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

CHARLIE CHAN AT THE CIRCUS (1936) ** ½

The great Warner Oland stars in his 11th Charlie Chan flick.  This time out he goes to the circus and watches some midget dancing (“Size of package does not indicate quality within!”) and trapeze acts before finding the big top owner dead.  Chan has all of his twelve children with him, so he is reluctant to take the case, but eventually says OK and brings the murderer to justice.

 

As the title implies, Charlie Chan at the Circus features lots of circus footage.  Now I usually hate the ever-loving shit out of circuses, but since Chan was on the case, it was alright with me.  While the flick is slick looking, it stalls a bit around the ¾ mark and the solution to the crime is needlessly protracted.  It still has enough fun stuff to make it worth a look though.  There’s a rampaging man in a monkey suit, dancing midgets, and Chan spouting a lot of hilarious wisdom like, “Curiosity is responsible for cat having nine lives!” 

 

Oland is wonderful as always and Keye Luke is simply awesome as his “Number One Son”.  The highpoint of the movie comes when Number One Son goes undercover in drag and dresses up a midget like a baby and pushes him around in a stroller.  It’s Oland though who gets all the best lines like, “More than one way to remove skin from cat!”, “Inquisitive person like bear after honey.  Sometime find hornet’s nest!”, and “Better to slip with foot than with tongue!” 

Tags: c, thriller
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