- Movie Rating -

Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981)

| February 13, 1981

Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen is little more than a side-show attraction leading you out into nothing – the egress as they use to call it.  The movie is built out of familiar property that will get an audience to pay the ticket price and it will promise them big named stars, but what they gets is a watered-down, tired version of the old Charlie Chan movies featuring stars who mostly stand around waiting for something to do.

Not much is progressed here either.  Chan, once played by Sweden’s Warner Oland is played here England’s Peter Ustinov, and somehow this movie manages to make the character even more offensive, maybe it’s the technicolor.  Either way, Charlie Chan is a little older here but seems to have lost his touch.  The old CC movies were full of spirit and characters and a crime that was based on motivation. 

This movie has none of that.  The story has Chan called out of retirement to solve a series of murders that seem to be tied to an old nemesis, The Dragon Queen (Angie Dickenson), but of course his suspicions soon lead him elsewhere.  But who cares?  The crime is uninteresting, the characters are bland and the case is more or less superfluous.  All of the effort seems to have gone into getting this property on the screen, and little to nothing went into what came out the other end.  Although I did find it interesting when several people were drowned in the hotel elevator.  That I hadn’t seen before.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1981) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized