Monogram Pictures Corporation
Distributed: Monogram Pictures
Corporation October 12, 1946
Production: Mid- to late June 1946
Copyright: Monogram Pictures Corporation: September
29, 1946; LP656
Sound: Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Film: Black and white
Running Time: 66 minutes
Code Administration Certificate Number: 11824
Source: Based on character created by Earl Derr Biggers.
Producer: James S. Burkett
Director: Terry Morse
Assistant Director: Wesley Barry
Second Assistant Director: Kenny Cossler (not credited)
Screenplay: Miriam Kissenger
Script Supervisor: Ilona Vas (not credited)
Director of Photography: William Sickner
Assistant Cameraman: Aron Hower (not credited)
Technical Director: Dave Milton
Supervising Film Editor: Richard Currier
Editor: William Austin
Musical Director: Edward J. Kay
Makeup: Harry Ross
Hairdresser: Alma Armstrong (not credited)
Production Manager: Glenn Cook
Operator: William Margulies (not credited)
Loader: Travers Hill (not credited)
Still Man: George Hommel (not credited)
Sound Mixer: Tom Lambert (not credited)
Recorder: Dean Spencer (not credited)
Mike Man: Luke Johnson (not credited)
Cable Man: Harold Bavaird (not credited)
Prop Man: Sam Gordon (not credited)
Second Prop Man: Tod Mossman (not credited)
Grip: Harry Lewis (not credited)
Set Dresser: Ray Boltz (not credited)
Wardrobe Man: Harry Bourne (not credited)
Wardrobe Woman: Nanette Smith (not credited)
Gaffer: John Lee (not credited)
Electrical: M.H. Serotto (not credited)
Special Effects: Augie Lohman (not credited)
Casting - Parts: Fred Messinger (not credited)
Casting - Bits: Rose Alexander (not credited)
Casting - Extras: Bert Hampton (not credited)
CAST (as credited):
Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Gloria Warren: Rona Simmonds
Victor Sen Young: Jimmy Chan
Rick Vallin: Tao Ericson
Joseph Crehan: Captain Black
Willie Best: Chattanooga
John Harmon: Freddie Kirk
Bruce Edwards: Harold Mayfair
Dick Elliot: P.T. Burke
Joe Allen, Jr.: George
Amira Moustafa: Laura Ericson
Tristam Coffin: Scott Pearson
Alan Douglas: Mrs. Whipple (alias for Joseph
Selmer Jackson: Ship's Doctor
Dudley Dickerson: Big Ben
Rito Punay: Pete
Elaine Lange: Mrs. Cynthia
Emmett Vogan: Professor Henry Martin
Leslie Dennison: Reverend Whipple (alias for Theodore M. Lane)
UNCREDITED CAST (alphabetical):
Ted Billings: Barfly
Kit Carson: Seaman
Helen Dickenson: Ship Passenger
Herbert Evans: Man at the Mango Inn
Jerry Groves: Polynesian
Stuart Hall: Ship Passenger
Don McCracken: Junior Officer
Matthew McCue; Barfly
Sol Murgi: Barfly
Mavis Russell: Freddie Kirk's Assistant
On a foggy night on board the ship Newcastle, bound for Samoa and Australia, undercover
agent Scott Pearson tells detective Charlie Chan that he is being sent to Samoa to investigate the sudden appearance of money
and artworks stolen from Philippine banks during the Japanese invasion.
Later, while the passengers gather in the
salon for a ceremony to celebrate the crossing of the equator, Pearson is stabbed in the back and killed. After warning
the other passengers to stay where they are, Chan and Captain Black examine Pearson's room and discover that it has been searched.
Black reassures Chan that Pearson's portfolio is in his office safe. Chan notices that Pearson's documents mention
a man named Lane, but do not identify him.
Chan questions the ship's passengers, who include Freddie Kirk, an exhibition
knife-thrower, P. T. Burke, a trader in cotton goods, Professor Henry Martin, an ichthyologist, Henry's wife, Cynthia, Tao
Ericson, a half-Polynesian who owns a restaurant on Samoa, Tao's Polynesian wife, Laura, missionaries Rev. and Mrs. Whipple,
and Rona Simmonds, an English tourist who is in love with the ship's purser, George Brace.
After he dismisses most
of the passengers, Chan speaks privately to Rona and George, and, while advising them to speak the truth, asks them to identify
Lane. However, George insists that they have nothing to reveal.
Later, the detective sets a trap to catch the
killer, but, although an attempt is made on Chan's life, the killer avoids discovery. Jimmy Chan checks the knife that
was used to kill Pearson for fingerprints, but finds
none. Chan then learns that Burke and Kirk are blackmailing Rona.
