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The Trap


From IMDb: Two members of a show troupe are murdered, and Charlie Chan is called in to solve the case. Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Victor Sen Young, Tanis Chandler, Larry Blake, Kirk Alyn, Rita Quigley, and Anne Nagel This is the last of twenty-two Charlie Chan movies starring Sidney Toler. This movie can also be found here.

File:The Trap (1946).webm
Charlie Chan In the Trap is a 1946 crime film directed by Howard Bretherton. The main premise is two members of a show troupe are murdered, and Charlie Chan is called in to solve the case.
This was Sidney Toler's final film and his final one as the detective Charlie Chan, his 17th of the series. Stricken with cancer during his last few films, Toler was so physically weak during filming that he could hardly walk or say his lines coherently.

Plot Summary

Calamity ensues at the beach villa in Malibu, California, where Cole King's theatre ensemble resides, when one of the showgirls, Adelaide, is challenging Marcia, who is Cole's girl and the star of the show.
Marcia retaliates by threatening to reveal Adelaide's secret marriage to a doctor by the name of George Brandt. She also steals a letter to Adelaide from said Brandt, using one of the other showgirls, Lois, who is hiding the fact that she is under eighteen.
When Marcia vanishes and Lois' dead body is found by one of the other members of the group, San Toy. The cause of death is strangulation, and the technique used is used by the French and the Chinese. Immediately, the French Adelaide and Chinese San Toy are placed under suspicion as possible perpetrators.
Also living under the same roof are the group's press agent Rick Daniels and costume chief Mrs. Thorn. Daniels suggests they make Lois' death look like drowning, but San Toy contacts her friend Jimmy, who is the son of reputed sleuth Charlie Chan, asking for help to solve the murder mystery.
Chan starts his investigation, and soon both his assistant, Birmingham, and San Toy are attacked, but without a mortal ending. Another member of the theatre group, Clementine, discovers Marcia dead and strangled on the beach, with a silk cord still around her neck.
Daniels tries to get rid of Marcia's robe, and is seen by Chan, who concludes it was the belt from the robe that was found around Marcia's neck. Daniels claims he is innocent and that someone put the robe in King's room to frame him for the murder. King starts to believe Daniels is the killer tyring to get rid of the evidence.
Chan finds out that doctor Brandt was previously accused of murdering his ex-wife but was cleared from suspicion. However, it destroyed his future career as a physician. He changed his identity, enlisted and went to Europe, where he met Adelaide and they married.
Chan talks to Dr. Brandt, who admits to finding his wife Lois' body, but not to killing her. To catch the real killer Chan decides to set a trap. Everything works as planned, and the killer tries to strangle San Toy that night, but Chan's son Jimmy comes to San's rescue and accidentally destroys foils the trap.
Chan, Birmingham and Jimmy then chase the killer, and it turns out it is Mrs. Thorn, who was previously married to King. She left him and wasn't allowed back after that, but had to serve as head of costumes. She killed the women because they were involved with her former husband, out of jealousy and to hurt King. Brandt is cleared of all suspicion, and Chan promises to get his license back by talking to the Board of Medical Examiners.


  • Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
  • Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
  • Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown
  • Tanis Chandler as Adelaide Brandt
  • Larry J. Blake as Rick Daniels (as Larry Blake)
  • Kirk Alyn as Sgt. Reynolds
  • Rita Quigley as Clementine
  • Anne Nagel as Marcia
  • Helen Gerald as Ruby
  • Howard Negley as Cole King, Impresario
  • Lois Austin as Mrs. Thorn
  • Barbara Jean Wong as San Toy
  • Minerva Urecal as Miss Weebles, the Housekeeper
  • Margaret Brayton as Madge Mudge
  • Bettie Best as Winifred
  • Jan Bryant as Lois
  • Walden Boyle as Doc Brandt


The film entered the Public domain film due to the omission of a valid Copyright law of the United States notice on original prints.

See also

  • List of films in the public domain in the United States

  • Category:1946 films
    Category:1940s crime films
    Category:Charlie Chan films
    Category:20th Century Fox films
    James S. Burkett

    More Public Domain Movies