The House on Punchbowl Hill





















A Charlie Chan Chronology

Welcome to our Charlie Chan timeline.  Here, you may go through our collection of the many important dates that relate to Charlie Chan.  Dates that appear in or are related to the adventures depicted in the films of Charlie Chan are in presented italics.



1871

DECEMBER 26 - Chang Apana, who would become a legendary detective for the Honolulu Police Department and an inspiration for Earl Derr Biggers' Charlie Chan, is born in Waipio, Kingdom of Hawaii. 

1874

APRIL 28 - Sidney Toler, who would portray Charlie Chan in twenty-two films, is born in Warrensburg, Missouri.

1875

LATE FEBRUARY/EARLY MARCH - Charlie Chan is born in the Canton province of China.

1879

OCTOBER 3 - Warner Oland, who would portray Charlie Chan in sixteen films, is born in the village of Nyby, Sweden.

1884

JANUARY 30 - Kamiyama Sojin, who would portray Charlie Chan in The Chinese Parrot (1927), is born in Sendai, Japan.

AUGUST 26 - Earl Derr Biggers, the creator of Charlie Chan, is born in Warren, Ohio.

1885

APRIL 7 - George Kuwa, who would portray Charlie Chan in The House Without a Key (1925), is born in Japan.

1892

OCTOBER 15 - Warner Oland emigrates with his family to the United States.

1896

JANUARY 21 - J. Carrol Naish, who would play Charlie Chan in The New Adventures of Charlie Chan television series (1957-58), is born in New York, New York.  He also played Gangor the snake charmer in the Charlie Chan film Charlie Chan at the Circus (1935).

1898

JULY 18 - Manuel Arbo, who would portray Charlie Chan in the film Eran Trece, the Spanish language version of Charlie Chan Carries On, is born in Madrid, Spain.

1902

SEPTEMBER 3 - Mantan Moreland, who would portray Charlie Chan's often-reluctant assistant and chauffeur, Birmingham Brown, in fifteen films, is born in Monroe, Louisiana.

1904

JUNE 18 - Keye Luke, who would portray Charlie Chan's number one son, Lee, in eleven films, was born in Canton, China.

NOVEMBER 22 - Roland Winters, who would portray Charlie Chan in six films, is born in Boston, Massachusetts.

1912

EARLY - MID-YEAR - Lee Chan, the Chan's first child, is born in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii.  (Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo)

1916

OCTOBER 10 - Benson Fong, who portrayed Charlie Chan's number three son, Tommy, in six films, is born in Sacramento, California.

1918

OCTOBER 18 - Victor Sen Yung, who would portray Charlie Chan's number two son, Jimmy (later Tommy), in eighteen films, is born in San Francisco, California.
 
FALL (?) - The Chans' number two son, Jimmy, is born in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii.  (Charlie Chan at Treasure Island)

1920

MARCH 22 - Ross Martin, who would portray Charlie Chan in The Return of Charlie Chan (also known as Happiness is a Warm Clue), a made-for-television movie, is born in Grodek, Poland. 

APRIL 27 - Earl Derr Biggers arrives in Honolulu aboard the Matsonia with his wife, Eleanor and son, Robert for a vacation.  The family stays at Gray's By The Sea at Waikiki, which will later provide the idea for backdrop for the first Charlie Chan story, The House Without a Key(Courtesy of Steven Fredrick's Research Service)

1921

April 16 - Peter Ustinov, who would portray Charlie Chan in the comedy/mystery Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen, is born in London, England.

1925

JANUARY 24 - FEBRUARY 25 - The House Without a Key, by Earl Derr Biggers, is published in weekly installments in The Saturday Evening Post.

1926

JUNE 29 - Layne Tom, Jr., who would play three different Chan sons in three different Charlie Chan films, Charlie Chan at the Olympics, Charlie Chan in Honolulu, and Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise, is born in Los Angeles, California.
 
NOVEMBER 21 - The House Without a Key, a 10-episode serial featuring George Kuwa as Charlie Chan, is released by Pathé Exchange, Inc.

1927

OCTOBER 23 - The Chinese Parrot, with Kamiyama Sojin as Charlie Chan, is released.

1928

MARCH 31 - MAY 5 - Behind That Curtain, by Earl Derr Biggers, is published in weekly installments in The Saturday Evening Post.

JUNE - Actor Denny Mayo is murdered in Hollywood, California.  (The Black Camel)

JULY 4 - Earl Derr Biggers, accompanied by his wife, Eleanor, and son, Robert, arrives for a vacation in Honolulu aboard the Malolo(Courtesy of Steven Fredrick's Research Service)

JULY 5 - Earl Derr Biggers meets Chang Apana, the author's inspiration for Charlie Chan, at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel at Waikiki in Honolulu.  (Courtesy of Steven Fredrick's Research Service)

1929

FEBRUARY 22 - James Hong, who would play Number One Son Barry Chan in The New Adventures of Charlie Chan television series (1957-58), is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
 
SPRING(?) (two days) - While visiting the New York Police Department along with his friend, Inspector Fife of Scotland Yard, Sir Lionel Grey, former chief of Scotland Yard, is found murdered in the Manhattan penthouse offices of Barry Kirk.  Chan, working with Fife and the New York police, solves this baffling and deadly case.
 
