The Golden Eye


Crime / Mystery

IMDb Rating 5.9/10 10 632 632

Top cast

Victor Sen Yung as Tommy Chan
Evelyn Brent as Sister Teresa
638.4 MB
English 2.0
29.97 fps
1 hr 9 min
Seeds 39

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by classicsoncall 5 / 10

"Small thing sometimes tell very large story."

A formerly unproductive gold mine suddenly turns out to be highly profitable; it's owner Manning insists someone is out to murder him. He turns to Charlie Chan (Roland Winters) for help, and the Oriental detective and his two assistants, Number #2 Son Tommy (Victor Sen Yung) and driver Birmingham Brown (Mantan Moreland) embark on a pseudo Western adventure. The story is set in Arizona, and to downplay suspicion in their involvement, the Chan party heads off to the Lazy Y Dude Ranch, from where they can keep an eye on developments at the Golden Eye Mine.

Sen Yung and Moreland make quite a sight in their Western attire, particularly Birmingham in his buffalo inspired jodhpurs. Tim Ryan is back in a reprise of his role as Lieutenant Mike Ruark (The Shanghai Chest), but this time he's undercover as teetering lush Vincent O'Brien at the Lazy Y. He's there independently, but it turns out his investigation runs parallel to Chan's, so they use the coincidence to hook up.

It turns out that the Golden Eye is a pass through for a gold smuggling operation originating in Mexico. The obvious brains of the smuggling gang appears to be the mine's superintendent Driscoll, but as usual for a Chan mystery, the obvious is always done one better, in this case, the mastermind is the handsome local assayer Talbot Bartlett (Bruce Kellogg), who's only too happy to assist Chan in any way he can so that he can throw him off the mark. Bartlett is also busy courting Manning's daughter Evelyn (Wanda McKay) to be better positioned to remove the mine's owner from the picture.

"The Golden Eye" is an average Charlie Chan mystery, made somewhat more interesting with the comedic bits by Mantan Moreland and the quite effective interplay of Tim Ryan's drunken character O'Brien. If you're a Charlie Chan fan, you'll have to add this one to your list.

Reviewed by planktonrules 5 / 10

The franchise is gasping for its last breath!!

This is one of the last of the Monogram series of Charlie Chan films. By 1948, the series had been around for many years--since the late 1920s. Through the decades, Warner Oland and Sidney Toler had made a ton of these fun murder mysteries. By the death Toler in 1946, it was obvious that the series had been gasping for life for several years. However, instead of calling a halt to the films, Monogram plodded along with several more Chan films that starred Roland Winters. Now Winters wasn't too bad--after all, with makeup he was able to look like Chan and his delivery was rather Chan-like (though a bit rapid). However, the wit of the Sidney Toler version was noticeably absent. Another problem is that by 1948, the movies just weren't as interesting and were usually written in such a hasty manner that plot holes abounded--and this one looked rather Swiss cheesy at that! I know this to be so because I have seen all of the Fox Charlie Chan films that are in existence and almost all the Monogram ones--the slide is obvious.

Charlie is out west to investigate how a supposedly played out gold mine is suddenly brimming with gold. During the investigation, the man who hired Chan is supposedly hurt and his entire face is wrapped in gauze and doctors won't let anyone in to see him. It's so completely obvious to anyone with half a brain that either this isn't the man or he's being drugged. Oddly, Chan allows this ruse to continue for some time--even though someone's life might be at risk. Even when the nurse/nun who is caring for him reveals she's an idiot and practically knows nothing about medicine, Chan does nothing.

In addition to lots of inaction, the film is brimming with dull and awkward performances. About the only one who comes off reasonably well is Tommy Chan--who oddly was re-named Tommy even though he'd been Jimmy in the earlier films and was still played by the same actor (Victor Sen Yung). Even the usual comic relief from Mantan Moreland seems very subdued in this film. There simply is no energy or life to this film and a few really broad performances sink the film further.

The bottom line is that there isn't much of a mystery and Chan could easily get to the bottom of it. Instead, the amazingly subdued Chan sits back and lets the film go on for some time until the conclusion. Dull and uninspired.

Reviewed by jonfrum2000 5 / 10

Weak Chan, but still a Chan

This episode in the Chan series features skimpy sets - not rare in the later Chans - and a weak role for the usually entertaining Mantan Moreland, but some Chan is better than none. Roland Winters does a perfectly serviceable job as Charlie - lacking the warmth of Warner Oland, but also lacking the harshness of Sidney Toler in his father/son interactions. The plot is pedestrian, but the series is about Charlie and assistants, not the stories, so a less than perfect plot is OK. This movie lacks the beautiful women in gowns we often get in Chans, and not much of a love affair, so some of the classic Chan features are missing. By this late time, they were spending very little money on the series, and milking it for the value of the franchise. One can imagine that it was a perfectly good way to spend an hour on a Saturday in post-war America.

I noticed that after crediting Roland Winters and one woman actress, Mantan Moreland and Victor Sen Young came next. In spite of the fact that a white man was playing Chan, clearly a black man and a Chinese man came next in popularity with audiences. For some reason, this fact is never credited. The theme of racist America is just to popular to be spoiled by such facts.

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