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ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD
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ARCITECTURE: Ancient Egypt
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CHARLIE CHAN: Asian Actors in Hollywood
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CHARLIE CHAN: Chang Apana
CHARLIE CHAN: Charlie's Sons
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CHARLIE CHAN: Criminal?!?!*
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CHARLIE CHAN: Gilbert Martines and Chang Apana
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CHARLIE CHAN: Maven and Rush Glick's Interview in . . . "Monster Bash"!
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CHILDREN'S CORNER: Nancy Drew (For Older Fans!)
CHILDREN'S CORNER: Shirley Temple
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HOLLYWOOD'S . . . CRIME: Greystone Mansion Murder
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HOLLYWOOD'S . . .CRIME: William Desmond Taylor Murder
HOLLYWOOD'S MARRY-GO-ROUNDS
HORROR - SCIENCE FICTION
HORROR - SCI FI: Annex
HORROR - SCI FI: The Atomic Submarine (1959)
HORROR - SCI FI: Bela Lugosi
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I LOVE LUCY
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MUSIC: The Lyrics
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MYSTERIES: A Warning For Those Who Give Away The Endings!
MYSTERIES: Alfred Hitchcock
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MYSTERIES: S.S. Van Dine - The Kidnap Murder Case
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QUOTES Dorothy Parkers' "The Waltz"
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RECIPES OF THE WEEK: A Rejuvenating Diet
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SEX IN THE CINEMA
SHIRLEY TEMPLE
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TAYLOR SCHULTZ: Hollywood Sculptor
TRANSPORTATION IN THE MOVIES: Aviation
VINCENT PRICE
VINCENT PRICE: Connoisseur
WHAT'S MY LINE?
THE WHISTLER
THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

     Charlie Chan in Panama was released in 1940 before Americal was at war but the possibility of sabotge was still prevalent . . . especially in places where the US had vital strategic interests like Panama. . . .

     Never fear!  Chan was on the job!

     Jimmie Chan, getting in trouble of course, but Pop was there in disguise as a humble seller of Panama hats to get # 2 son . . . and the Panama Canal . . . out of trouble!

     One thing that is frequently underestimated about Charlie Chan in Panama is the importance of various types of planes at this point during world unrest . . . so read on for some extra credit on background . . . .

Aviation During World War II

Are Charlie and Company Solving a Crime
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Or Going Trick or Treating?!

Charlie Chan in Panama (1940)[1]

 

     Charlie Chan in Panama. . . .  Or is he?

     He's under cover as Fu Yuen, owner of a hat store and on the look out for a gang of spies among international travelers who may--or, like Fu Yuen, may not!--be what they seem!

      All this with a background of Panama's nightlife, Military Police, and . . . being held in a crypt!

       Yes, Maven said crypt!

     Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler), Jimmy (Victor Sen Young), and Captain Lewis (Don Douglas) investigate a cemetery and come across a mausoleum that they decide to check out.

      They find an old maid teacher on vacation as Jimmy leans against a back wall and takes a tumble.

     This crypt that looks average-sized on the outside has a false wall leading to stairs down to a room that looks larger than most apartments that Maven has seen lately!

     Who has that complicated a crypt, not to mention that size?!

     Okay . . . so there's a mausoleum in Fort Worth, Texas, that has had Maven's interest for years!

     Don't ask or she'll tell you about half the cemeteries in her area!



[1] http://theoldmoviemaven.tripod.com/id20.html

The Panama Canal
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Or; A Root Canal You'll Enjoy!

Building the Panama Canal

Theodore Roosevelts Legacy: The Panama Canal

There is a website that has a lot of the history of the Panama Canal at http://www.canalmuseum.com/.
 
Want to travel through the Canal for fun and to get some feel of what it might have been like at the time of Charlie Chan in Panama?! 
Here's a timelapse video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vi19z4LEi0.
You can get more information at http://www.panamacanal.com/.
 
And this is a link to an interesting sidenote about the health hazards of building the canal:  http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/contagion/panamacanal.html

Don't You Love the Guy in the Lower Left Corner?!
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Panama Canal - Defending the Canal[1]

The military’s presence in the Panama area dates back to before the United States constructed the canal, when it protected U.S. merchant trade lanes. Even during construction, the military supplied engineers, labor, and security. Fortification of the Canal Zone was only partially completed by 1913. The Hay-Buana-Varilla Treaty gave the United States the right to fortify the zone, but it was not until 1911 that Congress appropriated the funds to begin fortification construction. With Sydney Williamson as construction supervisor and Army engineer Major Eben E. Wilson the design engineer, construction began that year on three forts on the Atlantic side and two on the Pacific. In 1912 the Chief of Engineers organized a section in his office under Goethal's son, Army engineer Lieutenant George R. Goethals, to oversee fortification construction in the Canal Zone. The first Atlantic fort was operational in 1914 and the first on the Pacific side in 1916. By the time the United States entered World War I, there were nine operational forts at each end of the canal.

In 1917 the United States hastily acquired the Danish Virgin Islands, to counter a possible wartime flaw in the canal’s defenses, ensuring they were not obtained by imperial Germany. Base rights in Trinidad were an important element of the Lend-Lease destroyer deal with the UK in 1940, the justification for these facilities being coverage of the southern routes through the Caribbean islands toward the Panama Canal. Also during World War II the United States was watchful of Martinique and Guadeloupe when these French West Indies islands in the were in under Vichy control. The US was prepared to seize them by force if need be to preclude their use by hostile forces.

