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Charlie Chan - Chanthology [DVD]

Sidney Toler , Manton Moreland , Phil Karlson    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: 9.53 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Charlie Chan - Chanthology [DVD] + Charlie Chan - The Warner Oland Collection [DVD] + Charlie Chan - The Sidney Toler Collection [DVD]
Price For All Three: 143.83

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Product details

  • Actors: Sidney Toler, Manton Moreland, Joan Barclay, Benson Fong, Joe Devlin
  • Directors: Phil Karlson
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: Swedish, English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Nov 2004
  • Run Time: 391 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006466GC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,146 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


From Amazon.co.uk

Though the Charlie Chan film franchise has earned brickbats for its casting of Caucasian actors as the Asian sleuth, the movies have retained popularity among aficionados of '40s-era B-crime pictures, and the six-disc Charlie Chan Chanthology, all featuring Sidney Toler as Chan, should please that crowd. The Missouri-born Toler starred in 11 Chan pictures for Fox before purchasing the rights to the character from creator Earl Derr Biggers's widow and bringing it to budget studio Monogram, where he starred in 11 more Chans before his death in 1947 (Roland Winters replaced him in six more features until 1949). At Monogram, Chan became a Secret Service Agent (a move calculated to cut down on exotic locations and sets), and comedy was integrated into the plots via Mantan Moreland's chauffeur Birmingham Brown; Benson Fong also joined the cast as Number Three Son Tommy, with occasional appearances by daughter Frances (Frances Chan) and son Eddie (Edwin Luke, brother of Keye Luke, who played Number One Son Lee in the Fox Chans).

Other than that, the six films collected here (the first six Chans for Monogram, and all but five directed by Phil Rosen) are largely indistinguishable from one another save for the murder victims and their demises. In The Secret Service, Chan investigates the death of a wartime inventor; a San Francisco socialite expires in The Chinese Cat; daughter Frances is involved in the murder of a psychic in Meeting at Midnight (a.k.a. Black Magic); another government scientist is killed in The Jade Mask, and death by remote control is the focus of The Scarlet Clue. Director Phil Karlson (Kansas City Confidential) adds some noirish atmosphere to The Shanghai Cobra, which has bank employees dying from apparent snakebites. Dated and controversial as they may be, the Chan films are engaging diversions for vintage mystery fans. No extras are featured in the set. --Paul Gaita

Product Description

Collection of six adventures for the famous Honolulu detective Charlie Chan. In 'Charlie Chan and the Chinese Cat' (1944), a murder takes place apparently in a locked room, and Chan's efforts to unravel the mystery lead to a confrontation in a crazy house of fun. In 'Charlie Chan in the Secret Service' (1944), Chan joins forces with the government to investigate the mysterious death of a famous inventor. In 'The Jade Mask' (1945), a murder takes place in a country mansion complete with hidden passages, mysterious relatives - and even a snooty butler. In 'Meeting at Midnight' (1944), ghosts are set loose when Chan seeks out a murderer among a group of occultists. In 'The Scarlet Clue' (1945), the theft of some top secret papers sparks off a murder investigation. Finally, in 'The Shanghai Cobra' (1945), a spate of cobra bites appear to be related to the attempted theft of a deadly substance - but can Chan uncover the link?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
By Jezz
These take me back to childhood, many a Saturday afternoon sitting in front of the fire on cold autumn day. When i ordered these i couldn't really remember much about the films except that they were one of my aunty's favorites. When i saw these at such a low price from Amazon I decided to take the chance. It has definitely paid off!!

The quality of the sound and picture are very good (for the year) and lets face it they are sixty years old or more, yet this doesn't show much and what does show only adds to the nostalgia of these brilliant films.

As soon as you start watching these films you start to remember the way Charlie gaiters across the room with that smile on his face as if thinking of a private joke. Speaking of jokes the humour in these films is also novel, Birmingham provides most of this with the expressions of his face and his big round eyes.

Not knowing much about the actors or directors means I can't comment on these, all I know is in these films they are all excellent, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have! They also will have a well earned space on my DVD shelf as they are all re-watchable and will like to pass down to my number one son who also likes them.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
In the mid forties the Monogram studio took over production of the Charlie Chan movies after Twentieth Century Fox dropped the series in 1942. Actor Sidney Toler now owned the rights to the character, and went on to star in eleven Chan films for Monogram up until his death in 1947. This box set contains the first six of those films, and given they are less well known than the Fox films, this release is welcome. Although the Monogram films had decidedly lower budgets and production values than the Fox series, there is still much to enjoy. Of the films in this set the stand out ones are director Phil Karlson's "Shanghai Cobra", with its film noir elements, and "Meeting At Midnight", with its spooky overtones. The remaining films are somewhat weaker and are rather similar to each other, but are still entertaining. The other factor that makes this set worth considering is the very good picture and sound quality, which sets it apart from the miserable efforts contained within some other UK releases. The otherwise excellent set loses one star for not including any extras.

