The Shanghai Cobra (1945) - full transcript

When three employees of a bank are found murdered with cobra venom, Charlie Chan connects the homicides to a case he had worked in Shanghai in 1937. Even though he arrested the alleged murderer, whom later escaped from the police, Charlie wouldn't be able to recognize him because, at the time of his apprehension, his badly burned face and hands were swathed in bandages. Although Chan believes he is now involved with a gang that is stealing valuable radium from a bank vault, utilizing tunnels that connect to the area sewer system, his new identity remains a mystery. When a detective disguised as a bank guard is found dead in a tunnel by Birmingham, Charlie knows he's on the right track.

Evening, mr. Black.

I fixed up a nice
beef stew today.

Thought it would be good with
it raining outside like it is.

Just a cup of coffee.

It's got grade "a" beef.

I selected it myself,
and nice brown gravy.

I want a cup of coffee.

Ok, mr. Black.
Wants a cup of coffee,

Get him cup of coffee,
that's all.

Say, uh, I made
a beautiful beef stew today.

The best in town.
Grade "a" beef.

just a cup of coffee.

uh, rich brown gravy?

I said,
"just a cup of coffee."

Yeah, that's what
I thought you said.

Mr. Black wants a cup of
coffee. He wants his black.

I suppose you want cream
in your coffee. Well, uh,

I suppose you want
a cup of coffee, too,

Instead of the delicious
beef stew I fixed up

On account of
it's a rainy day?

Yeah. A cup of coffee.

I should've known better
than to ask.

A cup of coffee,
he says, huh?

Joe's coffee shop, so
everybody orders coffee.

This one's on me, honey.

Mr. Black, I--

Now look, I'm fed up with you
following me around, understand?

number, please.

Number 10,
the blue danube.

Is that him?


Now stop bothering me
and stop following me.

?[music playing]

That's a wrong number. I asked for
number 10, the blue danube .

Well, I'm sorry, sir.
We don't have that number.

Just push the return button
and your money will be refunded.

Please, mr. Black,
you must trust me.

Stay out of my hair, I'm
telling you for the last time.

Oh, please,
I've got to talk to you--

Now, look.

I think you
dropped this, miss.

Oh, well, well now,
when did you arrive?

Me? Oh, about
5 minutes ago.

And didn't even speak
to me. Well, I like that.

You--you do?

Start making your excuses, and
they'd better be good. Now, give.

This friendship
thing's sudden,

But I'm interested
if you are, too.

The name's ned stewart,

Oh, well,
that's--that's great.

Well, wait a second.

We haven't finished
the introductions yet.

And you two also haven't
finished paying for your coffees.

Oh, please pay him.
I'll wait outside.

That will be, uh,
20 cents, please.

Oh, yeah, uh, you--you got
a nickel change comin'. Uh...


You wouldn't want
to match for it?

I was afraid to talk
to you in joe's.

We've been followed
for days.

What I've been trying
to tell you is this--

Mr. Black?

Mr. Black?

What happened?

I don't know.

He started to say something
to me and then he fell down.

Try to revive him, please.
I'll call a doctor.

[crowd chattering]

All right, all right. Let's
break it up. What's happened here?

Where's the girl?

Uh-oh, I thought you'd
be back for your nickel.

Where is she?
Where did she go?

Oh, you been stood up, pal.
She went out the back, fast.

Where'd he go?

You mean the guy who
give me the nickel--

Don't give me that. The fellow
killed a man outside and ran in here.

Oh, you've been stood up,
too, pal.

He just breezed
through the back, fast.


What a day. People run in,
nobody eats my beef stew,

People run out,
nobody pays for their coffee.

Hello, babe. Give me a nickel's
worth of anything soft and soothing.

My head's killing me.

joe, who got killed?

I don't know, but from
the sounds in the alley,

A cop's killing
my customers.

"third cobra killing."

[intercom buzzing]


mr. Gray.

Send him right in.

Chief, here's the latest
dope on them cobra killings.

Uh, washington just got it
from scotland yard.

There was a man murdered the
same way in shanghai in 1937,

And a man by the name of van
horn was arrested but he escaped.

Did they send
his description?

No, they lost
all of his records

In the shanghai bombing
8 years ago.

There's only one man
in the entire country

Who can identify
this van horn,

And I'm afraid
we can't get him.

