THE NEW ADVENTURES OF CHARLIE CHAN starring J Carrol Naish (1957)

Episode titles not on screen:
1 Your Money or your Wife
2 Secret of the Sea
3 The Lost Face
4 Blind Man's Bluff
10 The Rajput Ruby
11 Final Curtain
12 Death at High Tide
13 Circle of Fear
14 Exhibit in Wax
20 The Noble Art of Murder
21 Three Men on a Raft
22 No Holiday for Murder
23 No Future for Frederick
24 Safe Deposit
30 The Invalid
31 Man in the Wall
32 Something Old Something New
33 Man with 100 Faces
34 Point of no Return
5 The Great Salvos
6 The Counterfeiters
7 Death of a Don
8 Charlie's Highland Fling
9 The Patient in Room 21
15 Backfire
16 Patron of the Arts
17 Hamlet in Flames
18 Dateline- Execution
19 The Sweater
25 Voodoo Death
26 The Expatriate
27 Airport Murder Case
28 Hand of Hera Dass
29 Chippendale Racket
35 A Bowl by Cellini
36 Without Fear
37 Kidnap
38 Rhyme or Treason
39 Three for One
A stodgy series, made more enjoyable by the obviously barbed comments between the great detective and his Number One Son, who usually puts his foot into it. Barry Chan appears in 25 of the stories: Nos. 4 to 13, 15 to 17, 20, 22, 24 to 33.
After stories 1 to 5 had been filmed in USA in March 1957, production moved to England, J Carrol Naish travelling to Britain from New York at the start of April 1957.
Some limited location shooting was done in other European countries in which stories were set: France: Story 6 (Paris) and 12, Brussels: 16, 20 and 22, Amsterdam: 19, Rome: 27, 35 and 37, Venice: 33 and 34.

Best episode: #33 Man with 100 Faces. Alan Wheatley said that this was one of his favourite roles.
Dud episode: #2 Secret of the Sea- though nearly all the American-made stories are poor.
Best moments are Charlie Chan's pithy words of wisdom. New additions:
5- (of No1 Son) "Like small boy with knife, always looking to hurt something, even himself"
5- (of No1 Son) "Not only trying to reconstruct from chicken bone, but wishbone of chicken"
6- "Smoke of intense bitterness often conceals true feelings"
7 "In murder cases, I find it very unwise to throw all the eggs at one suspect"
8- "I never read crime stories- they bore me."
Here's my complete list.

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Pithy comments by the great Charlie Chan, as uttered in this series.
The number before each quote indicates the programme in which the saying was given.

