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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Sky Dragon (1949)

(aka: Charlie Chan and the Sky Dragon)



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The Sky Dragon was the last of the series Chan films. Well, there was an odd independent Charlie Chan production was made decades later, but this concluded the long-running franchise. It was long overdue. Monogram Pictures had had the series for six years by this point and had pretty much pummeled it into the ground with low budgets, recycled plot ideas, and Roland Winters, who never realized the Charlie Chan character the way his predecessors, Warner Oland and Sidney Toler, did.

This episode has Chan solving a murder that takes place on an airplane. As was common in the tail end of the series, Chan doesn't do a whole lot of detective work -- not on-screen, anyway -- and the array of suspects are shallow stereotypes. Very little amusing or exciting occurs, and although the film is scarcely over an hour long, it still manages to make the "climactic" ending seem twice that.

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