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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Castle In the Desert (1942)



Reviews and Comments

"Please decorate man with legal jewelry."

In a desert castle, owned by recluses, a poisoning is disguised as a heart attack to avoid scandal. Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) is mysteriously called on the case to sort it all out. The mystery and the atmosphere of the setting are both well done, but the film loses points regarding realism -- some of the details are either neglected or don't hold up, and I didn't care for the spooky psychic woman. There are enough twists, pithy sayings, and sneaking around in the dark to keep Chan fans happy, though, and the film is fondly remembered.

This was the last of the bigger budgeted Chan mysteries put out by Twentieth Century Fox. The poverty row studio Monogram Pictures picked the series up for the remaining episodes, and the drop in quality and budget showed.

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