“The Shanghai Cobra” (1945) starring Sidney Toler & Mantan Moreland / Z-View

The Shanghai Cobra (1945)

Director:  Phil Karlson

Writer: George Callahan, George Wallace Sayre based on characters created by Earl Derr Biggers

Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Benson Fong, Janet Warren, Gene Roth, James Flavin, George Chandler  and Cyril Delevanti

Tagline:  Charlie Chan at his best in his most thrilling adventure!

The Plot…

Charlie Chan (Toler) is brought in to work on a case where cobra venom is used as a murder weapon.  Chan solved a case ten years prior, but the alleged murderer’s face was badly burned in his escape.  Because of plastic surgery Chan won’t be able to recognize him from the several suspects he’s watching.  As Charlie Chan closes in on the killer, his #3 son Tommy (Fong) and Birmingham (Moreland) follow leads of their own.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

A highlight is Mantan and Fong performing a bit explaining how they received a traffic ticket. “You said, ‘No, you turn here.” “No, I said, no u-turn here.”

Charlie Chan has his usual (humorous) pearls of wisdom including when his son says, “Pop, I want to talk to you as man to man” and Chan responds with, “I am ready, but you still have few years to go.”

The Shanghai Cobra earns 3 of 5 stars.