Thursday, 15 September 2011

Silent witness sometimes speaks loudest

Charlie Chan at the Circus.

Yes, there is a gorilla in the film...
A murder mystery set at a circus, starring a perfect stereotype of a Chinese American detective. Played by the Swedish actor Warner Oland this portrayal has been the subject of much debate as to whether the role is racist. Some critics can not see past the fine Detective’s broken English and never ending fortune cookie wisdom, like; "facts are like negatives from film, must be exposed before developing," and "not always best to jump on simplest solution, mind like parachute, best when open." Others compare Chang to the Chinese’s portrayal in contemporary films, which at the time were sinister and wicked. This last interpretation was the explicit aim of Earl Derr Briggers which was the creator of the books on which the Charlie Chan movie series was based.

Charlie Chan with Olive and George Brasno.
The film is cute, a real life married short stature couple Olive and George Brasno features quite a bit. Complete with George as a cigar smoking baby, reminiscent of Tod Brownings ‘the Unholy Three.’ As they are introduced in the film we get to see one of their acts, a fantastic dance number.
The film is definitely worth having a look at, and you can do so, for no added fee, right here. Hope you enjoy it.

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