Monogram Pictures Corporation
Distributed: Monogram Pictures Corporation, August 29, 1948
Production: Mid- to late April 1948
Copyright: Monogram Pictures Corporation, August 22, 1948; LP1857
Sound: Western Electric Recording
Film: Black and white
Length: 6,224 feet
Running Time: 69 minutes
Production Code Administration Certificate Number: 13185
Source: “Based on the character created by Earl Derr Biggers”
Producer: James S. Burkett
Director: William Beaudine
Assistant Director: Wesley Barry
Original Screenplay: W. Scott Darling
Photography: William Sickner
Production Supervisor: Allen K. Wood
Supervising Film Editor: Otho Lovering
Editor: Ace Herman
Musical Director: Edward J. Kay
Art Direction: Dave Milton
Recording: Franklin Hansen
Camera Operator: John Martin (not credited)
Stills: Al St. Hillaire (not credited)
Set Decorations: Raymond Boltz, Jr. (not credited)
Sound: John Kean (not credited)
Makeup: Webb Overlander (not credited)
Hair Stylist: Lela Chambers (not credited)
Screenplay Supervisor: Jules Levy (not credited)
Grip: Grant Tucker (not credited)
CAST (as credited):
Roland Winters: Charlie Chan (also posing as “Chan, dealer in Oriental curios”)
Wanda McKay: Evelyn Manning
Mantan Moreland: Birmingham Brown
Victor Sen Young: Tommy Chan
Bruce Kellogg: Talbot Bartlett
Tim Ryan: Lt. Mike Ruark (also posing as Vincent O’Brien)
Evelyn Brent: Sister Teresa
Ralph Dunn: [Jim] Driscoll
Lois Austin: Mrs. Margaret Driscoll
Forrest Taylor: Manning
Lee “Lasses” White: Pete
UNCREDITED CAST (alphabetical):
Edmund Cobb: Miner
Geraldine Cobb: Girl in Riding Clothes
Aileen Babs Cox: Bathing Girl
Lee Tung Foo: Wong Fai
Michael Gaddis: Pursuer
Sam Flint: Dr. Groves
Jack Gargan: Voice from Darkness
Mary Ann Hawkins: Bathing Girl
John Merton: Miner
Suzanne Ridgway: Dude Ranch Guest
George Spaulding: Dr. Groves
Bill Walker: Gang Member
In San Francisco’s Chinatown, an Arizona mine owner named Manning visits a curio shop owned by Wong Fai, seeking help from Charlie Chan because he believes that someone is out to kill him. While in the shop, Manning is shot at by an unseen assailant. Later, Chan agrees to help Manning.
Accompanied by number two son Tommy and chauffeur Birmingham Brown, Chan poses as a tourist and checks into the Lazy Y Dude Ranch which is located near to Manning’s “Golden Eye” mine. After his arrival, Chan is met by San Francisco police lieutenant Mike Ruark who is working undercover for the government. Ruark is there to investigate large amounts of gold ore that are suddenly flooding the market, and after sharing information, he and Chan realize that the matters that each of them is working on are probably related. Ruark informs Chan that Manning has been badly injured in a mysterious fall in his mine, he also fills the detective in on how Manning’s mine is suddenly producing so much gold that it is now one of the country’s richest.
Posing as a dealer in oriental curios, Chan goes to the Manning home, where he meets Manning’s daughter Evelyn, mine superintendent Driscoll and his wife, and the local assayer Talbot Bartlett. Chan is also allowed to visit Manning who is unconscious with his head completely wrapped in bandages.
Returning to the dude ranch, Chan finds assayer Talbot Bartlett, who, years ago, had played on the same high school baseball team in Honolulu as the detective’s number one son. Bartlett tells Chan that he has been assaying some of the gold coming from the Golden Eye mine. Evelyn Manning, unaware of the mine’s recent tremendous productivity, tells Bartlett that the nursing sister, Sister Teresa, whom Driscoll has hired from the nearby mission, is strange, and uncommunicative.
