After finishing a case in Germany, Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) and his son Lee (Keye Luke) take an ocean liner to New York City. They only plan on staying a day before continuing on to the west coast and then to Honolulu. On the ship they meet a woman named Billie Bronson (Louise Henry). Billie is being followed by a mysterious man, Thomas Mitchell (Marc Lawrence). She makes an excuse to get into the Chans’ room and hides a package in with their luggage.

At the dock in New York, the Chans are greeted by police inspector Nelson (Harold Huber). He invites Charlie to a banquet in his honor. Billie is not far behind and follows the Chans to their hotel. The mysterious man follows Billie. Also on the pier are reporters Joan Wendall (Joan Marsh) and Speed Patten (Donald Woods). The two are rivals at the same paper. Smelling a story, they both keep an eye on Billie.

Billie had been shipped off to Europe a year ago to avoid testifying about a political scandal. Things have calmed down so Billie has returned. Apparently, that’s not all Billie knew. Billie kept a diary of the underworld activity. Now that everyone is anxious to get their hands on the diary things are beginning to heat up again.

At the hotel Billie tries to get into the Chans’ room to retrieve the diary but is interrupted by Lee. She makes an excuse and leaves. Suspecting something is not right Lee follows her to a place called the Hottentot Club. The club is managed by Johnny Burke (Douglas Fowley), Billie’s former lover. Johnny is now having an affair with the club dancer, Marie Collins (Joan Woodbury). Also at the club is low life Buzz Moran (Leon Ames). Speed and Marie are already at the club chasing down leads.

When Billie comes up dead everyone is a suspect. Realizing that Billie must have hidden the diary in the Chans’ room Inspector Nelson and Chan head back to the hotel. In Charlie’s room they find another dead body, Thomas Mitchell. Realizing that the diary holds all the evidence on the murderer Charlie and Inspector Nelson stage a trap to hopefully catch their suspect.

“Charlie Chan on Broadway” was released in 1937 and was directed by Eugene Ford. It is a Mystery and the fifteenth of sixteen Charlie Chan films that featured Warner Oland as Charlie Chan. The movie was based on characters created by Earl Derr Biggers.

Lon Chaney Jr. has a cameo as a reporter sitting at a desk when Joan walks through the room. He actually says the line "you just think you can". The story is interesting and the mystery pretty good. I’m not sure why it is called “Charlie Chan on Broadway” since none of the story has anything to do with Broadway. It is slightly misleading but not really important to the story.

The stock footage used of the ocean liner is of the S.S. Champlain. She was built in 1932. In 1940 she hit a mine off the coast of La Pallice, France and heeled over on her side. A few days later she was torpedoed by a German U-boat.

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