MARCH 31 - Fox Films releases Behind That Curtain.
 
MAY 18 - JUNE 22 - The Black Camel, by Earl Derr Biggers, is published in weekly installments in The Saturday Evening Post.

1930

SUMMER (about five days) - Aboard a ship sailing from Honolulu to San Francisco, Charlie Chan carries on for his fallen friend, Inspector Duff of Scotland Yard, as he unmasks a killer who has carried out his deadly work among members of an around the world tour.  (Charlie Chan Carries On)
 
AUGUST 9 - SEPTEMBER 13 - Charlie Chan Carries On, by Earl Derr Biggers, is published in weekly installments in The Saturday Evening Post.

1931

EARLY JANUARY - Fox Films begins production on Charlie Chan Carries On.

LATE JANUARY - Fox Films completes production on Charlie Chan Carries On.
 
EARLY SPRING - (two days, April 2-3?) In Honolulu, Charlie Chan works on the Shelah Fane murder case, also solving the Denny Mayo murder that had occurred in Hollywood in 1928. (The Black Camel)
 
APRIL 3 - The cast and crew of The Black Camel arrives in Honolulu aboard the City of Los Angeles to begin filming scenes on location. 
 
APRIL 4 - Location filming for The Black Camel begins on the island of Oahu as scenes are shot at Kailua Beach.  More filming would be done during the week in and around the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and at locations in Honolulu.

APRIL 12 - Fox Films releases Charlie Chan Carries On.

EARLY MAY - Fox Films completes production on The Black Camel.

JUNE 7 - Fox Films releases The Black Camel.
 
JULY 2 - Earl Derr Biggers arrives in Honolulu for a month-long vacation with his wife, Eleanor, and his son, Robert aboard the Malolo.  They stay at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel at Waikiki.  During his stay, Biggers will meet again with Detective Chang Apana.  (Courtesy of Steven Fredrick's Research Service)

AUGUST 1 - Earl Derr Biggers departs Honolulu with his wife, Eleanor, and his son, Robert.
 
OCTOBER 13 - George Kuwa, who portrayed Charlie Chan in The House Without a Key (1926), dies.

NOVEMBER 16 - Fox Films begins production on Charlie Chan's Chance.

EARLY DECEMBER - Fox Films completes production on Charlie Chan's Chance.

DECEMBER 4 - Fox Films releases Eran Trece (There Were Thirteen), the Spanish language version of Charlie Chan Carries On, starring Manuel Arbo as Charlie Chan.

1932

JANUARY 24 - Fox Films releases Charlie Chan's Chance.
 
JUNE 11 - JULY 16 - The Keeper of the Keys, by Earl Derr Biggers, is published in weekly installments in The Saturday Evening Post.
 
JULY 2 - Detective Chang Apana, an inspiration for Earl Derr Biggers' Charlie Chan, retires from the Honolulu Police Department after more than three decades of service, 16 years as a detective.
 
DECEMBER 2 - Charlie Chan, a 30-minute radio drama starring Walter Connolly as Charlie Chan, debuts on NBC Blue Network, airing Friday evenings at 7:30.  The series featured episodic dramatizations of the Chan novels by Earl Derr Biggers.  The Black Camel runs until January 6, 1933; The Chinese Parrot, January 13-February 24; Behind That Curtain, March 3-May 26.

1933

APRIL 5 - Earl Derr Biggers, the creator of Charlie Chan, dies of a heart attack in Pasadena, California.
 
MAY 26 - Charlie Chan, a 30-minute radio drama starring Walter Connolly as Charlie Chan, airs for the final time on NBC.
 
SUMMER(?) (about four or five days) - In Honolulu, Charlie Chan solves the murders of Dan Winterslip and his brother Amos, in a case that had roots extending forty years in the past.  (Charlie Chan's Greatest Case)

MID-JULY - Fox Films begins production on Charlie Chan's Greatest Case.

MID-AUGUST(?) - Fox Films completes production on Charlie Chan's Greatest Case.

SEPTEMBER 15 - Fox Films releases Charlie Chan's Greatest Case.

OCTOBER 18 - A stage version of Keeper of the Keys, by Earl Derr Biggers, opens on Broadway at the Fulton Theatre.  Featuring William Harrigan as Inspector Charlie Chan, the three-act play runs for 23 performances.

DECEMBER 8 - Detective Chang Apana of the Honolulu Police Department and an inspiration for Earl Derr Biggers' Charlie Chan, dies in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. 

1934

APRIL 23 - Fox Films begins production on Charlie Chan's Courage.
 
APRIL - (probably about one week) In London and at Retfordshire, Charlie Chan solves the murder of Captain Hamilton, known as the "Stable Murder," as well as that of Lake, the stud groom at Geoffrey Richmond's estate in Retfordshire, and the attempted murder of Lady Mary Bristol. (Charlie Chan in London)
 
MAY 13-14(?) - Charlie Chan travels from London to Paris to investigate bond forgeries.  During this investigation, he solves the murder of his associate, Nardi, as well as that of Albert Dufresne. (Charlie Chan in Paris)
 
MID-LATE MAY - (two days) At the behest of the French Archeological Society, Charlie Chan travels to Luxor, Egypt to investigate the illegal selling of ancient objects, discovered in the tomb of Ahmeti by a Professor Arnold, that turned up in private collections.  While there, Chan solves two murders, including that of Professor Arnold. (Charlie Chan in Egypt)

LATE MAY - Fox Films completes production on Charlie Chan's Courage.

