Did you know that there are 42 Charlie Chan DVDs available to fans and collectors of the series? This detective series was filmed over the course of 19 years and three different actors played the infamous Charlie Chan. Which movies and actors are your favorites?
Warner Oland, or Jack as his friends knew him, was the first well-known actor to play Charlie Chan. Twentieth Century Fox chose him to portray the Chinese detective because he was a well-known character actor that portrayed Orientals in a believable way.
Oland made his Chan debut in 1931. Two movies were shot during his first year: The Black Camel and Charlie Chan Carries On. He went on to star in a total of 16 Charlie Chan movies. All of these Charlie Chan DVDs can be purchased on sites dedicated to his fans.
Warner quit the series in 1937 after simply walking off of the set. He was battling problems with alcohol and decided to take time off from acting. Unfortunately, he died of bronchial pneumonia while resting in Sweden in 1938.
Sidney Toler followed Warner Oland in playing Charlie Chan. His first movie in the series was Charlie Chan in Honolulu in 1938. However, Toler was no stranger to the silver screen. He had already starred in 50 movies and was also an accomplished baritone opera singer. Sidney went on to star in 21 more movies of this series. Alongside of Sidney was the #2 son from the first Chan movies, Victor Sen Yung.
On February 12, 1947, Mr. Toler died of intestinal cancer. He was barely able to finish his last movie, The Trap, as he could barely walk. His memory lives on though through the miracle of DVDs. Fans of Toler's Charlie Chan can purchase his movies on the following sites:
- Amazon.com - find DVDs, CD's and books related to the Charlie Chan series.
The last actor to play Charlie Chan in the movie series was Roland Winters. During his reign as Charlie Chan, he worked under Monogram Studio instead of Twentieth Century Fox. His first movie in the series was The Chinese Dragon in 1947. The last film, The Sky Dragon was completed in 1949. Roland starred in a total of 6 Charlie Chan films.
Mr. Winters starred in 80 movies during his career and continued to work on Broadway well into his 60's. He died of a stroke at the age of 84 in Englewood, New Jersey.
Fans of Mr. Winters can purchase his rendition of the detective Charlie Chan from the following merchants:
- Mysterynet.com- purchase individual movie DVDs or videos on this site
- The Vintage Theater- sells a 42 movie set on 14 DVDs
Pre-1931 Charlie Chan Movies
For the true Charlie Chan movie buff, there were 3 movies made before Warner Olund portrayed the character. These movies were:
- House Without a Key
- The Chinese Parrot
- Behind That Curtain
A total of 47 Charlie Chan movies were made. It is unfortunate that not all of the movies in the series have been compiled into one comprehensive DVD boxed set. Movie fans can find many, if not all, of the movies on the Internet from various fan sites and movie merchants.