Pete, an independent miner, who has secretly gained access to the Golden Eye mine via a tunnel dug from his shack, which is located near the mine, brings a sample of ore for assaying. Bartlett tells him that it is worthless, and, after Pete admits as to where he obtained it, Chan arranges to meet the miner at his shack to take him to the hidden tunnel. However, when Chan, Tommy, and Birmingham arrive at the shack, Pete is not there. As the trio enters the mine, they find Pete’s body.
Later, back at the dude ranch, Lt. Ruark informs Chan that Driscoll has a criminal record. Chan also discovers that Manning’s nurse is a fake. Chan later finds that Driscoll has been smuggling gold out of Mexico, where the price of gold is much less than in the United States, and selling it at a much higher price north of the border. With his scheme at stake, Driscoll wants Manning and everyone else out of the way so that his illegal operation can continue.
When Chan, Tommy, and Birmingham return to the mine, Birmingham stumbles upon another body that turns out to be Manning. They all return to the Manning house where the detective begins to remove the bandages from the patient’s head. The patient suddenly begins to scream, and Sister Teresa rushes in, gun drawn, just as Chan reveals the patient to be Mrs. Driscoll. After Evelyn struggles with and subdues Teresa, has to break the news to her that her father is dead.
Driscoll then enters the room and draws his gun, but Tommy outsmarts him from behind, pretending that he has a gun. Tommy then tells his father that he has received a telephone call from the Mexican police, informing him that they have stopped the next shipment of gold at the border. Driscoll tries to escape, but he is shot dead by Bartlett, who is captured by Chan and revealed as the real brains behind the entire gold smuggling operation.
NOTES: The working title of this film was The Mystery of the Golden Eye. The opening title card reads: “Charlie Chan in The Golden Eye.” The Call Bureau Cast Service lists Herman Cantor and Sam McDaniel in the cast, but they do not appear in the finished film that we have available today. Copyright records list George L. Spaulding as Dr. Groves, but the role was played by Sam Flint. Richard Loo, Barbara Jean Wong, and Tom Tyler are also listed in the cast, but they do not appear in the finished film.
Adapted from: AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE CATALOG – Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American Feature Films, 1911-1960
CHARLIE CHAN’S APHORISMS
People who listen at keyholes rarely hear good of themselves.
So much for so much.
Small things sometimes tell very large stories.
Too much familiarity breed carelessness.
Desert present many mysteries.
Small investigation sometimes brings large amount of knowledge.
Little knowledge sometimes very dangerous thing.
Willingness to speak not necessarily mean willingness to act.
Little knowledge sometimes very dangerous possession.
Deer should not toy with tiger.
Dead man cannot walk.
OTHER WORTHY STATEMENTS:
At first think Lieutenant Mike are giving Prohibition Party kick in teeth. (Regarding Lt. Mike Ruark’s pretending to be a drunk)
Many needles in this haystack. (To Tommy regarding the complexity of the case)
Chan not after Manning, Mr. Manning come after Chan. (To Talbot Bartlett)
Information very high-grade ore. (To Talbot Bartlett regarding the apparent value of the information he had given to Chan)
(Lt. Ruark: “Two heads are better than one, you know.”) Sometimes debatable point.
You shout loud enough to wake sleeping dead. (To Birmingham Brown)
THE WIT AND WISDOM OF BIRMINGHAM BROWN
(Dressed in a cowboy outfit and singing as he packs a suitcase)
“Home, home on the range,
where the deer and the antelope plays;
never is heard an encouraging word,
and the clouds stays cloudy all day.”
(To himself) “A born cowboy, that’s me. (Pretending to draw a pair of imaginary guns) Two-gun Birmingham rides again!”
(Attempting to close and latch an over-stuffed suitcase which keeps popping open) “Now, let’s get along. Wait a minute! Thus, this old cowhide thing looks like it got some live cowhide in it!”
Tommy (Enters strutting bowlegged, dressed like a proper “dude” cowboy)”Hi ya. Birmingham, how do I look?”
“Tommy…man, you sharp! You gone! You mad!”