1- "Even the frightened fawn is aware of the hunter that seeks its life."
1- "When heart is full of tears, there's no room for understanding."
2- "If one hibiscus bloom in a field withers and dies, it could be accidental weakness, but not when more than one is affected."
2- "Love is like a blacksmith's hammer- it can shape the white hot steel of emotion for both good and evil."
2- "Pleasant memory like the scent of jasmine- remains long after one has departed the scene."
2- "Detection, and the making of good coffee, sometimes requires the same ingredient- the proper amount of heat to bring about the desired result."
2- "When a man reaches age of serenity, comfort comes from within."
2- "A beautiful woman is like a delicate flower that adds color to the most drab occasion."
3- "Ten years to an innocent man is like ten lifetimes."
3- "When a shepherd discovers three of his flock slaughtered, he usually looks for the wolf."
3- "When a tree is weighted down with the snows of adversity, who is there to say when the limb will break?"
3- "Not even the sound of a thousand children's voices can replace the sight of one smudge of dirt on a little rosy cheek."
3- "Only a fool enters the darkness of a bear's cave without at least the illumination of a tiny candle."
3- "Even strongest tree needs support in a violent storm."
3- "A boulder of suspicion cannot stop an avalanche of justice."
3- "Only a fool enters the darkness of a bear's cave without at least the illumination of a tiny candle."
4- "Sometimes pity like precious pearl, dissolves in wine of truth."
4- "A simple rock sometimes conceals a valuable vein of gold."
5- "When door of mind is unlocked, strangers bearing rich gifts are often visitor."
5- "The patient man accomplishes much, for the impatient man there is never time enough" (inscribed on Charlie's watch).
6- "Silence often speaks louder than words."
6- "Detectives like busmen must also have holiday."
7 "Hungry man never gets handout from minding other people's business."
7- "Very few people have natural appetite for eating crow."
7- "Hot heads never go cold, just get more hot."
7- "Fading flower no longer attracts bee."
8- "Man can be without vice, but never without temptation."
8- "In business of crime detection, mind like umbrella- only functions when open."
9- "Mutual alibi like teacup, does not always hold water."
9- "Like broken Ming vase, uneasy conscience very difficult to mend."
9- "Like small boy encountering vicious dragon, I shall be very careful."
10- "Old romance like cat, sometimes has nine lives."
10- "First sign of age, when man cannot tie shoe from standing position."
10- "Secret romance like dead ant in pepperpot- very often difficult to detect."
10- "Secret when told to another is no longer secret."
11- "Very wise man said Study of Nature much more important than Study of Fingerprints."
11- "Men live together like birds in the woods. But when death comes each takes his own flight."
11- "The obvious and the truth are rarely identical."
11- "Like lingering scent of violets, you have given much pleasure."
11- "Wise man once said, drink wine when in proper mood, sing loud when in proper location."
11- "When water is muddy, very difficult to perceive nature of fish."
11- "If you are not sailor, do not use boathook."
11- "After death, man gives up everything he holds."
12- "Hungry man never quarrels with cook."
13- "Patience like sleeping flower, cultivate same and it will reward you handsomely"
13- "Ways of woman in love were never born in cradle of life."
13- "Conclusion jumping could be like touching sunburnt friend, always land on tender spot."
13- "One does not solve crime by committing another."
14- "One hour's conversation with superior person better than many year's study."
14- "Small but high storey buildings rise from gradual accumulation of small bricks."
14- "Knowledge is the only medicine to cure itch of curiosity."
15- "One pinch of aristocracy added to small mind, makes fat head."
15- "Stimulation of brain by intriguing problem is much more interesting than banker's draft"
16- "In contemplation of eternal beauty, one catches glimpse of eternal truth."
16- "Small acorn of today grows into towering tree of tomorrow."
16- "Arrival of good fortune is like return of long delayed ship- one hardly dares think it is not a mirage."
16- "A sheep herder is always suspicious of strange sheep, because under sheepskin might be wolf."
16 - "When harsh wind smashes egg of nightingale to ground, many beautiful songs die for ever."
17- "Impatience is a disease of the young, can only be cured by old age."
17- "Like retired firehorse who smells smoke, I cannot resist the lure of police hq."
18- "Credulity, unlike elastic, cannot stretch."
18- "Subway like ancient Chinese puzzle."
18- "Even smallest drop of rain gives hope to parched flower."
18- "Smoke of sincerity indicates fire of truth."
18- "Jealousy destroys all reason."
18- "Woman gives birth to child on small island. There's no birth certficate to prove same, nevertheless mother is convinced of child's existence."
19- "Loss of a loved one is difficult even for strongest shoulders."
19- "Old Chinese saying, Never argue while looking in mouth of tiger."
19- "Things of beauty, lovely ladies included, are joy for ever."
20- "Impatience is sometimes like a large stone in pathway- can trip you up."
20- "Words in jest often lead to misunderstanding."
21- "Patience can find smallest needle in largest haystack."
21- "When trap is well baited, no need for hunter to spring same."
21- "Being publisher is like man living on top of volcano, never know when eruption is going to take place."
22- "Two birds on branch sing sweetly, but another changes melody to discord."
22- "Anger very bad for the digestion."
23- "Truth, even when hidden at bottom of well, must be pursued until revealed."
23- "Most lovely ladies do not take life, they give it to mankind."
24- "If traffic becomes puzzlingly heavy, sometimes indirect route leads more quickly to destination."
24- "Clever placement of bait by fisherman often lands large juicy mackerel."
24- "Sometimes youthful heart is closed book to adult mind."
24- "Beyond face of anger is often face of fear."
25- "Ancient saying: never bet on unsure thing."
25- "A loyal friend is like rare white jade from ancient Honsu period, both are beyond price."
25 - "A cup of good tea on arising is almost preferable to handful of emeralds."
25 - "Like ageing spinster, I am getting too old to blush becomingly."
25 - "Never bet on unsure thing."
26- "Like finding real chicken in cafeteria coup, your confession is most surprising."
26- "Beautiful woman becomes a thousandfold more beautiful when she wears jewel of kindness."
27- "When client wants trap set for another, sometimes get caught by same himself"
27- "Obvious answer is not always solution to crime."
28- "Man is optimistic creature who forever expects tap on door to foretell arrival of beauty."
29- "Coincidence, which is occasionally very pleasant as a dish, is not palatable as a steady diet."
30- "Anger so soon after lunch very bad for indigestion."
30- "Best way to catch fish is not to disturb water."
31- "Man in iron suit no good for dancing- cannot get feet off ground."
31- "Always most necessary to learn facts before fiction, sometimes fly might be in ointment."
31- "Truth cures many things, it's very possible truth could also cure all ills of world."
31- "Old oriental detective loves challenge of the impossible."
31- "Always most necessary to learn facts before fiction, sometimes fly might be in ointment."
32- "Rarely does one hear roar of lion come out of mouse's throat."
32- "In moments of peril, even small mouse will bite."
32- "Politeness like old wine, improves many occasions."
33- "Man who sees dawn, sees beauty; but man who sees sunset, survives the day."
34- "Reputation like small bottle, cast into sea, should reach such distant shores."
34- "Sometimes mask of simplicity hides face of fathomless mystery."
37- "When you are hunting tiger, it is not wise to bring down a jackal, because this might warn larger beast who seeks safety in jungle."
37- "Bigger the oath, greater the liar."
39- "When two and two equals five, then it is logical to suspect that one has been added."
39- "Tide of good fortunes change when least expected."
(I couldn't find any good Chan sayings in #35, #36 or #38)
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Your Money or Your Wife