Who is he?

Charlie chan.

Who says
I can't get him?


Please come into my office
and take a telegram.

yes, sir?

Will be out of town
for several days.

Must postpone all business.

[traffic humming]

Most interesting case.

In 4 months, 3 persons are
murdered by bite of cobra fangs.

Yes. Man named rafferty,
and a girl called dunham,

And then a man
named black.

Most curious.

All 3 victims work
for 6th national bank.

Yes, but there's no connection
between them, uh, charlie.

The men were bank guards and the
girl worked in the posting department.

8 years ago
in shanghai, china,

I arrest a man
named jan van horn

For bank robbery
and murder by cobra bite.

It was first day japanese
bombers fly over city of shanghai.

[bombs whistling]

Our prisoner, jan van horn
had been injured in bombing,

And the inspector
was driving me to his office.

Van horn badly burned
in bombing?

Oh, he's pretty badly
disfigured on his face and hands.

I'm afraid he may be
permanently so,

Unless he gets
immediate plastic surgery.

Inspector mainwaring
and myself continue on

To the british international
settlement police headquarters.

There I meet jan van horn
for the 2nd time.

Good morning,
mr. Chan.

Mr. Corning.

Sorry we had
to call upon you.

Most happy to be
of assistance.

If you'll sign
right here, please.

Mr. Hume?

May we have your signature on
this receipt for the prisoner?

We'll turn van horn
over to your custody.

Let's go.

Mr. Chan, I don't care
what evidence you've got.

I'm being framed,
I tell you.

Singapore authorities will
determine your guilt or innocence.

I'm telling you,
I'm being railroaded.

They'll never let me
get to trial.

Still a matter
for courts to decide.

Come along,
van horn.

You're just like
all the rest.

But I tell you, I'll even
this score with you one day.

(chan) special agent hume took
van horn to wharf at shanghai,

Where they place him
aboard ship's launch.

He was starting journey to
singapore, where he was to stand trial.

The launch left the wharf.

When launch reach midstream, one of
ship's officers went to bow of boat.

Van horn ask remaining officer
for a light for a cigarette,

And when officer reach
for a match,

Van horn struck him
malicious blow on chin

And disappear
over side of boat.

And that was last I hear
of jan van horn until now.

Could you
identify him today?

His face badly burned,
perhaps greatly changed.

But his hair
most unusual.

Uh, very black with
strange streak of white.

I see.

At any rate, charlie, I want
you to know how glad I am

The government has
let you off to help me.

And I want you to feel
that you're in full charge.

Oh, thank you,
thank you.

But I am still
government agent.

Vaults of 6th national bank
contain something

Very valuable
to american government.

Oh. What is it?

Stores of radium.

Radium? That is valuable.
Is there much of it?

Several million
dollars' worth, perhaps.

You see, bank is
distributing center

For hospitals,
laboratories and factories

In this vicinity.


I must be off to bank and
afterwards, will visit coffee shop.

Want to use
a police car?

Oh, no,
thank you. Uh,

With your permission,
I will telephone assistants

At hotel to meet me
with car at the bank.

Sure, charlie.
Help yourself.

Thank you.

[people chattering]


Doesn't the bank
smell nice, huh?

Yeah, and that green stuff
don't look bad, either.

You know what?

I bet it would be an easy
job to knock off this bank.

Wouldn't it? You know
what we'd have to do?

Is drive our car out front
and leave the motor runnin'.

Leave the door open,

Come in here and take all this
money out without firing a shot.

That's probably why pop wanted
us to meet him here today.

Yeah, yeah.
You know...

Now, like the last--

Hey, what you doing?
Wait a minute.

Now, if I had
a million dollars here--

Now, uh...

Hello, pop.

Glad to met you,
mr. Chan.

One moment. One moment. What is trouble?

Nothing, pop. We came in and just
waited for you, like you told us to.

Friend of yours?

Oh, yes, sir.
Oh, yes.

They were acting suspicious.
I heard them say--

I am charlie chan, officer.
These are my 2 assistants.

They sometimes talk foolish.
They mean no harm.

Oh, all right,
mr. Chan.

Friend of yours, huh?

You 2 wait in car
or I make serious trouble.

Yes, pop.
Right away.

Yeah, mr. Chan.

You can stop writing,
lorraine, here's the check.

