DARK ALIBI (director: Phil Karlson; screenwriters: George Callahan/based on characters created by Earl Derr Biggers; cinematographer: William Sickner; editor: Ace Herman; music: Edward J. Kay; cast: Sidney Toler (Charlie Chan), Mantan Moreland (Birmingham Brown), Ben Carter (Benjamin Brown), Benson Fong (Tommy Chan), Teala Loring (June Harley), Edward Earle (Thomas Harley), George Holmes (Hugh Kenzie), Joyce Compton (Emily Evans), Russell Hicks (Warden Cameron), Tim Ryan (Foggy); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: James S. Burkett; Monogram; 1946)
“Lesser Charlie Chan.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Phil Karlson (“Thet Rode West”/”Hell to Eternity”/”Key Witness”) directs this lesser Charlie Chan 35th vehicle, that switched from the classier Fox to the cheaper Monogram studio. Journeyman writer George Callahan comes up with a weak screenplay.
A young woman (Teala Loring) in San Francisco finds her ex-convict father (Edward Earle), who previously served a 15 year stretch, is arrested for bank robbery and the murder of a bank guard. Dad says false fingerprints were left at the crime scene. After the father is arrested and sent to Alcatraz, and there’s 9 days before his execution, June hires private eye Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler). Chan is helped in his investigation by his number three son (Benson Fong) and comic relief chauffeur (Mantan Moreland). Tension mounts as the executionapproaches, but the film is flat and incurs no excitement despite following its usual series formula for delivery.
REVIEWED ON 3/24/2016 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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