During the 1930's, events and technological developments began to challenge the old axioms on which the defense of the Canal had been based. A crippling attack aimed at the locks and dams, and delivered either by an act of sabotage or by naval bombardment, had always been considered the only real danger to be guarded against. The possibility of hostile forces establishing a beachhead and moving overland to the Canal was not entirely discounted, but the absence of suitable landing places on the Atlantic side and the thick jungle of the Pacific lowlands were counted on to discourage any attack of this sort. The Army had disposed its defenses accordingly.

During the 1930's new instruments for delivering an attack emerged in the shape of the naval aircraft carrier and long-range bomber. Potential air bases from which an attack against the Canal might be launched came into being as a result of the growth of commercial aviation in South and Central America. Experience in jungle maneuvers was beginning to make a myth of the impenetrability of tropical forests. Finally, the Army's ability to move outside the Canal Zone and take defensive measures within the territory of the Republic of Panama was sharply curtailed by the changing relationship between the two countries. Although sabotage remained the most likely danger, air strikes by either land-based or carrier-based planes came to be regarded as the most serious threat because of the wider holes in the defense against them.

Plans for protecting the Canal against sabotage during an international crisis of this sort had been drawn up in Panama and given constant study ever since the spring of 1936. In 1939, These measures were instituted between 26 August 1939, when the President gave the signal to go ahead, and 01 September 1939. Three basic measures had been provided for: first, the installation and operation of special equipment in the lock chambers, designed to detect underwater mines and bombs and to prevent damage from this cause; second, the restriction of commercial traffic to one side of the dual locks; and third, the inspection of all ships before they entered the Canal and the placing of an armed guard on vessels while in transit through it.

Soon photography of Canal installations was banned for the duration of the war, mines were placed at both entrances to the Canal, low-altitude barrage balloons were placed over the locks with anti-submarine and torpedo nets placed in front of the locks, and chemical smoke pots were positioned throughout a 60 square mile area. The massive guns and batteries on military installations at either end of the Canal were prepared for use. The 6 to 16 inch (in.) guns were housed in 11 Atlantic and 12 Pacific batteries, and had a range up to 25 miles. To protect against air attack, anti-aircraft batteries were put in place across the Zone and two antiaircraft detachments were sent in September 1939. Two long-range radar stations were also established in the autumn of 1939.

Immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the War Department instructed its department commanders to put the Rainbow 5 plan into effect. This was the Orange Plan, which identified the Japanese as the primary aggressor, and singled out the Panama Canal as one of the key defense initiatives.

By the time the build-up was complete, defenses consisted of nine airbases and airdromes, 10 ground forces posts, 30 aircraft warning stations, and 634 searchlights, antiaircraft gun positions and miscellaneous tactical and logistical installations. Twelve outlying airbases were also constructed in Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. An outer defense parameter of 960 nautical miles from the Canal was established and patrolled by air and sea.

When the United States found itself enmeshed in a two ocean war, the Panama Canal suddenly became the most strategic point on the globe. The convergence of naval and merchant fleet traffic at this point offered German U-boats a vital and tempting target. As a result, it became necessary to ring the canal's ocean approaches with protective bases. Agreements with the governments of Caribbean, Central American, and South American countries made it possible to secure sites for new bases throughout the area. The Lend Lease Agreement, consummated with Great Britain in September of 1940, yielded still other possible bases in this crucial locale. Not only were new base sites rapidly acquired, but United States bases already in existence were enlarged. Under the Greenslade Program of 1940, the three pre-1939 naval installations located in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Panama Canal Zone were all expanded.

THE CAST*:

 

Sidney Toler: Charlie Chan (also posing as Fu Yuen)
Jean Rogers: Kathi Lenesch (also known as Kathi von Tzardas and Baroness von Tzardas)
Lionel Atwill: Clivedon Compton
Mary Nash: Miss Sarah Finch (billed as Miss Jennie Finch; alias Reiner)
Sen Yung: Jimmy Chan
Kane Richmond: Richard Cabot
Chris-Pin Martin: Lieutenant Montero (billed as Sergeant Montero)
Lionel Royce: Dr. Rudolph Grosser
Helen Ericson: Stewardess
Jack La Rue: [Emil] Manolo (alias Ramon Gonzalez)
Edwin Stanley: Governor [D.C.] Webster (also known as Colonel D.C. Webster)
Don Douglas: Captain Lewis
Frank Puglia: Achmed Halide
Addison Richards: [R.J.] Godley
Edward Keane: Dr. Fredericks
Charles Stevens: Spy on Dock (not credited)
Max Wagner: Soldier (not credited) 

Alan Davis: Soldier (not credited)
Charles Sherlock: Soldier (not credited)
Eddie Acuff: Sailor (not credited)
Harold Goodwin: Military Police Officer (not credited)
Gloria Roy: Hostess (not credited)
Lane Chandler: Officer at Powerhouse (not credited)
Edward Gargan: Plant Workman (not credited)
Philip Morris: Plainclothesman (not credited)
Albert Morin: Hotel Desk Clerk (not credited)
Jimmy Aubrey: Drunk at Club (not credited)

Brooks Benedict: Nightclub Dancer (not credited)

Chuck Hamilton: Dancer (not credited)

Franklin Farnum: Marine Officer (not credited)      

 

*Courtesy of  www.charliechan.info.

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