The Chinese Ring (1947)

July 29, 2011

This film marks the debut of Roland Winters in the role of Charlie Chan for Monogram having replaced the deceased Sidney Toler. The Monogram Picture(12730) directed by veteran William Beaudine with screenplay by Scott Darling is a remake of Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939) with very little changes. A little boy instead of a midget, Captain K instead of Captain J, the addition of Birmingham and #2 son, and a fleeing of the killer by water. It is still the story of Princess Mei Ling who comes to America to purchase airplanes for a northern province of China. She is murdered in the first five minutes at the home of Chan. Her maid and a young boy the princess befriended quickly follow. The president of the bank not only committed the murders but swindled his two partners. Warner Douglas as Sgt. Davidson and reporter Peggy Cartwright offers the humor as a Thin Man couple along with Birmingham and Tommy played by Mantan Moreland and Victor Sen Yung. The script is close enough that some of the exact same dialogue is used. The fun part could come from watching Wong and then Chan and picking out small differences. This film is available for free viewing on the internet as well as a recent four film package from Turner which also includes The Chinese Ring, Dangerous Money, and Dark Alibi. (**1/2)



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