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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from The Black Camel (1931)

The Black Camel

1931 | United States | 71 min
  • Charlie Chan in the Black Camel
  • Watched on Thu Nov 26, 2020 via YouTube
    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Competent—if unremarkable—Charlie Chan mystery. Bela Lugosi cuts a striking figure as an enigmatic psychic who may—or may not—figure in a starlet’s murder in Honolulu.

    Warner Oland carries the film as Chan. His casting proves problematic by today’s standards, but his performance never ventures into mean-spirited caricature. Otto Yamaoka’s turn as Chan’s assistant, however, both annoys and offends. At least it’s a minor role.

    The location photography adds a sense of prestige, and I loved Dwight Frye turning up in a meaty (though uncredited) part, but, post-Dracula, Lugosi deserved better.

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