JULY 6 - Fox Films releases Charlie Chan's Courage.

JULY 9 - Fox Films begins production on Charlie Chan in London.

EARLY AUGUST - Fox Films completes production on Charlie Chan in London.

SEPTEMBER 12 - Fox Films releases Charlie Chan in London.

NOVEMBER 12 - Fox Films begins production on Charlie Chan in Paris.

MID-DECEMBER - Fox Films completes production on Charlie Chan in Paris.

1935

JANUARY 21 - Fox Films releases Charlie Chan in Paris.

EARLY APRIL(?) - Fox Films begins production on Charlie Chan in Egypt.

LATE APRIL(?) - Fox Films completes production on Charlie Chan in Egypt.

MAY 7-9 - Charlie Chan works with the Shanghai Police, rounding up the members of an opium smuggling gang and solving the murder of his friend, Sir Stanley Woodland. (Charlie Chan in Shanghai)
 
MAY 30 - The big top of the Kinney and Gaines Circus is collapsed by a "storm of gale proportions" in El Paso, Texas.  Accross the border in Juarez, Mexico, a deputy is killed at the Ace Casino, and Joe Kinney is held for questioning by the El Paso police.  Also in Juarez, Nellie Ferrell and Joe Kinney are supposedly married secretly. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

JUNE 21 - Fox Films releases Charlie chan in Egypt.

JULY 11 - Fox Films begins production on Charlie Chan in Shanghai.

AUGUST 3 - Fox Films completes production on Charlie Chan in Shanghai.

AUGUST 26 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan's Secret.
 
FALL - (four days) Charlie Chan flys from Honolulu to San Francisco to give information to Mrs. Henrietta Lowell regarding her missing nephew, Allen Colby.  While there, Colby is murdered, and Chan works to solve the crime.  (Charlie Chan's Secret)

SEPTEMBER 21 - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan's Secret.

OCTOBER 5, 1935 - Chardo, a well-known magician, is gravely injured in an automobile accident. (Black Magic/Meeting at Midnight)

OCTOBER 11 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan in Shanghai.
 
LATE OCTOBER - (two days) While Charlie Chan and his "multitudinous family" attend a small circus (probably in or near Flagstaff, Arizona) while on their way to the Grand Canyon on a vacation, the detective becomes involved in finding the solution to the mysterious death of Joe Kinney, the unscrupulous part owner of the circus. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

1936

JANUARY 6 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan at the Circus.

JANUARY 10 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan's Secret.

FEBRUARY 9 - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan at the Circus.

FEBRUARY 20  - Warner Oland and his wife, Edith depart from the Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro, aboard the Malolo for Honolulu on the first leg of their journey to China.

FEBRUARY 26  - Warner Oland and his wife, Edith stop for one day in Honolulu as they arrive aboard the Malolo at 9:00 a.m. on the first leg of their journey to China.  At 5:00 p.m., the Olands depart for Japan aboard the Taiyo Maru on the next leg of their journey to China.

MARCH 18 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan at the Circus.

MARCH 22 - Warner Oland and his wife, Edith, arrive in Shanghai, China aboard the ship Empress of Asia. 

MAY 18 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan at the Race Track.

MID-JUNE - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan at the Race Track.
 
JULY 21 - EARLY AUGUST - An investigation of the murder of the pilot of an experimental airplane takes Charlie Chan on a trail that leads from Honolulu all the way to the Olympic games in Berlin, Germany. (Charlie Chan at the Olympics)
 
LATE AUGUST - (two days) Passing through New York City while returning home to Honolulu from Europe with his son, Lee, who had just competed in the Berlin Olympic Games, Charlie Chan is called on to help solve the murder of Billie Bronson, whose diary had threatened a number of underworld figures with exposure.(Charlie Chan on Broadway)

AUGUST 7 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan at the Race Track.

SEPTEMBER 2 (please see "FILM NOTES" for Charlie Chan at the Race Track) - From the ship's log of the S.S. Oceanic: "This day at 3:42 P.M., Lat. 12 (degrees) N. Long. 163 (degrees) W. regret to record death of Major Gordon Kent, Passenger, D-249 kicked to death by the horse Avalanche in its stall in the forward hold." (Charlie Chan at the Race Track)
 
SEPTEMBER 17 - The Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 15-minute radio drama, debuts on the Mutual Broadcasting System, airing weekday evenings at 5:15.
 
MID-LATE SEPTEMBER - (perhaps as much as two weeks, and maybe even slightly into the month of October - please see "FILM NOTES" for Charlie Chan at the Race Track) - Charlie Chan is involved in solving the murder of Major Gordon Kent in a case that takes the detective from Honolulu to Los Angeles, California. In the process, a gambling ring that is fixing horse races is rounded up. (Charlie chan at the Race Track

MID-SEPTEMBER - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan at the Opera.

MID-OCTOBER - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan at the Opera.
 