The Newcastle docks in Samoa, and Charlie has twenty-four hours to solve the murder
before the ship departs for Australia. Chan's number three son, Tommy, sends him a coded telegram explaining that Rona's
father was an Australian who was stranded in Manila during the war with valuable art objects, and that Rona is now searching
for them. Chan discovers that Rona is traveling under papers that were falsified by Brace, and that is why Burke is
blackmailing her. Chan questions, Burke, but the latter is suddenly killed by a thrown knife before he can reveal anything.
Meanwhile, Jimmy and his assistant, Chattanooga Brown,
stumble upon money that is hidden in Professor Martin's fish museum that is located near the Ericson's restaurant. After
Kirk is killed, the rest of the suspects converge on the museum. Chan learns that Whipple is the head of the gang, which
includes the Erickson's, Burke, and Kirk, and which had planned to sell the stolen artworks. The Whipples are then revealed
to be Lane and his valet, Joseph Murdock, who was dressed as a woman. Murdock, the murderer, had shot knives at his
victims from a special gun and was thus able to escape detection.
NOTES: The film's working title was Hot
Money. The title card reads, Charlie Chan in "Dangerous Money". Hollywood Reporter news items add the following
information about the production: Prior to his appearance in this film, Rick Vallen served a term in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Restaurateur "Don the Beachcomber" gave technical advice on the South Sea Islands. It was the wish of Jack De Witt,
the actual writer of the screenplay, to credit his wife, Miriam Kissinger as the writer.
Adapted from: AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE CATALOG - Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American
Feature Films, 1911-1960
CHARLIE CHAN'S APHORISMS:
Problems rarely wait for clearing weather.
There is old saying: "Good wife's place
should be at mate's elbow in time of trouble."
Tiger going away from village is never feared.
sometimes pinch worse than ancient boot of torture.
Hasty man could also drink tea with fork.
of Euclid, X over Y equal proposition still unsolved.
Each country's dance most beautiful dance in that particular
Kangaroo reaches destination also by leaps and bounds.
Good hunter never break twig under foot.
OTHER WORTHY STATEMENTS:
mile swim mere stroll for terrified Kanaka. (To Captain Black regarding "Pete" who had jumped
overboard in fear of his life)
Little showman evidently afraid death hangs over his head. (To
Captain Black regarding Freddie Kirk)
PROBABLE DATE: Summer 1946
DURATION: Three days
LOCATIONS: Aboard the S.S.
Newcastle in the South Pacific and Pago Pago, American Samoa
THE HOME PORT OF THE S.S. NEWCASTLE: San Francisco (as determined by the "S.F."
seen on the life preservers)
THE FAMOUS U.S. HIGHWAY MENTIONED
BY CHATTANOOGA BROWN: Route 66
CHARLIE CHAN'S PLANNED DESTINATION
AND HIS REASON FOR SAILING THERE: "...commitments in Sydney, Australia..."
THE NAME OF THE COMPANY REPRESENTED
BY P.T. BURKE: All-American Cotton Mills
ACCORDING TO HAROLD MAYFAIR, THE
ORGANIZATION TO WHICH PROFESSOR HENRY MARTIN BELONGED: "...the International Society of Icthyologists."
THE STATED LENGTH OF TIME
THAT HAROLD MAYFAIR HAD BEEN PROFESSOR MARTIN'S ASSISTANT: "Two years."
ACCORDING TO DR. MARTIN, THE LENGTH OF TIME SINCE HE ESTABLISHED HIS ICTHYOLGICAL MUSEUM IN PAGO
PAGO: "...six years ago."
ACCORDING TO TAO ERICSON, HIS HOME: "I have lived in Pago all my life."
TAO ERICKSON'S STATED PROFESSION AND PURPOSE OF HIS TRIP: "I'm a trader.
Just back from Honolulu - buying trip."
THE STATED DESTINATION AND PURPOSE
OF RONA SIMMONDS' TRIP: "I'm going to Apia [Western Samoa] - the Robert Lewis Stevenson shrine."
THE DESTINATIONS AS MENTIONED
BY FREDDIE KIRK: "I'm bound for Wellington (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia), change ships in Suva (Fiji)."
ACCORDING TO JIMMY CHAN, THE CHAN
PARTY'S CABIN ABOARD THE S.S. NEWCASTLE: "Cabin 8."
THE SHIP'S DOCTOR'S "DIAGNOSIS"
FOR CHATTANOOGA BROWN'S "AILMENT": "This is Hydrophobia Deformance. Prognosis: uncertain. Therapy indicates immediate
removal of the liver."
JIMMY CHAN'S CODE NAME:
"Chop suey 108"
CHATTANOOGA BROWN'S CODE NAME:
"Pork chop 711"
THE TITLE OF THE BOOK THAT PROFESSOR
MARTIN WAS READING: Fish
THE POLYNESIAN DANCE MENTIONED
BY MRS. ERICSON TO CHARLIE CHAN: Siva Siva
THE CODED TEXT OF THE RADIOGRAM SENT TO CHARLIE CHAN
FROM SON TOMMY:
THE TRANSLATED TEXT OF THE RADIOGRAM SENT TO CHARLIE
CHAN FROM SON TOMMY:
THE NAME OF THE INN IN PAGO PAGO
OWNED BY TAO ERICSON: Mango Inn
THE NOTE PASSED FROM FREDDIE KIRK
TO RONA SIMMONDS AT THE MANGO INN BAR:
BIG BEN'S STATED SELLING PRICE
FOR A PAIR OF "LOADED" DICE: "$10, American money."
