The Shanghai Cobra

Watch The Shanghai Cobra

"Charlie Chan at his best in his most thrilling adventure!"
  • NR
  • 1945
  • 1 hr 4 min
  • 6.4  (1,188)

The Shanghai Cobra from 1945 is a thrilling detective movie starring the inimitable Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan, a Chinese-American detective tasked with taking down a deadly gang of criminals operating in Shanghai. The movie opens with a daring robbery at a diamond company. The thieves escape with a large cache of diamonds, killing a security guard during the heist. Charlie Chan is called in to investigate the case, but he quickly discovers that the robbery is only one of many such incidents in the area.

Charlie and his partner, the bumbling but comic relief police sergeant "Birmingham" Brown (played by Mantan Moreland), set out to piece together the clues and track down the criminals responsible. Along the way, they team up with Tommy Chan (played by Benson Fong), Charlie's son who is also a detective, and a number of other colorful characters.

As the investigation progresses, the stakes get higher and higher. The gang of thieves, known as the Shanghai Cobras, are revealed to be a ruthless group of killers with no hesitancy to use deadly force to protect their interests. When Charlie discovers that there is a mole within the police department secretly working for the Cobras, he realizes that he must be careful not to trust anyone.

Amidst all the action and suspense, the movie also explores themes of race and identity. As a Chinese-American, Charlie must navigate the complexities of working with police departments in both the United States and China, each with different cultural norms and expectations. Moreover, other characters in the movie struggle with issues of identity and belonging, as they try to fit into a world that often judges and devalues them based on their appearance or background.

The movie is a gripping and entertaining mystery, with plenty of plot twists and suspenseful moments to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Sidney Toler, as always, delivers a charismatic and nuanced performance as Charlie Chan, while Mantan Moreland's portrayal of Sergeant Brown adds plenty of humor to lighten the mood. Benson Fong brings a quiet strength and intelligence to his role as Tommy, and the other supporting characters also make a strong impression.

One of the most interesting aspects of the movie is its depiction of Shanghai, which was at the time a cosmopolitan hub of international trade and intrigue. The movie captures the excitement and danger of the city, with its colorful marketplaces, shady alleyways, and bustling ports. The movie also features a number of scenes in which Charlie and his team must navigate the cultural and linguistic barriers between themselves and the local population, adding an element of authenticity to the story.

In summary, The Shanghai Cobra from 1945 is a must-see for fans of classic detective movies. With its thrilling plot, engaging characters, and glimpses into a bygone era, the movie stands the test of time and remains a beloved classic to this day.

The Shanghai Cobra
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 4 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (1,188)