Number Three Son Tommy comes to the aid of a damsel in distress - by offering Charlie Chan's services - in this "top-notch whodunnit fare" (Variety) starring Sidney Toler and Benson Fong. LeahManning (Joan Woodbury) has ne... more »ver stopped searching for her father's murderer, although the police and the DA gave up long ago. And now, to add insult to injury, an "expert criminologist" has writtena "novel" accusing her mother of the crime! Charlie's investigation leads him to a cutthroat gang of gem thieves out to steal a wealth of diamonds hidden in a porcelain Chinese cat!« less
Scott MacGillivray | Massachusetts, USA | 04/26/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Monogram Pictures, one of the smaller Hollywood studios, really tried to make its Charlie Chan mysteries competitive with major-studio product, and this time it worked. "The Chinese Cat" (1944) has everything audiences had come to expect from the series: a capable cast of familiar character actors (Cy kendall, Ian Keith, Joan Woodbury, and at least four favorite serial performers), good direction (by the normally uninspired Phil Rosen), and striking photography (by veteran cameraman Ira Morgan). The story concerns an unsolved murder, and a muck-raking novelist whose latest book hits too close to home. Sidney Toler and Mantan Moreland are always enjoyable, and number-three son Benson Fong has more to do than usual (he defies the criminal mastermind in a memorable scene). Charlie Chan fans will enjoy this; followers of the Monogram corpus will applaud this fine companion piece to "The Shanghai Cobra" and "The Scarlet Clue." This is one "B" that gets a solid "A" for effort."
After a slow start, this 2nd Monogram has action ending.
Marc Capralis | Temecula, CA United States | 08/22/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"For some reason, the second Monogram Chan movie is a bit slow moving during the first half of the film. Mantan Moreland's comedy material is not very good this time, but would improve in The Scarlet Clue and The Shanghai Cobra. Chan and Number 3 son Tommy get captured and roughed up this time, unusual in a Chan film. I would call this a middling effort from Monogram. Classic Chan line is "Expert is merely man who make quick decision--and is sometimes right.""
A Chauffeur For Charlie
Peter Kenney | Birmingham, Alabama, USA | 08/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE CHINESE CAT is a surprisingly good war-time film by Monogram. Sidney Toler is back as Charlie and Benson Fong has the role of Tommy Chan. Tommy is Charlie's number three son. Manton Moreland as Birmingham Brown begins the movie as a cab driver and ends up as Charlie's chauffeur. Some of the best scenes take place in a fun house."
Unpredictable as usual.
Acute Observer | 02/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another clever picture with the "hard not to like" Mr. Chan"
Murder is His Business
Acute Observer | Jersey Shore USA | 05/24/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A man is working on a chess game. Someone enters and fires two shots; Thomas Manning is found dead in a locked room. There are no clues, and the case is dropped. Miss Manning visits to ask Charlie Chan for help. A novel was written that accuses her mother of the crime. [There are jokes sprinkled in the dialogue for amusement. The prices date this picture.] A telephone call summons Chan to give him information about the murder. But a stranger makes sure he will tell no tales. Detective Dennis shows up, he was trailing Chan. They discover statues hidden away in loaves of bread. Chan talks to Dr. Paul Rechnick about his book Mrs. Manning was alone in the house at the time of the murder. Next they visit the murder room; there is a secret panel and door to another room. Somebody places a bomb in Chan's taxi, but Chan escapes this attempt.
Chan visits Wu San, the artist who created those hidden statues. There are gems hidden inside! When Chan visits Manning's partner they discover new facts. When this man is found dead there are no clues. Somebody uses a poison gas in their hotel room, but it is discovered in time. Three murders by three different methods seems puzzling. But Chan figures out a solution based on the wrong pieces for a jigsaw puzzle. Chan returns to the closed "Fun House" and is found by the criminal gang. After some adventures and threats (more comic than serious) the murders are solved. The last minutes explain the murders. One of the gang tried a double-cross, and this started the reaction.
The first pictures in this series were murder mysteries with some comic or witty remarks. This film has too much comedy to be a murder mystery, and too many murders to be a comedy. Yet the success of this series says they met the needs of the audiences. "