...Wednesday...the night before I got here."
 
ACCORDING TO CHARLIE CHAN, THE TYPE OF POISON USED TO KILL TONY THE PARROT: "...arsenic."
 
THE DAY, ACCORDING TO CHARLIE CHAN, WHEN HEWITT HAD BOUGHT A NEW LID FOR HIS CANTEEN: "...yesterday..." (Friday)
 
THE TYPE OF GUN THAT HEWITT SAW MADDEN USE AT HIS RANCH: A .45
 
THE COST OF BOB CRAWFORD'S TELEGRAM WHICH WAS SENT TO HIS FATHER IN SAN FRANCISCO: 84 cents
 
PAULA GRAHAM'S PLANNED TIME OF HER RETURN FROM THE ABANDONED MINE: "...about three (p.m.)"
 
THE NAME OF THE MALE LEAD IN THE FILM BEING SHOT AT P.J. MADDEN'S RANCH: Rannie
 
THE NAME OF ONE OF THE TWO CHORUS GIRLS WHO WERE TALKING WITH EACH OTHER BETWEEN SHOOTS: Peggy
 
PAULA GRAHAM'S EXPRESSED KNOWLEDGE OF EDDIE BOSTON: "I hear he used to be a gambler in New York."
 
P.J. MADDEN'S FINAL DEADLINE FOR THE PEARLS TO BE DELIVERED: "Eight o'clock (Sunday night)..."
 
THE PERSON FROM THE FILM COMPANY WHO DROVE EDDIE BOSTON TO EL DORADO: Dan
 
CHARLIE CHAN'S STATED POLICE RANK: "I am Detective Sergeant Chan of Honolulu Police."
 
DEFINITION: jiu-jitsu (or jiujitsu) - A Japanese method of self-defense without weapons in which holds and blows are supplemented by clever use of the attacker's own weight and strength. (Chan is a little quicker, grabbing Delaney and doing a jiu-jitsu throw over his back.)
 
ACCORDING TO P.J. MADDEN, JERRY DELANEY'S OLD PROFESSION: "He used to be an actor..."
 
PAULA GRAHAM'S PLANNED DAY OF RETURN TO LOS ANGELES: Wednesday

 
 

GLOSSARY:

bird - (Slang)  A person, especially one who is odd or remarkable.
Bob Crawford: "...a hard looking bird followed me down there..."
 
chamois - A soft leather made from the hide of this animal or other animals such as deer or sheep.
Charlie Chan: "Note chamois lined watch pocket."
 
chock-gee - (From Chinese)  Certificate proving legal resident status. Following the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, there were very strict immigration limits placed on the Chinese.  These laws, which were expanded, were in place until repealed in 1943.  During this era, it was not uncommon for persons of Chinese decent, even though they may have been born in the United States, to carry papers proving their legal status.
Constable Brackett: "Where's your chock-gee."
 
Dowager Empress of Siberia - Alexandra Fyodorovna, the wife of Tzar Nicholas III of Russia.  She was de-facto in charge of the government business during her husband's time as commander-in-chief during World War I, but she obtained his endorsement of her decisions.  In 1918 the whole family - including the four daughters and son were executed during the revolution.  She was born as Princess Alix von Hessen und beim Rhein and lived 1872-1918. 
Bob Crawford: "...I came down to meet the Dowager Empress of Siberia, but they tell me she's dead."
 
flivver - (Slang)  An automobile, especially one that is small, inexpensive, and old.
Man: "Well, the closest thing to it is a flivver across the street."
 
hoo-mali-mali (ho'omalimali) - (Hawaiian, pronounced: "ho-oh-mah-lee-mah-lee")  To flatter; to mollify with soft words or a gift; to soothe, quiet.
Charlie Chan: "Suggest giving Madden hoo-mali-mali until mystery cleared away."
 
hypertrophic cirrhosis - A chronic disease of the liver, characterized by an increase in its connective tissue, a reduction in the size of the organ, and a degeneration of the parenchymatous constituents.
Professor Gamble: "Probably hypertrophic cirrhosis."
 
one-horse - Very small or insignificant.
Bob Crawford: "I'm sorry that you have to put up at that one-horse hotel."
 
plunger - Someone who risks losses for the possibility of considerable gains.
Sally Jordan: "The Wall Street plunger?"
 
President Grant - Built in 1921, one of the ships in the Dollar Steamsip Line (later, the American Presidents Line) that carried passengers to and from Honolulu, throughout the Pacific, and around-the-world during much of the twentieth century.
Sally Jordan: "Thursday morning, on the President Grant."
 
Queen of Sheba - The Biblical queen who met with King Solomon of Israel (thought to have occurred around 950-930 B.C.). On hearing of his wisdom, II Chronicles 9 says that the Queen made the journey north to Solomon's courts "to test him with hard questions." The conference proved a success, culminating in the two monarchs bestowing wealth and good favor on each other.
Constable Brackett: "And I'm the Queen of Sheba."
 
Sauromalus ater - A common chuckwalla.
Professor Gamble: "Have you ever studied the Sauromalus Ater?"
 
For a complete list from all films, please visit our Charlie Chan Glossary.

 
 

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