Charlie Chan Dark Alibi
TCM Charlie Chan Collection
Sidney Toler, Benson Fong, Mantan Moreland
Directed by Phil Karlson
Monogram Pictures 1946
Warner Home Video 2010
Fullscreen, 61 minutes
The Turner Classic Movies Charlie Chan DVD Collection features four Charlie Chan mysteries on 4 DVD. Dark Alibi, Dangerous Money, and The Trap, all made in 1946 star Sidney Toler, 1947's The Chinese Ring has Roland Winters as the Asian detective. Chan's Chinee and other racial elements are now dated and politically incorrect but this does not get in the way of enjoying what is a very enjoyable and funny mystery.
The print used for this movie is pristine although the blacks are a bit too black, making some scenes like the warehouse sequences a bit hard to see.
In Dark Alibi, a convict's daughter hires Chan to prove her death row father innocent. The father is accused of robbing a bank and killing a guard. His alibi is he was locked in a warehouse somewhere else. The great mystery here is how did his fingerprints end up at the scene of the crime.
Chan is somewhat ably aided in solving this mystery by Number Three Son (Benson Fong) and the very funny Birmingham Brown (Mantan Moreland). The indefinite talk routines between Birmingham Brown and his brother Benjamin (Ben Carter) are one of the highlights of this Charlie Chan DVD.
If like me you have not seen a Charlie Chan mystery before, these 60 some minute B-movies are quite a treat.
It is unfortunate that this 4 film TCM Spotlight Charlie Chan Collection does not feature any special features.