NOVEMBER 5 - (one day) After solving the "Race Track" case, Charlie Chan visits Inspector Regan of the Los Angeles Police Department. (It is possible that Mr. Chan was in Los Angeles at the time offering testimony at the trial of various individuals involved in the murders and gamiling irregularities.)  While there, Lili Rochelle, prima donna of the San Marco Opera Company which is performing in that city, reveals that she has received a death threat.  Chan, who must leave with son Lee for Honolulu later that evening, agrees to assist with this matter.  That evening during the performance, Lilli Rochelle and her lover, Enrico Barelli, are both murdered.  However, with much fast work, Charlie Chan solves the mystery in time to catch his boat back home. (Charlie Chan at the Opera)

1937

JANUARY 8 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan at the Opera.

LATE JANUARY - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan at the Olympics.

MID-FEBRUARY - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan at the Olympics.


MAY 21 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan at the Olympics.

JUNE 10 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan on Broadway.

MID-JULY - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan on Broadway.
 
AUGUST 14 - While in Shanghai, China during the arrest of Jan Van Horn, Charlie Chan is witness to the Japanese bombing of that city.  (The Shanghai Cobra)
 
AUGUST 25-26 - While passing through Monte Carlo with his son Lee, who is on his way to a Paris art exposition where his painting will be shown, Charlie Chan becomes involved in a csae involving three murders and stolen metallurgic bonds.  (Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo)

SEPTEMBER 18 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan on Broadway.

SEPTEMBER 20 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo.

MID-OCTOBER - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo.

DECEMBER 17 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo.

1938

JANUARY 10 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan at the Ringside.

JANUARY 17 - Suffering a mental breakdown, Warner Oland walks off of the set of Charlie Chan at the Ringside.
 
FEBRUARY - MARCH - Recovering from his breakdown, Warner Oland rests at a Los Angeles hospital.
 
ARRIL 22 - The Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 15-minute radio drama, debuts on the Mutual Broadcasting System, broadcast weekday evenings at 5:15, airs for the final time.
 
SEPTEMBER 17 - The Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 15-minute radio drama, airs for the final time on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
 
SUMMER - In much better health and state of mind, Warner Oland takes a trip to Europe, with plans to also visit his native Sweden.  Upon his return, he will begin work on the next Charlie Chan film. 

AUGUST 6 - Warner Oland, who portrayed Charlie Chan in seventeen films, dies of bronchial pneumonia in Stockholm, Sweden.

SEPTEMBER 28-29 - As the great powers of Europe are poised on the brink of war, and Paris, the "City of Light," is plunged into darkness as a total blackout is ordered out of fears of an air attack.  Amid world events, Charlie Chan, in Paris to attend a twentieth anniversary gathering of members of the Intelligence Service, is drawn into the murder case of Petroff, a wealty exporter. (Charlie Chan in City in Darkness)

 
OCTOBER 18 - Twentieth Century-Fox chooses Sidney Toler to replace the deceased Warner Oland as Charlie Chan.
 
OCTOBER 24 - The first Charlie Chan daily newspaper comic, written and drawn by Alfred Andriola, is published, a series that will run for more than three and a half years.  The character is drawn in the likeness of Warner Oland, who had passed away nearly three months earlier, and Lee Chan, his number one son, is drawn to resemble Keye Luke.
 
OCTOBER 30 - The first Charlie Chan Sunday newspaper comic, written and drawn by Alfred Andriola, is published, a series that will run for more than three and a half years. 

OCTOBER 31 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan in Honolulu.
 
 
FALL - While the Chans' number one daughter, Ling, is in a Honolulu hospital about to give birth to their first grandchild, Charlie Chan solves a murder aboard the passenger freighter Susan B. Jennings. (Charlie Chan in Honolulu)
 
The Chans' first, and only mentioned, grandchild, a boy named Leng, is born to number one daughter Ling and her husband Wing Foo. (Charlie Chan in Honolulu)

LATE NOVEMBER - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan in Honolulu.

DECEMBER 16 - Twentieth Century-Fox previews Charlie Chan in Honolulu at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California.

1939

JANUARY 13 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan in Honolulu.

JANUARY 23 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan in Reno.

FEBRUARY 24 - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan in Reno.
 
APRIL 7-9 - Flying from Honolulu to the mainland to help his friend Curtis Whitman clear his estranged wife of murder in Reno, Nevada, Charlie Chan solves this killing as well as a murder that had been committed three years earlier in New York City. (Charlie Chan in Reno)

APRIL 17 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan at Treasure Island.

MAY 13 - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan at Treasure Island.

JUNE 16 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan in Reno.

JULY 6 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan in City in Darkness.
 
JULY 15-16 - Charlie Chan, while on an assignment for the United States government in Panama, solves two murders, one of agent R.J. Godley, and unmasks Reiner, a foreign spy who had planned to destroy a portion of the Panama Canal.  (Charlie Chan in Panama)

EARLY AUGUST(?) - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan in City in Darkness.
 
AUGUST - (about one week) In an incredible case of deja vu, Charlie Chan is once again on the trail of a killer who is murdering members of an around the world tour.  This time, his good friend Inspector Duff of Scotland Yard is one of the victims.  As was true in the eerily similar case eight years earlier, Chan unmasks the killer, this time in the office of the Coroner of San Francisco County.  (Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise)

SEPTEMBER 8 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan at Treasure Island.

