Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Charlie Chan Collection Vol 3 |
Charlie Chan's Secret / Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo / Charlie Chan on Broadway / The Black Camel
Actor: Warner Oland
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Disc 1: Charlie Chan's Secret (1936) **Full Frame Feature (B&W) **Commentary by Film Critic Ken Hanke & Film Historian John Cork **Charlie Chan and the Rise of the Modern Detective **Dr. Henry Lee: The Modern Day Charlie C... more »
"THANK YOU....SO MUCH."
Ghoulchick | Bronx, New York United States | 05/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Four more films:
Behind that Curtain (1929) - No Oland, very little Chan but Warner Baxter who would later play Doctor Ordway in the Crime Doctor film series, and Boris Karloff in the role of a servant.
The Black Camel (1931) - Features Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye
Charlie Chan's Secret (1936) - A great old-dark house whodunnit
Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937)- Charlie and #1 son on the great white way
Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo (1937) - The last of the Oland Chan films
Black Camel commentary by film critic Ken Hanke
Charlie Chan's Secret commentary by film critic Ken Hanke
Chan Is Missing: The Last Days Of Warner Oland featurette,
The World Of Charlie Chan featurette
Chanograms: The Aphorisms Of Charlie Chan featurette
Charlie Chan and The Rise of The Modern Detective featurette
Dr. Henry Lee: The Modern Day Charlie Chan featurette
Charlie Chan's Chance: A Recreation, a dramatized recreation of the lost film, Charlie Chan's Chance with an optional introduction by film historian John Cork
The Warner Oland cycle is now complete. The special interest groups that scared the Fox Movie Channel into not showing re-mastered editions of the Charlie Chan films back in 2003 have ultimately failed. With the release of Vol 3, ALL the Warner Oland Chan films (not counting the lost ones) are available on DVD for all who want to see them. (Hopefully, the rest of the Toler Chans will follow) Long live the great detective. And to the P.C. forces that don't like it I can only say is...Thank you...so much..."
Memorable Films With Excellent Bonuses
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 08/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Charlie Chan was originally created by novelist Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933), who very loosely based the character on Hawaii's legendary police officer Chang Apana (1887-1933.) Biggers wrote six novels in all, and after several false starts 20th Century Fox (then simply known as Fox) hit on the right combination of actors, mystery, and comedy. The result was perhaps the single most popular film series Hollywood ever created.
Contemporary audiences tend to view the films as politically incorrect, but the fact remains that Chan and his family--most often personified by Keye Luke as son Lee--were among the very few positive Asian characters on American movie screens at the time; as such they were particularly popular with Asian-American audiences of the day. Volume 3 of the 20th Century Fox collection rounds out the surviving films starring Warner Oland, who was the original series Chan.
Several Chan films have been lost; the earliest still in existence is THE BLACK CAMEL, the second in the series. Based directly on the Biggers novel of the same name, this 1931 release finds Chan investigating the murder of a Hollywood star in Hawaii. Loosely suggested by the William Taylor Desmond murder and filmed partly on location, THE BLACK CAMEL is atypical of most Chan films--and all the more interesting for that. It also has the fortune of Bela Lugosi as Warner Oland's co-star, and Lugosi and Oland have unexpected chemistry. Released in 1936, CHARLIE CHAN'S SECRET is a story of a missing heir, a woman who is under the influence of "spirtualists," and features seances, a creepy mansion, and lots of foolish-but-fun plot turns. Although not one of the best Chan films, it is among my own favorites.
Released in 1938, CHARLIE CHAN ON BROADWAY and CHARLIE CHAN AT MONTE CARLO were the last two Chan films made starring Oland, who died not long after. Both films feature Keye Luke as son Lee Chan. ON BROADWAY finds Chan doing battle with a murderous blackmailer in New York; it is among the better films in the series, slick and well executed. AT MONTE CARLO finds Chan seeking stolen bonds--and plunging into a mixture of blackmail and murder as a result. While it tends to be a bit slower than most Chans, it too is enjoyable.