Tommy (Using an exaggerated “cowboy” accent): “I can’t wait till I hit those wide open spaces. The range, the little doggies. Hit the trail! Hit the leather!”
“Wait a minute Billy Kid, you come over here a minute and help me with this leather (Indicating his suitcase).”
Tommy: “Havin’ trouble? I think you got too much stuff in it.”
“No, just the suitcase is too little.”
(Before he follows Charlie Chan and Tommy down into the Golden Eye mine through a trap door inside the prospector’s shack) “This ain’t my idea of a evenin’ of entertainment.”
(Inside the Golden Eye mine as Charlie Chan directs Birmingham and Tommy to search the mine) “Mr. Chan, if you happen to be a little late gettin’ back and don’t see me, don’t worry, because I’ll be way ahead of you.”
Tommy: “C’mon, Birmingham.”
“Don’t rush me, now! Don’t rush! You always rushin‘ somebody!”
Tommy (searching inside the Golden Eye mine): “Spooky, isn’t it?”
“Shh! Don’t say that word!”
Tommy: “I mean anything can happen down here.”
“Oh-oh! Everything’s done happened!”
Tommy: “What do you mean?”
(Showing a pair of feet protruding from a pile of rubble) “There’s shoes. Where there’s shoes, there’s feet. And where there’s feet, there’s legs. And where there’s legs, there’s a body.”
Tommy (Discovering a body with Birmingham): “Gee, I wonder if he’s dead?”
“I don’t know; don’t care. It’ll always remain a mystery to me.”
Tommy: “We’ve gotta find out.”
“You don’t have to be curious, do you?”
Tommy: “Okay, you go and get Pop.”
“Oh, yeah, I’ll go and get Pop –! Wait a minute, you better come and go with me.”
Tommy: No, I gotta stay and watch him.”
“Whatcha gonna watch him for, he ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
Tommy: “Okay, you stay. I’ll go and get Pop.”
“Wait a minute, no you won’t. You stay, I stay; I’ve never been so undecided in all my life.”
Tommy: “Well, make up your mind! Do something!“
Do sump’m? Don’t tempt me, boy, you’d be left here alone…”
Tommy: “Okay, we’ll go together.”
“Oh, we go together- Wait a minute! Now wait a minute! I’m goin’ with you. Wait a minute! (Pushing Tommy ahead of him)
Tommy: “Don’t push, Birmingham!”
“Don’t push you? Don’t talk to me ’cause sump’m at our feet. (Indicating the body)
Tommy (With a shaky hand holding the flashlight as he and Birmingham walk through the Golden Eye Mine): “It sure is dark in here.”
“Don’t tell me it’s dark and you scared, too! Lookit that light shakin'”
Tommy: “That’s your hand on my arm.”
Tommy (Looking for Charlie Chan in the mine, he yells): “Hey, Pop! (which is followed by a series of echoes)
“Mm! Good gracious! Somebody’s in this tunnel! C’mon, let’s go this way!”
Tommy: “Hey, wait a minute, that’s just an echo.”
“Echo? What has he got to do with anybody talkin’ to him? (Yelling) Mr. Chan! (Which is followed by a series of echoes) Oh-oh! That’s that Echo again! What is it? What is he tryin’ to do, get me excited or sump’m like that?”
Charlie Chan (Entering, to Tommy): “What is it?”
“Go away, Echo! Oh, Mr. Chan!”
Tommy (To Charlie Chan): “We found something, Pop; a dead man in the tunnel.”
Charlie Chan: “Yes? What, uh, dead man look like?”
(As Charlie Chan and Tommy leave to see the corpse found in the mine) “Mr. Chan, you all go on ahead. I think I’ll stay here — Mm! What’m I doin’ here alone? Wait a minute for me!”
Charlie Chan (To Tommy upon seeing the rubble-covered body in the mine): Remove dirt from [the corpse’s] face.”
“You heard what your father said.”
(After the rubble-covered corpse is identified as the prospector) “Oh, Mr. Chan, you want us to move the corp — Mm –! Why do I say these foolish things?”
