Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) arrives in Paris ostensibly on vacation. In reality he is there at the behest of some London bankers whose customers received forged bonds from the Lamartine Bank. His first contact in Paris is with a dancer named Nardi (Dorothy Appleby) who works at a club called "Du Singe Bleu". Before he can see her, he visits Victor Descartes (Thomas Beck). Victor works at Lamartine Bank and his father is one of the directors. Charlie tells Victor that he needs to open account at the bank. Victor tells him he will make an appointment for him to see the owner of the bank, Mr. Lamartine (Henry Kolker).
Before Charlie can leave some of Victor’s friends show up at the apartment. Charlie meets Victor’s fiancé, and the bank owner’s daughter, Yvette Lamartine (Mary Brian). Also, there is a drunken Max Corday (Erik Rhodes) and his date Renee Jacquard (Ruth Peterson). Charlie tells them that he is going to "Café Du Singe Bleu" to see the show. The others decide to go too. At the end of her performance Nardi is shot.
Charlie sneaks into her apartment and finds a note regarding bank employee Albert Dufresne (John Miljan) and how he is spending beyond his means. When Charlie leaves, an attempt is made on his life. The next day at the bank he notifies Lamartine about the forged bonds. Lamartine starts an investigation inside the bank to determine the extent of the forgeries while Charlie tries to keep an eye on Dufresne. Later that night Dufresne is murdered while Yvette is at his apartment trying to get back some love letters that Dufresne is trying to use as blackmail.
Yvette is arrested but Charlie believes she is innocent. He knows there is more going on than love letters. Charlie believes that someone else is involved in the forgery scheme. There also seems to be a strange character named Marcel Xavier who always seems to be around when someone gets killed.
“Charlie Chan in Paris” was released in 1935 and was directed by Lewis Seiler and Hamilton MacFadden. It is an American crime mystery and the seventh Charlie Chan film starring Warner Oland as Chan. At one time the film was believed to be lost until a print was found in the 70’s in Czechoslovakia.
It is the first film that featured Keye Luke as Lee Chan, Charlie Chan’s “No. 1 son”, an affectionate term that would stay with Keye the rest of his life. He was thirty-one at the time. He then co-starred with Warner in eight of the Charlie Chan films. At the time he was cast as Lee Chan he was working for “Fox” in the publicity department as an artist. Keye was responsible for creating the artwork for the publicity stills for the series.
According to Keye, Warner Oland didn't need make-up in his role as Charlie Chan. Keye said that all he would do is curl down his mustache and curl up his eyebrows. Many Chinese actually thought that Oland was Chinese. (Although that may be questionable.) Oland believed that was because his Russian grandmother was of Mongolian descent. Of course, a couple drinks helped to make his speech a little more halting and put a smile on his face.