It is to be hoped MGM will release the remaining Monogram Chan films in due course, as it is particularly regrettable Phil Karlson's second feature in the series, "Dark Alibi", is not generally available.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relaxtion for winter day 13 July 2006
I too have enjoyed this charlie chan box set, some of his saying are still priceless, a must for any 40 plus movie buff, a nice warm fire, comfortable chair, switch the phone off, settle down to hours of pleasure.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I bought this on a whim when I suddenly got the urge to revisit my youth and buy all the old Tarzan films, and thought: why not add this to the bag?

I wasn't disappointed - it just so happened it arrived the Friday before a bad case of the Flu, which left me feeling rather ill the next day. I found old Charlie Chan the ideal companion and while I was ill; it was the just the right pace and interesting enough to keep my attention - yet requiring little effort on my part to watch.

Although you can enjoy the episodes any time you want, I think these will be best viewed when you're slightly under the weather. In bed with Man-Flu, ill on the sofa, or suffering from a hangover or tummy bug. Generally any time you feel like calling out for 'mummy' and wishing you were 6 years old again, being brought Lucozade and toast.

However - I do quickly want to add that I thoroughly enjoyed Birmingham Browns character. The guy who played him was a comic genius.

Overall - splendid viewing and extremely enjoyable if you want a trip back to your childhood; or if you want something easy to watch to while away the hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon - if that's the 'case' then Chan's your man.

Oh - and If you found this review helpful please rate it as so and if not, comment on why so I can do a better job for you next time - thanks :-)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Chan takes a pay cut 27 Nov 2011
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
After 20th Century Fox finally dropped the Charlie Chan series after closing down their B-movie unit in 1942, they took the unusual step of letting star Sidney Toler shop the rights around other studios to continue the series. With the war effort in full swing and Asian detectives - even Chinese ones - considered bad for business it took him two years before finally poverty row studio Monogram committed to a new series. Gone were the slick production values that Fox gave the films even when they moved from A-pictures to Bs, along with the quality casting, behind the screens talent and scripts in favour of a more cheap and cheerful approach that kept the series chugging along pleasantly enough even if its glory days were behind it. MGM/UA's Chanthology ofers the first six of these Monogram releases in an extras-free set that offers decent albeit not outstanding copies that are more than acceptable considering how poor the public domain copies floating around for years have been

Not that it got off to a good start with Charlie Chan in the Secret Service, which has all the hallmarks of a picture the studio had no confidence in and just churned out as a fast and cheaply as possible to see if there was any life left in the old dog without risking too much. Most of the film plays out on just one location aside from a now infamous sequence of Toler walking through a hotel lobby and hailing a cab that drives him slowly to the murder scene while insistent dramatic music blares on the soundtrack: it's the closest thing the film has to n action sequence, but it's all too typical of the kind of padding Monogram threw into their cheapies to get them up to feature running time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Chantastic.
Excellent dvds.If you like classic black & white films you'll love these.The only problem is they leave you wanting more.Great value for money.
Published 7 days ago by Deadhead
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Chan
I have always love old films and series. This collection is timeless. Thoroughly enjoyable, though I would hate to be Charlie Chans No1 son
Published 5 months ago by Peter Brookman
5.0 out of 5 stars Present for Chan fan !
my husband loves Charlie Chan and all things black and white so a nice stocking filler for him and reasonable price
Published 7 months ago by L. P. Stamp
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Chan
When I was young I used to love it when Charlie Chan came on the television so I was really pleased when I saw that it was on DVD - it did not disappoint - a trip down memory lane. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lez
5.0 out of 5 stars Chan
Chantology is a first-rate set of DVDs. The box set was delivered quickly, and complements the two Chan sets I already own (Toler and Oland). Read more
Published on 27 April 2012 by GS
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and enjoyable
My own personal opinion, each actor playing Charlie Chan, brings their own slant on how to play Charlie Chan, each is just as enjoyable as the other - all down to personal taste... Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2012 by Ms. Nicola J. Booth
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but one fault
I always enjoy the Chan films - in fact unlike most fans I prefer Sidney Toler over Warner Oland. This set which I bought of Amazon recently is good fun with generally good prints... Read more
Published on 22 May 2011 by MARK C. BALE
5.0 out of 5 stars Six of the best Chan's from the Toler/Monogram era...
This is an absolutely cracking anothology. Brilliant stuff for movie buffs...

Here you get 6 of the best Chan's from the Monogram era with Sidney Toler at the helm and I... Read more
Published on 21 May 2011 by Robster
3.0 out of 5 stars good for a laugh
These were apparently the last of the Charlie Chan films of this era. Taken over by a poor production company - and it shows. 3 cds with 2 films on each. Read more
Published on 25 Feb 2011 by Traveller
4.0 out of 5 stars keeps wife happy
this is so old its funny. my wife used to watch it as a child. when she sits down to watch it her smile is great. so if you enjoyed this when you were younger definately get it.
Published on 6 Nov 2010 by hagafan
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