The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

THE CHINESE RING (1947) **

Roland Winters takes over for Sidney Toler as the famous detective, Charlie Chan in this ho-hum entry in the long-running series. When a Chinese princess is found murdered in Chan’s house, he sets out to find the killer. Along the way, Chan learns of a plot involving the smuggling of airplanes and a matter of some missing money. Naturally, more people wind up dead.

Directed by William (Ghosts on the Loose) Beaudine, The Chinese Ring does feature a sturdy set-up. The scene in which the princess is murdered is nicely handled and gets things off on the right foot. Too bad the plot gets increasingly muddled as it goes along and the payoff is so unsatisfactory. Because the pacing is so sluggish, the 67 minute running time feels much longer.

Winters is a bit too low key in his first appearance as Chan. His comic timing isn’t a patch on Sidney Toler or Warner Oland’s and he lacks both men’s screen presence. It also doesn’t help when the snooping reporter and her cop boyfriend get way too much screen time. I guess it would’ve been alright if Mantan Moreland and Victor Sen Young were given more to do. As it is, their comic relief material is noticeably weaker this time around.

Winters does get the best line of the movie though: "Chinese chimpanzee stay out of monkey business."

Tags: c, thriller
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