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Tricia's retro film review: The Scarlet Clue

The Scarlet Clue


The Scarlet Clue is the 1945 Charlie Chan mystery. Charlie Chan, his third son Tommy, and sidekick Birmingham Brown investigate the murder of a scientist, named Raursch; which leads them to the Cosmo Radio Hall, which also contains the Hamilton Laboratory. Chan must find Raursch’s boss, who is also the station manager Brett’s boss. Unfortunately, the radio actors are caught in the plot to steal the radar plans. Charlie Chan finds out how the victims are killed and tracks down the murderer. However, it turns out that there are a few unexpected turns in the case.

While it’s not a bad idea to have a Chinese-American hero, Charlie Chan has not aged well. The story is pretty good, although it’s bogged down by ethnic stereotypes. The only one who isn’t a stereotype is Tommy. It doesn’t help that Chan is played by a white guy. The mystery is excellent, especially when it turns out that Charlie Chan knew a crime would be committed and sets a trap for the killer. Honolulu mystery film fans need to rent this one first.

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