EARLY OCTOBER - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan in Panama.
 
OCTOBER 22-23 - Charlie Chan, after flying to San Francisco from Honolulu, is faced with the mysterious death of his friend, Paul Essex.  Eventually, Chan solves this death and others as he unmasks the mysterious Dr. Zodiac.  (Charlie Chan at Treasure Island)

EARLY NOVEMBER(?) - Twentieth Century-fox completes production on Charlie Chan in Panama.

DECEMBER 1 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan in City in Darkness.

1940

LATE JANUARY - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise.

LATE FEBRUARY(?) - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise.

MARCH 8 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan in Panama.

MAY 2 - Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise opens at the Roxy Theatre in New York City.

MID-MAY - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum.
 
LATE SPRING - In New York City with son Jimmy, who is taking a course in law (presumably while on a break from his studies at the University of California), Charlie Chan sits in a courtroom for the sentencing of convicted killer Steve McBirney.  After sentencing, McBirney escapes, and Chan becomes involved in a case that that leads to the solution of several murders, one being the Joe Rocke case, going back more than ten years.  (Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum)

MID-JUNE(?) - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum.

MID-JULY - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Murder Over New York.

JULY 21 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise.

MID-AUGUST(?) - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Murder Over New York.
 
SEPTEMBER - (Three days) Charlie Chan, originally in New York City for a police convention, solves the murders of his friend, Hugh Drake, and George Kirby, also uncovering the secret of the crash of the experimental TR-3 bomber.  (Murder Over New York)
 
SEPTEMBER 6 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum.

DECEMBER 8 - Execution date set for killer Steve McBirney, convicted on evidence provided by Charlie Chan.  (Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum)

DECEMBER 13 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Murder Over New York.
 
WINTER - (One night) Charlie Chan solves mysterious deaths aboard an old sailing ship that is probably docked at the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California (Los Angeles Harbor - San Pedro).  (Dead Men Tell)

MID-DECEMBER - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Dead Men Tell.

1941

MID-JANUARY - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Dead Men Tell.
 
LAST WEEK OF FEBRUARY - (one night) Charlie Chan, in Rio De Janeiro to arrest singer Lola Dean for a murder committed in Honolulu, ends up solving the murder of the singer who is herself killed in her home, in another case that was strikingly reminiscent of one that had occurred in Honolulu ten years before.  (Charlie Chan in Rio)
 
MARCH 28 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Dead Men Tell.

MAY 8 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Charlie Chan in Rio.

LATE MAY - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Charlie Chan in Rio.

SEPTEMBER 5 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Charlie Chan in Rio.
 
LATE SUMMER - (probably two days) Charlie Chan solves mysterious non-murders as well as an actual killing within the walls of a recreated Renaissance castle in the Mojave Desert of California.(Castle in the Desert)

SEPTEMBER 23 - Twentieth Century-Fox begins production on Castle in the Desert.

MID-OCTOBER - Twentieth Century-Fox completes production on Castle in the Desert.

1942

FEBRUARY 27 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases Castle in the Desert.
 
MAY 31 - The final Charlie Chan Sunday newspaper comic is published, after a run of more than three and one-half years.

1943

LATE SUMMER - (one day) In Washington, D.C., Charlie Chan, now working for the U.S. Secret Service during the war, solves the murder of George Melton, an inventer who had been working on an important project for the government.  (Charlie Chan in the Secret Service)
 
EARLY SEPTEMBER - Monogram Pictires begins production on Charlie Chan in the Secret Service.

LATE SEPTEMBER - Monogram Pictures completes production on Charlie Chan in the Secret Service.

1944

JANUARY 11 - Monogram Pictures begins production on The Chinese Cat.

JANUARY 19 - Monogram Pictures completes production on The Chinese Cat.

FEBRUARY 14 - Monogram Pictures releases Charlie Chan in the Secret Service.

EARLY MARCH - (three days) Charlie Chan, while in San Francisco on a government assignment, solves the murder of Thomas Manning. In the process, a gang of diamond theves is captured.  (The Chinese Cat)
 
SPRING (mid-April?) - (three days) While on vacation with his daughter, Frances, probably in Los Angeles, Charlie Chan solves the murder of psychic William Bonner.  (Black Magic/Meeting at Midnight)
 
MAY 3 - Monogram Pictures begins production on Black Magic.

MID-MAY - Monogram Pictures completes production on Black Magic.

MAY 20 - Monogram Pictures releases The Chinese Cat.
 
JULY 6 - The Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 30-minute radio drama starring Ed Begley as Charlie Chan and Leon Janney as Number One Son, debuts on NBC Blue Network, airing Thursday evenings at 7:30 as a summer replacement for The Bob Burns Show.
 
FALL - (two days)  Probably in New York City, working for the U.S. Secret Service, Charlie Chan is called on to solve the murder of  Mr. Harper, a scientist who had been working on an important government project.  In the process, four others die at the hands of the same murderer.  (The Jade Mask)

SEPTEMBER - Monogram Pictures produces The Jade Mask.

SEPTEMBER 9 - Monogram Pictures releases Black Magic.
 