As he admires the portrait of the beautiful wife of cripple Kramer (Lowell Gilmore), Charlie is told by this rich man "somebody is trying to kill me." A wire had been stretched across a mountain road, and we have already seen his sports car narrowly avoiding a fatal accident. Charlie agrees to protect him.
He goes to talk with his wife Marsha, who is sunbathing on the beach, but no wife, all he finds is a kidnap note.
The police question Kramer's long time secretary Miss Ella Parsons, who explains the picture had been painted by "close friend" Andre Paton. She evidently does not like Marsha, "she's a parasite... I hope she's dead."
Andre appears unconcerned about Marsha Kramer's disappearance, as he reckons Kramer "could do a lot of strange things." Charlie offers him some advice on the lines of steering clear of Marsha in future.
Police listen to a recording tape made by her, "please do what they ask. They want $50,000." Charlie works out from this tape that "it's an inside job."
Kramer pays the money but Charlie and the police stake the place out, and it's Andre, they follow him back to his studio. But what a shock there, the corpse of Marsha Kramer!
"I didn't kill her," claims Andre. Charlie is inclined to believe him, for he argues, why would Andre have returned to his studio if he knew Marsha's dead body was lying there? "That's a big fat question," comments the cop in an understatement of near genius.
Ella hands Charlie his fee. She's pleased Marsha is dead, for her boss is now free of his grasping wife.
On the beach where the kidnap story had begun, Charlie "expresses his regrets" to the sorrowing Kramer. But, he adds cryptically, hate is the most powerful motive for murder.
And taking the hint, rushing as fast as he can, Kramer heads for Andre's studio where he finds that proof. A sad confrontation is interrupted by Charlie. "You knew all the time!" The killer confesses.

This was not a good start to the series. Don't watch this one first if you can help it. The stunning beach shots are the best thing in a feeble story.

