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Docks of New Orleans (1948)

(aka: Charlie Chan On the Docks of New Orleans)



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Roland Winters played Charlie Chan for the second time in The Docks of New Orleans. He made a terrible Chan. His manner of speaking sounds as if each word were recorded individually, and, in post-production, they were edited together without adjusting the pacing or tone of voice. Furthermore, he exhibited none of the charisma that made Sidney Toler and, in particular, Warner Oland so much fun to watch.

The mystery itself isn't half bad, however -- well, at least in comparison to the other late entries in the series. The film is actually a remake of Mr. Wong, Detective, the second film in the Charlie Chan ripoff series that Monogram produced before they got the rights to make actual Chan films. It involves a mysterious string of deaths that occur when the victim is alone in a room. The weak link, besides the improbability of it all, is the blithering stupidity of the police force. The average fourth grader is smarter than these bozos. Sheesh.

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