Charlie Chan in the Secret Service is the 1944 mystery film in the series. This time, inventor George Melton is killed while working on a new torpedo. The Secret Service hires Charlie Chan to investigate his kids, Iris and Tommy, tag along. Chan’s investigations lead him to a man named Vega, who is shown to be Melton’s murderer, but he is also killed. Charlie Chan brings the suspects together and questions them about Vega. It will lead to several secrets being revealed, including the mastermind who attempted to steal the plans.
While it still has the same ethnic stereotypes, the mystery is pretty good. The title doesn’t make any sense, because Charlie Chan never joins the Secret Service. It is genuinely funny when his kids try to help him solve the case and bungle it. It’s a little surprising who the real mastermind is, since we don’t get as many hints about her. The movie surprisingly doesn’t play up the WWII angle, especially since it was made during the war. Still, Honolulu mystery film fans need to rent it first because of the stereotypes.
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