(Answering the telephone in Charlie Chan’s bungalow at the Lazy Y Ranch) “Hello, Mr. Charlie Chan’s bungalow. Mr. Charlie Chan the great Chinese de — (Catching himself before he gives away Chan’s true identity) de… uh, dealer in curio, jade, ivory, and whatchacallem… mats.”
(Before descending again through the trap door into the Golden Eye Mine in the prospector’s shack)“The last couple of days, I’ve been under the ground more than a groundhog.”
Charlie Chan (Inside the Golden Eye mine with Tommy and Birmingham): “Now, this are where we separate.” “Uh, Mr. Chan, did I hear you say separate?”
Charlie Chan: “Yes. Tommy, you take tunnel to right.”
Tommy: “Okay, Pop.”
Charlie Chan: “I go straight ahead. Birmingham, you take tunnel to left.”
“Uh, Mr. Chan, can we have time to out and alter that point?”
Charlie Chan: “If you see something, call out.”
“Call out? Well, whatever happened to yellin’ and screamin’?”
Charlie Chan: “Please commence.”
“Yes sir, I’ll do it, but my heart ain’t in it.”
(Seeing a mine car track running down the length of the mine tunnel) “Oh, boy, a railroad track. Hope it ain’t no train comin’ ’cause if it do, it’s gonna be a tight squeeze.”
(After forcing himself to verify that he had indeed found a body lying in a mine car) “Oh-oh! I done found another one! (Then yelling out) Mr. Chan! (And then hearing a resulting string of echoes) Mm! This place is crowded! Lemme outta here! Good gracious me…!”
Charlie Chan (Referring to the body that is now missing from the mine car): You sure you saw it?” “Mr. Chan, when it comes to a corpse I do not make a mistake.”
Charlie Chan: Very strange, dead man cannot walk.”
“Well, we can run. C’mon, let’s go.”
Charlie Chan: “Case rapidly approaching climax, will attempt life on Charlie Chan.”
(To the audience at the conclusion of the case) “Ain’t that sump’m. Ain’t that sump’m. Good gracious oh me. That’s Mr. Chan all over. When you think it is, it ain’t. And when you think it ain’t, that’s just what it is.” (Giggles repeatedly to the fade and the end)
Variety, September 22, 1948
“The Golden Eye,” another Charlie Chan meller, is hardly up to the standard of the series. Roland Winters is not particularly exciting or realistic as the new Charlie Chan. But the plot and direction also to be at fault. Film is of quickie calibre, strictly for padding out the dualers.
Chan’s operations this time take him to a dude ranch and a gold mine in Arizona. Plot is of a supposedly mined-out shaft that suddenly becomes active. The secret ultimately is revealed of how the ore was actually smuggled from Mexico, then sold in the U.S. at an exorbitant price.
Winters is too listless as Chan although he’s not helped much by the yarn. Victor Sen Young is acceptable as the detective’s ambitious son. Mantan Moreland, as the chauffeur, provides a few humorous moments, but milks each situation too long. Tim Ryan does well as a police lieutenant.
William Beaudine’s direction is passable.
DATES: Thursday, February 12 (Chinese New Year) – Sunday, February 15, 1948 (NOTE: Chinese New Year was actually on February 10 in the year 1948. Perhaps it was a lingering celebration.)
DURATION: Four days
LOCATIONS: Chinatown, San Francisco, California and near El Dorado, Arizona (located very near to the Mexican border, possibly south of Tucson)
THE NAME OF THE CHINATOWN CAFE PASSED BY MR. MANNING ON HIS WAY TO THE CURIO SHOP: Mandarin Cafe
THE FOOD ADVERTISED OUTSIDE OF THE MANDARIN CAFE: Chow mein and chop suey
THE NAME OF THE SHOP VISITED BY MR. MANNING: Wong Fai Curios
THE NAME OF THE ARIZONA GOLD MINE OWNED BY MR. MANNING: The Golden Eye
ACCORDING TO WONG FAI, CHARLIE CHAN’S PRESENT LOCATION: “Chan, at present time, at Chan family on Washington Street, where he bring New Year’s greeting to honorable cousin.”