SEPTEMBER 28 - The Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 30-minute radio drama starring Ed Begley as Charlie Chan and Leon Janney as Number One Son on NBC Blue Network, broadcast on Thursday evenings at 7:30, airs for the final time.
 
OCTOBER 5 - The Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 30-minute radio drama starring Ed Begley as Charlie Chan and Leon Janney as Number One Son, returns to NBC Blue Network, airing Thursday evenings at 7:30. 

1945

JANUARY - Monogram Pictures produces The Scarlet Clue.

JANUARY 18 - The Jade Mask opens at the Strand Theatre in Brooklyn, New York.

JANUARY 26 - Monogram Pictures releases The Jade Mask.
 
APRIL 5 - The Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 30-minute radio drama starring Ed Begley as Charlie Chan and Leon Janney as Number One Son, returns to NBC Blue Network, broadcast on Thursday evenings at 7:30, airs for the final time. 
 
SPRING - (two days) Charlie Chan, continuing his wartime work for the U.S. government, breaks up a spy ring working in the Cosmo Radio Center in an unspecified eastern city. The detective also solves a series of murders committed by the spy ring's leader. (The Scarlet Clue)
 
MAY 11 - Monogram Pictures releases The Scarlet Clue.
 
SPRING - (three days) Called to New York City by his assist his old friend, Inspector Harry Davis, Charlie Chan, also in that city to check on a quantity of government uranium stored in a vault at the Sixth National Bank, solves a series of "Cobra Murders," a bloody trail that goes back seven years to Shanghai.  (The Shanghai Cobra)
 
LATE MAY -  Monogram Pictures begins production on The Shanghai Cobra.
 
MID-JUNE -  Monogram completes production on The Shanghai Cobra.
 
JUNE 18 - The Adventures of Charlie Chan (aka The Incomparable Charlie Chan), a 15-minute radio drama airing weekday evenings at 6:45 starring Ed Begley as Charlie Chan and Leon Janney as Number One Son, debuts on ABC.
 
FALL - (about one week) Charlie Chan is called to Mexico City to by U.S. government agent Walter Dorn to investigate the attempted theft of important papers that relate to a new element which could be used to create a super nuclear bomb.  Upon his arrival, Chan learns of the murder of Dorn.  After two others are killed, Charlie Chan solves the case, working with his old friend, Inspector Luis Carverro.   (The Red Dragon)
 
EARLY SEPTEMBER - Monogram begins production on The Red Dragon.

LATE SEPTEMBER - Monogram Pictures completes production on The Red Dragon.


SEPTEMBER 29 - Monogram Pictures releases The Shanghai Cobra.
 
LATE FALL - (one week) Possibly while in Los Angeles, Charlie Chan is asked by June Harley, whose father, Thomas, she insists, has been framed for bank robbery and murder.  As Thomas Harley's execution date is only a week away, Chan agrees to help, and in so doing, unmasks the real murderer.  (Dark Alibi)
 
NOVEMBER 30 - The Adventures of Charlie Chan (aka The Incomparable Charlie Chan), a 15-minute radio drama airing weekday evenings at 6:45 on ABC starring Ed Begley as Charlie Chan and Leon Janney as Number One Son, is broadcast for the final time.

MID-DECEMBER - Monogram Pictures begins production on Dark Alibi.

LATE DECEMBER(?) - Monogram Pictures completes production on Dark Alibi.

1946

FEBRUARY 2 - Monogram Pictures releases The Red Dragon.

MID-MARCH - Monogram Pictures begins production on Shadows Over Chinatown.

LATE MARCH - Monogram Pictures completes production on Shadows Over Chinatown.

MID-MAY - (two days) While in San Francisco, California, Charlie Chan works at the behest of a Mrs. Conover to locate her missing daughter, Mary.  Charlie Chan successfully locates the missing girl and, in the process, solves the baffling "Torso Murder" case.  (Shadows Over Chinatown)

MAY 25 - Monogram Pictures releases Dark Alibi.
 
EARLY SUMMER - (three days) While aboard the ship Newcastle in the South Pacific, Charlie Chan witnesses the murder of undercover agent Scott Pearson.  In Samoa, Chan solves this and two other killings, and in the process, uncovers a gang of art smugglers.  (Dangerous Money)

MID-JUNE - Monogram Pictures begins production on Dangerous Money.

LATE JUNE - Monogram Pictures completes production on Dangerous Money.

LATE JULY - Monogram Pictures begins production on The Trap.

JULY 27 - Monogram Pictures releases Shadows Over Chinatown.

MID-AUGUST - Monogram Pictures completes production on The Trap.

SUMMER - (two days) Charlie Chan solves the murders of two members of the King Cole Variety Troupe in Malibu, California.  (The Trap)

OCTOBER 12 - Monogram Pictures releases Dangerous Money.

NOVEMBER 30 - Monogram Pictures releases The Trap.

1947

FEBRUARY 12 - Sidney Toler, who portrayed Charlie Chan in twenty-two films, dies of cancer in Beverly Hills, California.

