This terrific entry in the Charlie Chan series stars Sidney Toler as the intrepid sleuth from Honolulu. One of the most atmospheric of the original entries, this one is centered around a live radio broadcast from the Museum of Crime, where notorious criminals have been immortalized in wax. Chan's second son, Jimmy (Sen Yung), is on hand to "help" pop solve an old crime and avoid becoming a victim himself.
Young Jimmy accepts the challenge for his pop to appear on the Crime League's weekly broadcast to clear the name of Joe Rocke, a man Chan has long believed was unfairly executed for a crime he did not commit. Our favorite Oriental detective will be pitted against the scientific detective who proved Rocke was guilty. It is Chan's suspicion that the wax museum and his invitation are tied to the recent escape of a man he helped convict of murder, however, which prompts him to accept. Chan arrives for the live broadcast on a rainy night, Jimmy close behind despite his pop's admonition not to cut class, and the creepy fun begins.
A botched attempt to electrocute Charlie, and the murder of his scientific rival by poison blow dart, not to mention a wax Charlie Chan, all add up to mystery fun for Charlie Chan fans. The Chan entries always had a good cast and this one is no exception. Marguerite Chapman as the young radio reporter hoping this night will be a great story and Joan Valerie as the pretty but slightly shady, Lily, assistant to the very shady director of the museum, stand out. A good screenplay from John Larkin and some tight direction from Lynn Shores give this one some zip.
The real treat, as always, is watching Chan solve the case while trying to keep his young and excitable son from ruining everything. Chan fans will like this one a lot. It's a real kick in the pants!