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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Feathered Serpent (1948)

(aka: Charlie Chan and the Feathered Serpent)



Reviews and Comments

The sole distinction of The Feathered Serpent -- yet another poorly made late entry in the Charlie Chan series -- is that it's the only episode to feature both Lee and Tommy Chan, Charlie's number one and two sons (Keye Luke and Victor Sen Yung, respectively). The episode marked Luke's return to the series and Yung's departure. Unfortunately, neither is utilized to any effective purpose; Victor Sen Yung remains a comic foil for Birmingham Brown (Mantan Moreland), and Keye Luke is just expected to grin a lot. It's a firm reminder of how far the series had declined. Chan's overly enthusiastic sons were often used for comic relief, but they were also instrumental in solving their father's cases -- not to mention that they expressed emotions beyond what their eroded characters do here. Part of the problem in The Feathered Serpent may well be that the mystery is too simple -- it's hard to allow anyone but Charlie find the clues and make the deductions, because there aren't that many to start with.

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