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

The Jade Mask (1945)

Director:  Phil Rosen

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

Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Edwin Luke, Frank Reicher, Janet Warren, Cyril Delevanti, Edith Evanson and Edith Evanson

Tagline:  A MYSTERY MANSION…Where death lurks in every dark corner and a mad genius runs loose!

The Plot…

Charlie Chan (Toler), aided by his #4 son Edwin and Birmingham Brown (Mooreland) are called in to solve a case where an eccentric scientist was killed in his spooky old mansion while hosting a dinner party.  As it turns out the scientist wasn’t well liked.  Everyone in attendance had motive to kill him!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The Jade Mask has all the elements you’d want in a Charlie Chan mystery.  An unusual murder.  Plenty of viable suspects.  Charlie Chan’s humorous pearls of wisdom.  A spooky mansion with hidden passageways and wall panels.  Mantan Mooreland!

This is the first and only appearance of Chan’s #4 son Edwin, played by Edwin Luke, the real-life younger brother of Keye Luke who played Chan’s #1 son in previous films.

The addition of the old country sheriff’s interactions with Chan provides humor.

The Jade Mask earns 3 of 5 stars.