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Charlie Chan at the Opera

Charlie Chan at the Opera(1937)

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NOTES

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The film's title card reads: "Twentieth Century-Fox presents Warner Oland vs. Boris Karloff in Charlie Chan at the Opera." Although contemporary reviews call Margaret Irving's character "Lucretia Barrelli," she is called "Anita Barelli" in the film. A Motion Picture Daily news item noted that the picture was banned in Germany for having "too many murders." A Hollywood Reporter news item stated that public response to the film's preview was so positive that Twentieth Century-Fox planned to up the production and advertising budgets for the Charlie Chan series, and that future films would see "Warner Oland co-starred with a top name opposite." The first actor the studio was said to be approaching to star with Oland was Peter Lorre. According to another Hollywood Reporter news item, this film marked the first time that a DeBrie camera, which was lighter and more quiet than other models, was used in the United States. According to modern sources, H. Bruce Humberstone borrowed some of the sets from Caf Metropole (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.0551) for this film. Oscar Levant, in his autobiographical writings, states that he was assigned to write an operatic sequence that could take advantage of a Mephistophelian costume that had been created for Lawrence Tibbett in a previous Twentieth Century-Fox film (presumably Under Your Spell, see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.4856). Levant also relates that the words for the opera were written originally in English by William Kernell and then translated into Italian by "studio linguists." For additional information on the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry below for Charlie Chan Carries On.