MARCH 22 - Princess Mei Ling arrives in San Francisco aboard the freighter Shanghai Maid.  (The Chinese Ring)

SECOND WEEK IN APRIL - (two days) Charlie Chan solves the murder of Princess Mei Ling.  (The Chinese Ring
)

AUGUST 11 - The Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 30-minute radio drama broadcast on Monday evenings at 8:00 starring Ed Begley and Santos Ortega as Charlie Chan and Rodney Jacobs and Leon Janney as Number One Son, Lee Chan, debuts on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
 
AUGUST 21 - Monogram Pictures begins production on The Chinese Ring.

MID-SEPTEMBER - Monogram Pictures completes production on The Chinese Ring.
 
FALL (three days) - In New Orleans, Louisiana, Charlie Chan Investigates murders that are connected with a planned chemical shipment that promises a very large financial return.  (Docks of New Orleans)
 
NOVEMBER 17 - Monogram Pictures begins production on Docks of New Orleans.

NOVEMBER 25 - Monogram Pictures completes production on Docks of New Orleans.
 
DECEMBER 6 - Monogram Pictures releases The Chinese Ring.

1948

EARLY FEBRUARY - Monogram Pictures begins production on The Shanghai Chest.
 
EARLY FEBRUARY (?) (three days) - Charlie Chan solves the "ABC Murders" in San Francisco, California.  (The Shanghai Chest)
 
FEBRUARY 12-15 (?) - At the request of Mr. Manning who has had an attempt on his life, Charlie Chan travels to Arizona to investigate mysterious events surrounding Manning's Golden Eye gold mine.  (The Golden Eye)
 
LATE FEBRUARY - Monogram Pictures completes production on The Shanghai Chest.

MARCH 21 - Monogram Pictures releases Docks of New Orleans.

MID-APRIL - Monogram Pictures begins production on The Golden Eye.

LATE APRIL - Monogram Pictures completes production on The Golden Eye.
 
JUNE 21 - The Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 30-minute radio drama broadcast on Monday evenings at 8:00 on the Mutual Broadcasting System starring Santos Ortega as Charlie Chan and Rodney Jacobs and Leon Janney as Number One Son, Lee Chan, airs for the final time.
 
JULY 11 - Monogram Pictures releases The Shanghai Chest.
 
AUGUST 29 - Monogram Pictures releases The Golden Eye.
 
FALL - (three or four days) Charlie Chan, with sons Lee and Tommy (Jimmy) solves the mystery of the disappearance of Professors Scott and Farnsworth in a case of murder surrounding the discovery of a lost Aztec temple in the Diablo Mountains of Mexico.  (The Feathered Serpent) 

LATE SEPTEMBER - Monogram Pictures begins production on The Feathered Serpent.

EARLY OCTOBER - Monogram Pictures completes production on The Feathered Serpent.

DECEMBER - Monogram Pictures produces The Sky Dragon.

DECEMBER 19 - Monogram Pictures releases The Feathered Serpent.
 
WINTER (?) - (four days) In San Francisco, California, Charlie Chan solves a case of murder and the theft of a quarter million dollars aboard an airliner.  (The Sky Dragon)

1949

MAY 1 - Monogram Pictures releases The Sky Dragon.

1954

JULY 28 - Kamiyama Sojin, who portrayed Charlie Chan in The Chinese Parrot (1927), dies in Tokyo, Japan.

1957

AUGUST 9 - The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 39-episode American-British co-produced half-hour television series, starring J. Carrol Naish as Charlie Chan, first airs on British television.

1958

MARCH 6 - The first issue of The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, a comic book adaptation of the television series of the same name, is released by DC Comics (National Periodical Publications).  It will run for six issues, spanning one year.
 
NOVEMBER 25 - The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 39-episode American-British co-produced half-hour television series, starring J. Carrol Naish as Charlie Chan, first airs on New York television station WNET, channel 5.

1967

AUGUST 19 - Special Invitational Performance of Charlie Chan at the Opera at the Metropolitan Opera Festival at Newport, Rhode Island.
 
OCTOBER 9 - Special Invitational Performance of Charlie Chan at the Circus at EXPO 67 (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) - Family Day at the Youth Pavillion.  

1968

MARCH 4-17 - 21 Charlie Chan movies are featured at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, in a special film festival entitled "Charlie Chan at the Museum of Modern Art."
 
FALLVolkswagen creates a series of one-minute television commercials for their classic Beetle featuring Charlie Chan.

1971

The Return of Charlie Chan, a made-for-television movie, starring Ross Martin as Charlie Chan, is filmed.  This movie, also called Happiness is a Warm Clue, will not air until 1979.

1972

SEPTEMBER 8 - The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, a Hanna-Barbera cartoon series, with Keye Luke as the voice of Charlie Chan, debuts on CBS television and runs until 1974.

1973

JANUARY 24 - J. Carrol Naish, who portrayed Charlie Chan in The New Adventures of Charlie Chan television series, dies in La Jolla, California.
 
MAY 25 - Manuel Arbo, who portrayed Charlie Chan in the film Eran Trece, the Spanish language version of Charlie Chan Carries On, dies in Madrid, Spain.

SEPTEMBER 28 - Mantan Moreland, who portrayed Charlie Chan's often-reluctant assistant and chauffeur, Birmingham Brown, in fifteen films, dies in Hollywood, California.

1979

JULY 17 - The Return of Charlie Chan (also called Happiness is a Warm Clue), a made-for-television movie, starring Ross Martin, which was filmed in 1971, is broadcast by NBC on U.S. television for the first time.

