Featured Post

Featured Post - Mystery Movie Marathon

I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Dangerous Money (1946)

note: I always start off these reviews with a link to my thoughts on the issue of a white actor playing an Asian role. If you are interested in what I think about that please check this link out. 

I’m back with another old Charlie Chan flick. This time around the famous detective is traveling aboard a ship in the Pacific. He is approached by a treasury officer named Pearson. He is on the trail of some counterfeit money but has had his life threatened so asks Chan for some help. Before much can be done Pearson is murdered by a thrown knife. But who threw it and does it have anything to do with the investigation or is it a coincidence? 

From here we are introduced to the other nefarious characters traveling on the ship. The suspect pool is further muddied when they stop off at an island which leads to talk of stolen art, crooked dice games, and other such shenanigans. We even get a bit of blackmail mixed in for some added fun! In the end Chan figures out who done it and why. But not before more bodies are found and attempts are made on the detective’s life. 

This might be one of my least favorite of the later Chan movies. While the movie gets right to the point with an early murder and the counterfeit ring we get way too many suspects. This isn’t my first watch of this one (I’ve seen all these movies many times over the years) and even I got a bit overwhelmed with the sheer volume of suspects. Plus there are subplots piled upon subplots to further confuse the proceedings. The mystery gets lost in the mix and honestly that is one of the main reasons you sit down to watch a Charlie Chan flick. The other, at least by the time we get to this stage of the franchise, is the comedy. I have an issue with that as well. 

The always reliable Mantan Mooreland is replaced this time around with another Hollywood staple Willie Best playing Chattanooga Brown. I’ll admit that I’m a big fan of Mooreland and never liked Best all that much, though he was excellent in Ghostbreakers. I really do need to get around to covering that one for the site. His performance here isn’t terrible, but it lacks the chemistry that the former had with Victor Sen Yung has as Jimmy Chan. The pair end up with a lot of screentime as again Sidney Toler in the role of Chan was very ill and frail. While Mooreland and Yung can carry parts of the movie, I don’t think that the pairing of Best and Yung can. 

Now I don’t think that Dangerous Money is a terrible movie. I’ve seen much worse attempts at these murder mystery with a dash of comedy movies. Really check out some of my other reviews. But when it comes to this franchise, I’ve got some higher standards and judged against the other movies come before and after this one just doesn’t measure up. As much as it pains me to say unless you are a completist I’d recommend skipping this one. 

© Copyright 2024 John Shatzer

No comments:

Post a Comment