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The Charlie Chan Film Encyclopedia


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About the Author

Retired college professor and inventor Howard M. Berlin lives in Wilmington, Delaware. He holds three United States patents for his inventions and is the author of over 30 books on diverse subjects, including cinema and numismatics. He has been collecting coins and banknotes of the Palestine Mandate for over two decades, has exhibited his collection widely, winning numerous awards. He is a member of the Numismatic Literary Guild.


Fictional detective Charlie Chan appeared in more than 40 films, primarily during the 1930s and 1940s. This book provides capsule biographies of the stars and casts of the films, in addition to a detailed filmography and other Chan esoterica (including a section on Chan's proverbs). Berlin, an inventor and author who has written on a variety of subjects, supplies Chan fans with obscure details about the most popular films. He purposely excludes all mention of the Chan films and television series from the 1950s, 1970s, and 1980s. Instead, he concentrates largely upon the Warner Oland and Sidney Toler films because they were the two most popular actors to portray Chan and because they starred in more Chan films than any of the other actors. Massive, fact-filled, and entertaining, this is one of the most important Chan movie reference volumes to date. Not only does it present specific filmographies but it has entries on other actors and lots of trivial information about the movies, which sets it apart from two more general references on Chan: Ken Hanke's Charlie Chan at the Movies: History, Filmography, and Criticism (McFarland, 1989) and Charles P. Mitchell's A Guide to Charlie Chan Films (Greenwood, 1999). An exhaustive index and a useful bibliography round out this impressive book. A worthwhile purchase for most popular film collections.--David M. Lisa, Mercyhurst Coll., Erie, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"massive, fact-filled, and entertaining, this is one of the most important Chan movie reference volumes to date...impressive...a worthwhile purchase for most popular film collections"--Library Journal; "handy companion...a major contribution"--ARBA; "superior...everything you wanted to know...information-packed...the kind of book you can't put down, you keep discovering something are excellent. It is without doubt, the best...most impressive and most entertaining. This Chan book is indispensable. This encyclopedia is a Chan fan's dream"--Classic Images; "a welcome addition to the Charlie Chan canon. Berlin knows and loves his subject and in 1900 entries he supplies a welcome context for the golden age of Charlie Chan in Hollywood"--Movie Magazine International; "extensive plot summaries"--Mystery Scene; "a thoroughly detailed reference to information relating to Charlie Chan films in an A-Z compendium of over 1,900 entries of facts, characters, actor and crew biographies, filmographies, and plot summaries"--Book News; "an elaborate research book...[a] lively, informative book...a must"--Film & History; "nearly anything a fan might want to know is analyzed here"--Cult Movies; "a remarkable amalgam of fact and trivia"--Copley News Service.

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