1980

NOVEMBER 9 - Victor Sen Yung, who portrayed Charlie Chan's number two son, Jimmy (later Tommy), in eighteen films, dies in North Hollywood, California of accidental asphyxiation due to a faulty heater.

1981

FEBRUARY - Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen, a comedy/mystery starring Peter Ustinov as Charlie Chan, is released.

JULY 3 - Ross Martin, who portrayed Charlie Chan in The Return of Charlie Chan (also known as Happiness is a Warm Clue), a made-for-television movie, is dies of a heart attack in Ramona, California.

1987

AUGUST 1 - Benson Fong, who portrayed Charlie Chan's number three son, Tommy, in six films, dies in Los Angeles, California of a stroke.

1989

FEBRUARY 9 - Key Video (a division of CBS/Fox Video) releases the Charlie Chan Collection, a seven-film VHS video compilation containing Charlie Chan in Paris and Charlie Chan's Secret starring Warner Oland, and Murder Over New York, Charlie Chan in Rio, and Castle in the Desert starring Sidney Toler.
 
OCTOBER - Charlie Chan at the Movies: History, Filmography, and Criticism by Ken Hanke, is released.
 
OCTOBER 22 - Roland Winters, who portrayed Charlie Chan in six films, dies in Englewood, New Jersey of a stroke.

1991

JANUARY 12 - Keye Luke, who portrayed Charlie Chan's number one son, Lee, in twelve Chan films and one Mr. Moto movie, dies in Whittier, California of a stroke.

1996

JULY 31 - The Dominican Republic (Dominica) issues Legendary Sleuths of the Silver Screen postage stamp series with one stamp picturing Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan.

1998

OCTOBER - The Charlie Chan Message Board (CharlieChan.net) opens as an Internet gathering place for Charlie Chan fans.

2000

APRIL 26 - The Charlie Chan Family group site, which includes a message board and chat room opens at yahoo.com.
 
NOVEMBER 1 - The Charlie Chan Film Encyclopedia by Dr. Howard Berlin, is released.

2001

OCTOBER 3 - The Charlie Chan Family Home (The House on Punchbowl Hill; CharlieChan.info), an online museum and reference source devoted to Charlie Chan, opens its virtual doors on Warner Oland's birthday.

2003

JUNE 27 - Bowing to pressure from special interest groups, Fox Movie Channel (FMC) pulls the plug on "Charlie Chan's Mystery Tour," a planned month-long festival of Charlie Chan movies.

AUGUST 25 - Charlie Chan's Words of Wisdom by Dr. Howard Berlin, is released.

2004

March 28 - Peter Ustinov, who portrayed Charlie Chan in the comedy/mystery Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen, dies in Genolier, Vaud, Switzerland.

JULY 6 - MGM Home Entertainment releases the Charlie Chan Chanthology, a DVD collection of the first six Charlie Chan movies made at Monogram Pictures: Charlie Chan in the Secret Service, The Chinese Cat, Black Magic/Meeting at Midnight, The Jade Mask, The Scarlet Clue, and The Shanghai Cobra.

2006

JUNE 20 - 20th Century-Fox releases the Charlie Chan Collection, Volume 1 containing Charlie Chan in London, Charlie Chan in Paris, Charlie Chan in Egypt, and Charlie Chan in Shanghai starring Warner Oland, plus Behind That Curtain.
 
DECEMBER 5 - 20th Century-Fox releases the Charlie Chan Collection, Volume 2 containing Charlie Chan at the Circus, Charlie Chan at the Race Track, Charlie Chan at the Opera, and Charlie Chan at the Olympics.

2007

AUGUST 14 - 20th Century-Fox releases the Charlie Chan Collection, Volume 3 containing The Black Camel, Charlie Chan's Secret, Charlie Chan on Broadway, and Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo.

2008

FEBRUARY 12 - 20th Century-Fox releases the Charlie Chan Collection, Volume 4 containing Charlie Chan in Honolulu, Charlie Chan in Reno, Charlie Chan at Treasure Island, and Charlie Chan in City in Darkness.
 
JUNE 10 - Turner Classic Movies (TCM) presents a mini-marathon of Charlie Chan films including The Jade Mask, Charlie Chan at the Circus, Charlie Chan in Honolulu, and The Scarlet Clue.  This marks the first such multiple showing of Charlie Chan movies by a television network in five years.
 
SEPTEMBER 16 - 20th Century-Fox releases the Charlie Chan Collection, Volume 5 containing Charlie Chan in Panama, Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise, Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum, Murder Over New York, Dead Men Tell, Charlie Chan in Rio, Castle in the Desert.

2010

JUNE 8 - Warner Brothers/TCM releases TCM Spotlight: Charlie Chan Collection, a box DVD set that includes Dark Alibi, Dangerous Money, The Trap, and The Chiniese Ring.

AUGUST 30 - Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History, a breakthrough study of Chang Apana, Earl Derr Biggers, American, Hawaiian, and Chinese culture, and Charlie Chan by Yunte Huang, is released.

2013

NOVEMBER 28 - The Charlie Chan Mystery Movie Guide by Luke Freeman, is released.

 
 
 

Return to Charlie Chan Family Home ENTRANCE