Charlie Chan At The Opera

Watch Charlie Chan At The Opera

"A fiendish killer lurks at the opera! Weird! Thrilling! The Master Minds of Crime Match Wits Against Each Other!"
  • Passed
  • 1937
  • 1 hr 8 min
  • 7.1  (2,254)

Charlie Chan at the Opera is a 1936 crime thriller film directed by H. Bruce Humberstone starring Warner Oland, Boris Karloff, and Keye Luke. This film marked the sixth appearance of Warner Oland as Charlie Chan, the famous Chinese American detective, and it was his second to last in the series. The plot of the movie takes place in San Francisco, where a famous opera singer named Gravelle is set to perform in a new production of the opera "Faust." However, the production has been plagued by a series of accidents and Gravelle receives a threatening note. Charlie Chan, who is in San Francisco for a conference, is asked by the police to aid the investigation.

As the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that the motives behind the threats are much deeper than just sabotage. Several suspects emerge, including a jealous rival opera singer, a former convict turned stagehand, and a mysterious investor. Boris Karloff plays the role of the former convict, Mefo, who seems to know more about the strange occurrences happening in the opera house than he lets on.

At the same time, Chan faces challenges from his own community. The opera singer's daughter, Elaine, disdains her father's work and sees him as a sell-out for embracing Western culture. Chan, meanwhile, is not well-liked by the Chinese community, who see him as pandering to white society. The film grapples with these themes of cultural preservation and assimilation throughout the plot.

Charlie Chan at the Opera is a suspenseful and thrilling movie. The direction is impressive and the pacing of the plot is excellent. H. Bruce Humberstone manages to create an aura of tension throughout the film, especially during the scenes in the eerie and mysterious opera house. The cinematography captures the grandeur of the opera house's interiors and stunning performances.

Another standout element of the movie is the cast. Warner Oland delivers a fantastic performance as Charlie Chan, capturing the wit and intelligence of the character. Boris Karloff is equally outstanding as Mefo, who brings a measure of complexity to his role, struggling between his desire for revenge and his conscience. Keye Luke as Charlie Chan's son, Lee, provides comic relief with his quips and antics.

Moreover, the plot features an unexpected twist at the climax that makes the film even more engrossing. The twist is both satisfying and surprising. It keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, wondering how it will all turn out. The film's ending is poignant and touching, and leaves a lasting impression on the viewers.

Overall, Charlie Chan at the Opera is a classic movie that offers suspense, thrills, and intrigue. The film's themes of cultural identity and community dynamics make it a compelling watch even today. The performances, direction, and plot all come together seamlessly to create a movie that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Fans of Charlie Chan, classic crime movies or just excellent filmmaking, in general, will absolutely love this movie.

Charlie Chan At The Opera
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 8 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (2,254)