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Secret of the Sea
Charlie Chan is in San Pedro. "Something big" is destined to happen on the Honolulu Star, reports an informer, who is shot dead.
Charlie investigates the murder of this man, a steward on the ship. Thus we find Charlie bound for a "calm, uneventful voyage," at least that's what Captain Paul Carnovan promises him. But there are plenty of suspicious characters of course, the clumsy steward who has replaced the dead man, Ed Barker radio signaller, as well as the incompetent chief engineer Johnny Flynn. One of the other rare passengers is Doris, wife of the captain, and much younger than him. Oddly she wears high heels on board.
When the engine seizes up 200 miles out to sea, and the crew cannot find the cause, it's Chan who points out the source of the trouble, "loaded with dirt." Flynn is sent for to get a piece of the captain's mind but he's found "extremely dead." The captain has no choice but radio for help, which is soon forthcoming from a ship out of Acapulco commanded by Arturo Ramirez. It's an expensive operation, with the salvage bill coming to $150,000.
So has Carnovan colluded with Ramirez to share this absurdly large fee? Maybe not, as Lt Kovacs and Chan arrive in the nick of time to prevent Carnovan from shooting Ramirez! Their dispute is over the attractive Doris, has she been two-timing? "He didn't do anything," Doris promises her husband as he bursts into tears. Asks Ramirez, "tell me what's going on. I don't get any of this." That goes for me too.
Charlie "straightens" him, though not me, out, expounding his theory of collusion between Ramirez and someone on the Honolulu Star. But if it wasn't Cpt Carnovan, who was it?
A gun persuades Charlie to search no further. But some exceptionally clumsy feinting from Chan incredibly enables him to snatch the dangerous gun and arrest the accomplice. "You explain things very well." Allegedly
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The Lost Face
This is an unpleasant opening, clumsily executed, as a woman has acid thrown at her in her San Fernando Valley home, while outside a little girl plays ball. She sees the attacker leave.
The LA police warn Charlie Chan that "prosperous" Dan Randolph is "too dangerous" a man to investigate. Randolph is an attorney who specialises in getting villains released on bail, later they mysteriously get bumped off.
His latest atrocity is the one seen at the beginning. The wife of crime reporter Zac has had acid thrown in her face, she is likely to lose her sight.
Jack Hart is identified as the attacker by the child, and he's one of Randolph's "boys." His lawyer is urging his release and the perceptive Charlie proposes that Hart choose between leaving the police station with Randolph, or stay in custody. Hart chooses bail.
Zac decides to take the law into his own hands and give the evil Randolph his due. "I didn't hit him that hard," he tells the cops, but Randolph has been killed! Zac's in a spot, and "I don't have a Dan Randolph to get me off."
Charlie is paid by the friendly neighbourhood barman to do a Randolph for Zac. He succeeds and now races to prevent the inevitable "imminent departure from this world" of Jack Hart. He achieves this by the unusual method of accusing Hart of murdering Randolph, and exposing his own paymaster of being another of Randolph's hatchet men.
At least that payment comes in useful for an eye operation to restore Zac's wife's sight
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Blind Man's Bluff

I suspect this was intended to be the first story, for it begins with Charlie flying with No1 Son from Mexico in to LA International Airport.

They emerge to witness a blind fellow passenger being shot in an abortive attempt to snatch the man's guide dog, which runs away, only to get run over. Charlie, against all First Aid principles, kindly carries the injured dog to the Westchester animal hospital where a vet treats it. However he has a surprise, it's not actually a guide dog for the blind.
Charlie fills in the LA police and then has a great scene with No1 Son discussing the crime. Barry, whose special study assignment is Criminal Deduction, enthusiastically demonstrates with his giant blackboard the Soderheim system of visual thinking. "One factor missing," quips dad, who's the killer?
While Charlie sleeps on this problem, Barry breaks into the hospital. Unfortunately the dog thief has the same idea, wanting to steal the dog. Thus poor Barry is hit on the head unconscious. Why? "Wish I had my blackboard," sighs No1 Son when he comes round. Quick as a flash, Charlie explains to the bemused cop that this method "obviates all the old system of using the brain."
Charlie's brain has grasped what we, though not No1 Son, have guessed, namely the dead man was no blind man. He was a smuggler. But what, and where were the goods hidden? In the dog's collar, which has now been given by Nurse Sheila to Juanita, a young Mexican.
The smugglers track him down, but so does Charlie. In a dangerous bluffing game at the end of a gun, Charlie warns them the dog had rabies. Describing the frightening symptoms, they seem to fall for the ruse.
"Soon you will have cramps," warns Charlie. But No1 Son bursts in at this point, excited because he's learned where the collar is.
"There it is," he shouts, unwisely pointing to the boy with the dog's collar. He further blurts out that dad is really a police inspector, whereupon the gun is prepared to fire at Charlie. But the lad's dog saves the day and the crooks are arrested. In the collar are found diamonds.
There's a nice punchline to an otherwise poor story, the police kindly suggest their success is due, well might have been due, to No1 Son's blackboard