THE NUMBER OF THE SAN FRANCISCO HOTEL ROOM SHARED BY MR. MANNING AND HIS DAUGHTER EVELYN: 604
ACCORDING TO CHARLIE CHAN, THE TYPE OF GUN THAT WAS USED IN THE ATTEMPTED MURDER OF MR. MANNING: “German Mannlicher…”
THE NAME OF THE ARIZONA DUDE RANCH WHERE CHARLIE CHAN, SON TOMMY (JIMMY), AND BIRMINGHAM BROWN STAYED: Lazy Y Dude Ranch
ACCORDING TO MR. MANNING, THE LOCATION OF THE LAZY Y DUDE RANCH: “…only a half mile from my property.”
THE NAME OF THE SONG PARTIALLY, AND INCORRECTLY, SUNG BY BIRMINGHAM BROWN AS HE PACKED HIS SUITCASE: Home on the Range
ACCORDING TO CHARLIE CHAN, HIS QUARTERS AT THE LAZY Y DUDE RANCH: “…bungalow number 9…”
THE NAME OF THE SONG PARTIALLY SUNG BY LT. RUARK WHILE FEINING DRUNKENESS ON HIS WAY TO CHARLIE CHAN’S BUNGALOW: Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie
ACCORDING TO CHARLIE CHAN, THE LENGTH OF TIME SINCE THE ATTEMPTED MURDER OF MR. MANNING IN CHINATOWN: “…two days ago…”
ACCORDING TO LT. RUARK, THE CAUSE AND EXTENT OF THE INJURIES SUFFERED BY MR. MANNING IN HIS SUSPICIOUS ACCIDENT IN THE GOLDEN EYE MINE: “Fell down one of the shafts in the mine. Badly bruised head and shoulders and a possible skull fracture.”
THE NAME OF THE TOWN FROM WHICH MR. MANNING’S DOCTOR HAD DRIVEN TO CHECK ON HIM: El Dorado
CHARLIE CHAN’S UNDERCOVER IDENTITY ACCORDING TO HIMSELF: “…Chan, dealer in Oriental curios.”
CHARLIE CHAN’S “DELIVERY” FOR MR. MANNING: “…some objects of jade…”
DOCTOR GROVE’S DESCRIPTION TO CHARLIE CHAN REGARDING MR. MANNING’S INJURIES: “Multiple contusions about the head and shoulders. It’s impossible to tell just how bad without x-rays.”
ACCORDING TO DR. GROVE, THE HEIGHT FROM WHICH MR. MANNING FELL INSIDE THE GOLDEN EYE MINE: “…about forty feet.”
ACCORDING TO JIM DRISCOLL, THE ARRANGEMENTS MADE FOR THE CARE OF THE INJURED MR. MANNING: “…I’ve arranged for a nursing sister from the mission school.”
DR. GROVE’S PAIN PRESCRIPTION FOR MR. MANNING: “Mr. Manning will need to have opiates for several days as soon as he recovers consciousness.”
ACCORDING TO TALBOT BARTLETT, HIS FORMER PROFESSION IN HONOLULU: “…collector of customs…”
ACCORDING TO CHARLIE CHAN, TALBOT BARTLETT’S SPORTS ACTIVITY IN HONOLULU: “…excellent first baseman who play with number one son on high school baseball team.”
THE TYPE OF BUSINESS LOCATED NEXT TO TALBOT BARTLETT’S ASSAYING OFFICE: A general store
THE SIGN PAINTED ON TALBOT BARTLETT’S OFFICE WINDOW:
THE RESTAURANT “SUGGESTED” BY EVELYN MANNING TO TALBOT BARLETT FOR LUNCH: Canton Cafe
TALBOT BARTLET’S “NAME” FOR THAT RESTAURANT: “Ptomaine Louie”
TALBOT BARTLETT’S ASSAY ASSESSMENT ON THE ORE THAT PETE HAD BROUGHT IN: “Won’t bring in more than six dollars a ton.”
