When an experimental plane is hijacked and its pilot murdered, the new guidance system that will allow it to fly unmanned is stolen. Charlie traces the strategically important invention to the current summer Olympic games in Berlin, where myriad spies, enemy agents, and hard-core criminals are ruthlessly pursuing it in order to sell it to another government. Charlie's son Lee, a member of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team, is on hand to help his father recover the device and solve the mystery.Written by
Gabe Taverney (email@example.com)
Stock footage of the dirigible Hindenburg was retouched, frame by frame, to blot out the swastikas emblazoned on the airship's tail. See more »
The radio direction finder used by the German Police is clearly marked as made by an American Company and sports a compass rose marked in English ('E' for East and so on, instead 'O' for Osten). Even if the German police would operate imported equipment, the markings would be in German.
And it is unlikely that the Nazi regime would allow import of anything the German industry was able to produce, not to mention that German radio equipment of the time was among the best in the world. See more »
While Charlie's multi-talented son Lee is traveling by ship to Europe as a member of the US Olympics team, his father searches at home for a newly invented remote control device for planes which is probably on its way to be sold to some obscure foreign power (the political tensions all over the world are already perceptible three years before the beginning of WW II, but the movie doesn't show any affiliation or enmity yet) - and happens to be on the same ship with Lee and his friends, guarded by a 'femme fatale' (Cecil B. DeMille's adoptive daughter Katherine in her probably best role) who arouses the dislike of the young athletes only because she keeps flirting with one of them although he's got a steady girlfriend...
Charlie, in the meantime, has found out the 'traveling route' of the device, and 'overtakes' it, first by plane and then aboard the famous zeppelin 'Hindenburg' (which would crash only a year later). But from the moment on that the athletes (one of whom 'smuggled' it into the country without even knowing it), the spies and the police mingle, there is constant confusion, until Charlie seems to have it safely in the hands of the German police authorities - BUT the spies have got Lee...
From this moment, we really FEEL the agony of Charlie as a father, and his dilemma of handing the important invention over to the spies or risking his son's life - certainly a very earnest and dramatic entry in the 'Charlie Chan' movies, but not without its lighter moments; and besides that, we get a glimpse of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin - a real time document.
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