Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Wily Honolulu detective Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) is summoned when Miss Nodbury (Ethel Gryffies), an elderly eccentric, is murdered just before taking part in a seafaring treasure hunt. Chan deduces that the old lady died of fright, brought on by the apparent visitation of the ghost of her ancestor, a notorious pirate. Suspecting that the ghost was actually one of Miss Nodbury's enemies in disguise, Chan tags along on the treasure hunt to pinpoint the real killer. Meanwhile, Number Two Son Jimmy Chan (Victor Sen Yung) seeks out suspects on the waterfront, only to be constantly dunked in the briny by a wild-eyed but essentially harmless lunatic (Milton Parsons). A lesser Charlie Chan entry, Dead Men Tell is redeemed by its atmospheric harbor scenes, a specialty of director Harry Lachman.
killing, ancestry, boating, death, detective, family, ghost, hidden, investigation, lady, murder, pirate [seafarer], private-detective, secrets, treasure