ACCORDING TO PETE, THE LOCATION OF HIS SHACK: “…at the bottom of Hay Canyon.”
THE NAME MENTIONED OF ONE OF THE SMUGGLING GANG MEMBERS WHO HELPED UNLOAD THE TRUCK CARRYING ORE FROM MEXICO: Pedro
ACCORDING TO CHARLIE CHAN, THE DIFFERENCE IN GOLD PRICES BETWEEN MEXICO AND THE UNITED STATES: “Gold worth seven dollars ounce in Mexico worth thirty-five dollars ounce in United States.”
THE NAME OF LT. RUARK’S FRIEND IN THE MEXICAN BORDER PATROL: Captain Gonzalez
assayer – One who examines metallic ores or compounds, for the purpose of determining the amount of any particular metal in the same, especially of gold or silver.
Jim Driscoll: “Mr. Bartlett, the local assayer.”
bonanza – (1) A rich mine, vein, or pocket of ore. (2) A source of great wealth or prosperity.
Lt. Mike Ruark: “…the way the gold was flowing into San Francisco, it’s a bonanza.”
German Mannlicher – The Mannlicher M1895 rifle was originally adopted and employed by the Austro-Hungarian Army throughout World War I. A number of these rifles also saw use in World War II, particularly by second-line, reservist, and partisan units in Romania, Yugoslavia, Italy, and to a lesser degree, Germany. Following the war, many were sold as cheap surplus, with many being exported to the United States as sporting and collectible firearms.
Charlie Chan: German Mannlicher bullet. Many of these guns now available in country since recent unpleasantness with Mr. Hitler.”
gone – (Slang) To be so far advanced as to be “gone.”
Birmingham Brown: “You gone; you mad!”
Hitler (Adolf Hitler) – (1889-1945) Austrian-born founder of the German Nazi Party and chancellor of the Third Reich (1933-1945). His fascist philosophy attracted widespread support, and after 1934 he ruled as an absolute dictator. Hitler’s pursuit of aggressive nationalist policies resulted in the invasion of Poland (1939) and the subsequent outbreak of World War II. His regime was infamous for the extermination of millions of people, especially European Jews. He committed suicide when the collapse of the Third Reich was imminent.
Charlie Chan: “Many of these guns now available in country since recent unpleasantness with Mr. Hitler.”
mad – (Slang) Extreme.
Birmingham Brown: “You gone; you mad!”
opiates – (1) Any of various sedative narcotics containing opium or one or more of its natural or synthetic derivatives. (2) Drugs, hormones, or other chemical substances having sedative or narcotic effects similar to those containing opium or its derivatives: a natural brain opiate. (3) Things that dull the senses and induce relaxation or torpor.
Dr. Grove: “Mr. Manning will need to have opiates for several days as soon as he recovers consciousness.”
pin – (Slang) To attribute a crime to someone.
Jim Driscoll: “You’re not going to pin all this on me, Chan!”
Prohibition Party – A minor U.S. political party organized in 1869 that advocated the prohibition of all alcoholic beverages.
Charlie Chan: “At first, think Lieutenant Mike are giving Prohibition Party kick in teeth.”
ptomaine – A term for food poisoning that is no longer in scientific use; food poisoning was once thought to be caused by ingesting ptomaines.
Talbot Bartlett: “Yeah, ‘Ptomaine Louie’s.'”
tetanus – An acute, often fatal disease characterized by spasmodic contraction of voluntary muscles, especially those of the neck and jaw, and caused by the toxin of the bacillus Clostridium tetani, which typically infects the body through a deep wound. Also called lockjaw.
Charlie Chan: “Possibly you were anticipating tetanus?”
whatchacallem (whatchamacallit) – (Idiom) A person or thing the name of which or of whom cannot be recalled.
Birmingham Brown: “…dealers in curio, jade, ivory, and whatchacallem… mats.“
For a complete glossary list from all films, please visit our Charlie Chan Glossary.