Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise (1940)

Genres - Crime, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller, Detective Film  |   Release Date - Jun 21, 1940 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Bruce Eder

The reputation of the Sidney Toler Charlie Chan films has been sold short, mostly because they've only been represented by Toler's Monogram titles, while the earlier 20th Century Fox films have languished. In the case of Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise, director Eugene J. Forde and the cast -- led superbly by Toler -- find exactly the right balance of seriousness and humor. It helps that the story has been adapted from one of Earl Derr Biggers' own original novels, and Fox was making technically superior features in 1940 to those it was doing in 1931, when the story was first filmed, as Charlie Chan Carries On (now a lost film).