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The Great Salvos

Charlie is in Washington DC, where plans for a new jet engine Project 5 have been stolen from Professor Douglas Fenton.
Rands night club, with a reputation for being cover for espionage, is the venue for Charlie's party with the Fentons, a farewell before the great detective flies off to Madrid. Charlie has brought Barry, No 1 Son, who has just completed his criminology course, and the only other guest of Mr and Mrs Fenton is a Dr Kruger. From Hungary, The Great Salvos provide the floor show, a brother and sister mind reading act. A blindfolded Reena is amazingly able to reveal the details about the Chans' journey to Europe.
No1 Son has deduced that the robbery at the Fenton's is the work of Dr Kruger, who has been prescribing Mrs Fenton with aspirin for her headaches, he's the guilty party. Can't be him then!
Charlie is hit on the head in his hotel room, but Barry chases the attacker off. Nothing stolen though Charlie's watch is damaged.
That night Reena Salvo interrupts Charlie's sleep, "a matter of life or death." They meet in a park, where a masked man tries to rob Charlie. Wise old Charlie is even cleverer than Reena, he knows who the attacker is, her brother Karl. Something has been hidden inside his watch, the microfilm stolen from Fenton! Reena tells Charlie that she and brother Carl are refugees from Hungary, and are being blackmailed to act as spies, otherwise their parents will come to harm.
After some checking Charlie is able to learn that the parents are safe in an Austrian refugee camp.
At Dick Rands' cabaret, he returns the Fenton's hospitality with a Surprise Party. He casually lays his watch on the table. The lights dim, all part of Charlie's trap. The Great Salvos begin their act. Charlie has a 'message' which he asks Carl to get Reena to mind read. Hearing the good news her parents are safe, she is also able to assist Charlie in his request to find his watch which has disappeared.
After a dramatic pause, "it's in Mrs Fenton's handbag," reveals Reena. "Excellent demonstration," praises Charlie as his watch comes to light.
"How did you do it?" asks a baffled No1 Son.

The last US-made story, before Charlie flies to Europe.
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The Counterfeiters

Pan Am Flight 654 from New York lands at London Airport with distinguished passenger Charlie Chan, accompanied by No1 Son Barry, for the first of their European based adventures. (It had been stated Charlie was flying to Madrid in the previous story, but who cares?)

Greeting him is Inspector Duff (Patrick Holt, later in the series to be transformed into Rupert Davies) who wants Charlie to investigate the theft of a French currency plate from a venerable London firm of banknote engravers. The pompous manager of the firm, Sir John (John Loder) tells Charlie how a courier had produced documents which later proved to be forged, and carried off the 5,000 franc plate. Forged notes will soon be causing a crisis in France! "Wow, what a natural!" exclaims No1 Son. Charlie translates this utterance for his British hosts.
Speeding to Paris, Charlie shows the police the forged papers which are identified as the work of Spanish Roy, a valuable member of the orange Circuit resistance during the war, trained to be a forger. "The man's a genius," admits Inspector Chauvet.
No1 Son attempts to trace Roy at the Cafe Mandrake where he's early relieved of his passport. "I'm looking for Spanish Roy, he's a shoemaker," explains Barry, not realising he is, by chance, addressing the very man. "Lucky we're honest," says Roy, returning the passport. Later Barry realises his blunder, when Roy responds to Charlie's invitation to talk. But as they talk a bullet flies through the window, aimed at Spanish Roy. Luckily a pocket chess set saves his life, but the incident seems to decide him not to talk after all. Though Roy is arrested, Charlie secures his release, but this favour still won't budge him "I'm still not talking." Charlie surmises Roy forged the documents for a friend, an old resistance leader, perhaps. Michel is the name, but Roy refuses to reveal his real identity.
However he changes his mind later and as Charlie is not there, hands Barry an envelope with Michel's real name, "highly confidential." In absence of honourable dad, Barry hands it to Sir John. We all know who he really is, of course. All except Barry. "We know who's behind the gang," No1 Son naively informs Sir John, who scribbles a note for No1 Son to take to police, and there Barry is arrested.
At the old underground headquarters Charlie comes face to face with Michel. Why did you do it? asks Charlie. Sir John explains he wanted to pit his wits against the best, ie Chan. But his ex-colleagues are disiilusioned with such behaviour and mete out their own very summary justice.
Charlie returns Spanish Roy's chess set to him.

Uncredited speaking extra: secretary to Sir John. Police car: NLN820
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