Fox has done very well by the Chan films in the past, but on this occasion the studio has really knocked itself in terms of bonuses. There are the usual, expertly made "featurettes" on various aspects of the series, but on this occasion two films (BLACK CAMEL and SECRET) have very erudite, entertaining commentaries. The set also includes items of interest: a print of BEHIND THAT CURTAIN, a very early Chan film that is not properly part of the series, and a re-creation via stills and dialogue of the lost film CHARLIE CHAN'S CHANCE. Regretfully, BEHIND THAT CURTAIN is a dire film and best left to hardcore fans, and the recreation of CHANCE is more akin to an Ed Wood film than a Chan film--but Fox gets points for effort. The restorations are not flawless, but they are much better than other prints; recommended for Chan fans everywhere!
GFT, Amazon Reviewer"
Completes the Oland Chan Set in Fine Fashion
Kaylee Ranger | Ohio | 08/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'd like to comment on what a nice job 20th Century Fox has done in putting together all three volumes. After watching the final volume, it becomes apparent just how carefully they planned it all. The first volume takes Chan to London, Paris, Egypt, and Shanghai--it's a nice trip, and each movie makes mention of the previous spot as Chan makes his way from East to West. The special features spent much time on the real life inspiration for Chan, Chang Apana, and included commentary from Apana's family. The second volume finds Chan visiting the Circus, the Race Track, the Opera, and Olympics. The movies themselves and the special features focus a lot of attention on Chan's eldest son and the actor who played him--Keye Luke.
Thematically, the first two volumes stand alone quite well, and the special features are unique to each set--there was little overlap. It might be tempting to think of the third volume as the leftovers, but that would be a mistake. The Black Camel is the sole survivor of the first 5 Oland Chan movies, and it gives viewers a super glimpse of the original characterization--Chan is energetic and forceful in a more physical way than in the years to come. It's great to see that bit of history, and a Chan film with location shooting in Hawaii is a welcome sight. Charlie Chan's Secret has a spooky house vibe that follows The Black Camel very nicely. Commentary on the films at last! Of the twelve films, I think that TBC and CCS were good choices. Broadway and Monte Carlo are the last two Oland Chans, and there's an excellent featurette on Oland included here. Thus we see both the beginning and the end of the Oland Chans in this volume. I haven't mentioned all the special features since Amazon lists them, but I'll just say that once again, we get unique ones with little or no overlap between these and those of the previous volumes.
Fox has made it easy to watch the films in order if you like--pop in The Black Camel, the four films of volume 1, Charlie Chan's Secret, the four films of volume 2, then the last two films of volume 3. Taken all together, the featurettes give a well rounded view of the original novels and the novelist, the real life inspiration for Chan, some of the directors, and the actors, as well as the broader picture--the Chan books and movies as detective fiction and fictional portrayals of Asian Americans in U.S. culture. In addition you get a couple of interesting commentaries and 2 extra films that are interesting as pieces of Chan history even if they aren't great cinema (Eran Trece and Behind the Curtain). And as if all that wasn't enough--the slick green, red, and blue boxes all match and look wonderful together on the shelf.
The breadth of the special features, the thematic approach to the volumes, and the look of the art on boxes and cases should be taken by other studios as the standard for putting together a collection like this. Bravo 20th Century Fox!"
Terry D. Robertson | Asheville, NC USA | 06/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just when you thought it was over, Fox has released a 4th and final installment in the Warner Oland Charlie Chan series. Thank you Fox. This set contains several very important Chan films. The Black Camel is the second Oland outing (Carries On is lost and only a Spanish version exists with Spanish actors), so this is a very important film in the Chan genre. It also contains what has been considered by many fans another "lost" film, SECRET and ends with the final Oland entry MONTE CARLO that has a hilarious scene with #1 son Keye Luke's rear end on fire.
There is still a missing Oland film and Like CARRIES ON may be lost forever. MGM has released the first 6 (and the least interesting) of the Sidney Toler WWII Chan films--which are overly cautious. The pre-war Fox Toler outings are still waiting for release. Let's hope they will be forthcoming, so many of them are highly entertaining and much better made than the Monogram counterparts released on CHANTHOLOGY.
Thanks again FOX. Let's see some more!"