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CHARLIE CHAN: Charlie Chan in City in Darkness (1939)

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     Charlie Chan in City in Darkness is downright infamous for Harold Huber's role as the ditzy policeman with the oh-so-fake French accent.  The irony is that he spoke English as a second language, having French ancestry and being educated in France . . . or so Maven understands!

     City in Darkness is otherwise an interesting - and valuable in Maven's opinion - entry in the series.  For starter's, the very beginning is interesting in that it sets the tone with a quicky course on the prelude for the second world war and the beginning of the toll on life as it was lived then.

    

One of the things that another world war would cause would be "rationing," or restricting various items so that those on the homefront could contribute essential materials for our soldiers overseas.

 

Types of rationing included: Uniform coupon rationing (sugar is an example) provided equal shares of a single commodity to all consumers;  Point rationing provided equivalent shares of commodities by coupons issued for points which could be spent for any combination of items in the group (processed foods, meats, fats, cheese); Differential coupon rationing provided shares of a single product according to varying needs (gasoline, fuel oil); and Certificate rationing allowed individuals products only after an application demonstrated need (tires, cars, stoves, typewriters).[1]

 

http://www.ameshistoricalsociety.org/exhibits/events/rationing.htm

 

http://www.ameshistoricalsociety.org/exhibits/ration_items.htm

 

http://www.ameshistoricalsociety.org/exhibits/events/sears_roebuck_ration1.jpg

 

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1674.html

 

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/food_history/27411

 

http://www.ww2rationtechnologies.com/History.html

Living During the Second World War
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dressing for Success - Victory over the Axis Powers

CLOTHES: Make Do and Mend

     Kay Linaker appeared in some five Charlie Chan movies (Monte Carlo, Reno, Treasure Island,  Murder Cruise and Rio) but had a lot more going for her than considerable acting talent.  She went on to co-write the screenplay to the 1958 version of The Blob and to become a teacher (of acting, of course!) at Keene State College in New Hampshire.  She was kind enough to enlighten Maven on two subjects: 
1.  Harold Huber's so-fake French accent in City in Darkness.
2.  The suspicion that there was more to Dr. Zodiac then most thought.  The Zodiac character in Charlie Chan in Treasure Island (1939) was employed by two different actors as a plot devise. . . .  To avoid being a spoiler alert, suffice it to say that it was logistically impossible for either actor to appear as Zodiac in certain scenes.  Plus Maven recognized the voice that Zodiac used was a third actor, Gerald Mohr.
     Ms. Linaker's reputation in Hollywood doesn't need Maven's help to embellish it but Maven salutes her memory as being as fine and gracious a person as she was an actress!

Kay Linaker Letter

Kay Linaker on Harold Huber

CAST:
Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan
Lynn Bari: Marie Dubon (also known as Madame Madero)
Richard Clark: Tony Madero
Harold Huber: Marcel [Spivak]
Pedro de Cordoba: Antoine
Dorothy Tree: Charlotte Ronnell
C. Henry Gordon: Prefect of Police [J. Romaine]
Douglas Drumbrille: [B.] Petroff
Noel Madison: Belescu
Leo Carroll: Louis Santelle
Lon Chaney, Jr.: Pierre
Louis Mercier: ["Gentleman"] Max
George Davis: Alex
Barbara Leonard: Lola
Adrienne d'Ambricourt: Landlady
Frederik Vogeding: Captain [Holtz]
Gino Corrado: Cafe Owner  
Ann Codee: Complainant at Police Headquarters (not credited)
Eugene Borden: Gendarme (not credited)
Alphonse Martell: Gendarme (not credited)
John George: Victor the Gyp (not credited)  
Rlofe Sedan: Hotel Manager (not credited)
Larry Steers: Man Leaving Paris (not credited)
Arno Frey: Pilot (not credited)
Ann Codee: Complainant at Police Headquarters (not credited)
Jean De Briac: Puppeteer (not credited)
Jean Del Val: Taxicab Driver (not credited)
Harry Fleishmann: Baptiste (not credited)
Constant Franke: Officer (not credited)  
Paul Irving: Doctor (not credited)
Jeanne Lafayette: French Girl (not credited)
Michael Mark: Mechanic (not credited)
Alberto Morin: Clerk (not credited)
Nita Pike: Telephone Operator (not credited)
Albert Pollet: Taxicab Driver (not credited)
Frank Puglia: Gendarme at Steamship Office (not credited)
Joseph Romantini: Gendarme (not credited)
Rolfe Sedan: Hotel Clerk (not credited)
Tom Seidel: Philip (not credited)
Lester Sharpe: Market Man (not credited)
George Sorel: Plainclothes Officer (not credited)
Larry Steers: Man Leaving Paris (not credited)
Jaques Vanaire: Gendarme (not credited)
Marek Windheim: Taxicab Driver (not credited)
Veola Vonn: French Girl (not credited)
André Cheron (not credited)
Fred Farrell (not credited)
Helen Giere (not credited)   

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