JIMMY AND CHATTANOOGA WITH BIG
BEN'S "KANSAS CITY BANKROLL":
A "KANSAS CITY BANKROLL" IS ACTUALLY A FEW BILLS OF HIGH VALUE ROLLED AROUND THOSE OF LESSER OR NO
VALUE (IN THIS CASE, MEXICAN ONE PESO BILLS AND CUT-UP NEWSPAPER) FASHIONED TO APPEAR AS A BIG ROLL OF MONEY:
THE TYPE OF TURTLE THAT CAN BE
SEEN WITH CHATTANOOGA BROWN'S LOST FLASHLIGHT RESTING ON ITS SHELL: Box turtle (not found naturally in Samoa)
ACCORDING TO RONA SIMMONDS, THE
FACTS REGARDING THE FIRST MISSING PAINTING DISCOVERED IN PROFESSOR MARTIN'S MUSEUM: "The Gauguin belongs to Mr.
Fitzmorris, the banker at Wellington (New Zealand)."
ACCORDING TO RONA SIMMONDS, THE
IDENTITY OF THE MISSING MINIATURE DISCOVERED IN PROFESSOR MARTIN'S MUSEUM: "Mrs. Usher's miniature."
(Paul Gauguin) - (1848-1903) A French Post-impressionist painter
who travelled to the South Seas to live and work.
Rona Simmonds: "The
Gauguin belongs to Mr. Fitzmorris, the banker at Wellington."
Kanaka - A South Sea Islander, especially one brought to Australia as a laborer
in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Often used disparagingly.
P.T. Burke: "You look for a Kanaka
or a Melanesian..."
bankroll - (Slang) A term for a roll of money that is actually a
few bills of high value rolled around those of lesser or no value fashioned to appear as a big roll of money.
Jimmy Chan: "It's a Kansas City bankroll."
- A member of any of the indigenous peoples of Melanesia, a division of Oceania in the southwest Pacific Ocean comprising
the islands northeast of Australia and south of the equator. It includes the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia,
the Bismarck Archipelago, various other island groups, and sometimes New Guinea.
P.T. Burke: "You look for a Kanaka or a Melanesian..."
(Informal) A very great quantity of something.
Jimmy Chan: "Hey, Pop, we found it!
Oodles of it!"
- A thick, heavy fog.
P.T. Burke: "Say, it's a regular pea-souper,
Lewis Stevenson - (1850-1894) Scottish
essayist, poet, and author of fiction and travel books, best known for his novels Treasure Island (1881), Kidnapped
(1886), Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and The Master of Ballantrae (1889). In 1889
he and his family set out for the South Seas, settling on the island of Upolu in what is now Samoa. There Stevenson
gained the affection of the natives, who knew him as Tusitala (teller of tales). He died in Samoa and, by his own request,
was buried high on Mt. Vaea "under the wide and starry sky," which he described in his famous poem Requiem.
- Rosa Simmons: "I'm going to Apia - the Robert Lewis Stevenson shrine."
Siva Siva (Siva Samoa) - A traditional Samoan dance which requires the dancer to exhibit
a particular grace of movement involving the arms and hands.
Laura Ericson: "But our Polynesian Siva
Siva seems loveliest to me, Mr. Chan."
- Stage entertainment offering a variety of short acts such as slapstick turns, song-and-dance routines, and juggling performances.
A theatrical performance of this kind; a variety show.
P.T. Burke: "Haven't seen
that Vaudeville guy, have you?"
- The capital of New Zealand.
Freddie Kirk: "I'm bound for Wellington,
Sydney, change ships in Suva."
CHARLIE CHAN'S ARRIVAL IN PAGO PAGO:
Money, we see the S.S. Newcastle arrive in Pago Pago, American Samoa
through the use of stock footage. The ship shown as the Newcastle is probably the S.S. Mariposa which belonged to the famous
Matson Navigation Company. The Matson "white ships" became famous for their service
to the Hawaiian Islands as well as other Pacific destinations, including Pago Pago,
The S.S. Newcastle at Pago Pago as seen in Dangerous Money.
The Matson liner S.S. Mariposa.
As the ship carrying
Charlie Chan arrives we see a sweeping panorama of the bay at Pago Pago. We also see a distinctive feature,
a U.S. Naval radio tower. Pictured below is this tower as seen in Dangerous
Money. Below that is a photograph featuring that same tower taken by Dr.
Jim Harris, a Navy doctor stationed in Pago Pago in 1948,
just two years after Chan's visit to the tropical port.