Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935)

Genres - Horror, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller, Detective Film  |   Run Time - 65 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Definitely one of the better Charlie Chanfilms, Charlie Chan in Egypt has one element that will be a stumbling block for many modern viewers: the presence of Stepin Fetchit for so-called "comic" relief. Fetchit's performances, of course, are considered abhorrently offensive for the negative stereotype which they perpetuate. But even beyond that, there's the big problem that he just isn't funny. In Egypt, he's especially painful to watch. Some other modern viewers also take exception to the character of Chan altogether, but Chan is a more fully-rounded and human character. Egypt also boasts a pretty decent script, and the setting and "horror" elements add a special quality to this entry which makes it stand out in the series. True, the mystery is not as difficult to figure out as one might hope, but the real fun is in watching Chan and how he arrives at his conclusions. As always, Warner Oland is tops as Chan, and it's also a treat to catch a very young Rita Hayworth (here called Rita Cansino) as a servant.