Thank you,
mr. Jarvis.

Hiya, jarvis.

What's the matter
with jarvis?

Expect him to put
his arms around you?

But, morgan, I only
said hello to him--

Shut up, taylor.
Get going.

You wish to see mr.
Fletcher, the president?

I'm bradford harris,
the vice president.

My business
with president.

Oh, mr. Chan, the detective.
Come right in, sir.

Mr. Charlie chan to see you,
walter, on government business.

Very well.
I'll see him.

Sit down, please.


white plume, huh?

Most unusual.

Mr. Fletcher, were you
ever in shanghai, china?

Yes. In 1936 and 1937,

For the international
bank company.

Now, uh,
your business, sir?

I'm investigating deaths
of 3 people.

Rafferty, dunham,
and black.

Oh, the police have wasted hours
of my time about those people.

Merely wish to examine
personnel records of same.

yes, mr. Fletcher?

Miss webb, bring me
the personnel cards

On black, dunham,
and rafferty.

But they're dead.

I--I mean right away,
mr. Fletcher.

That all, mr. Chan?

No. Would like to look into
safety deposit box number 210.


That's a special vault rented
by the United States government.

I work for
United States government.

I have key
to vault here.


This is my secretary,
miss paula webb, mr. Chan.

Charlie chan?

If you want me, paula, I'll
be in the safety deposit vault.

Great pleasure,
miss webb.

this way, mr. Chan.

Deposit vault, please.

Hello, who is this?

Oh, listen.

Mr. Fletcher is coming down
with charlie chan.

Yes, that's right.

This way, mr. Chan.

Ok so far.

Why, mr. Chan, surely you didn't
expect to find anything wrong?

In my business always expect
to find something wrong,

But here everything
seem normal.


Well, hope same continue.


Police. Wish conversation with you.

what do you want?

You proprietor?

Yeah, I'm the proprietor and
I'm closed. Can't you see?

No food.

Merely wish information
regarding strange young man

Who disappear from here
when man killed outside.

Well, all I know
is he went through here

Like a flash,
chasin' the peacherino.

Chase a what?

Uh, pop, as the french say,
cherchez la peacherino.

There's a woman
in the case, pop.

Thank you, my sitting-down assistant.

Yeah, she was a good lookin' gal, too.

You know her name
or name of young man?

No. Don't know them
from adam and eve.

Didn't even know
adam and eve.

Thank you so much.

I know the man's name.

Place is haunted by voice
of young lady, perhaps?


No, no. That's just the girl that
plays records over the jukebox.

Her voice comes in here
over a wire.

Hey, babe, you say you
know the guy's name?

Yes, joe.

I heard him say to the girl,
"the name is ned stewart."

Ned stewart?

That's right.

Thank you so much.

You're welcome.

you're cute, too.

[all laughing]

She said
he's cute.

[clears throat]

[door closes]

[papers rustling]

Somebody's very interested
in the cobra murders, pop.

He's been reading
every newspaper in town.

Excellent deduction.

Thanks, pop.
Nothing to it.

You know, mr. Chan...

Good evening.

Hi, boys.
What's the angle?

I wish to speak to head
of apex detective agency.

Go ahead. Speak.
And it better be good.

You are mr. Ned stewart?

That's right.

Please put down gun. I have
important matters to discuss.

I like it this way.

I would like you to locate
young man who escaped

Through coffee shop
at 1410 dexter street

When man named samuel
black killed outside.

You've come to the wrong place, chum.

You better call
on the police.

I am police.


Might have known it.
Charlie chan, eh?

That's right,
mr. Stewart.

Well, where do we go now?
Police headquarters?

Seem logical destination.

You say you were
following this girl

Because you were
hired to do so?

Yes, yes,
for the 10th time, yes.

Man by the name of rogers
hire you by telephone?


Good detective
never accept job

From man he neither
see nor know.

I started my agency
4 months ago.

This was my first case.
I couldn't be too particular.

Mr. Rogers give you address
of 1055 harley street.

Yes. A rooming house.

I was to watch it
every night.

If the girl, pauline webster,
came out, I was to shadow her,

But do nothing unless she
seemed to be in danger.

Did she go back to the harley
street address the night black died?

Yeah, but by the time I got
there, she'd packed and gone.

Next day, I got this in the mail.

A week's salary
from mr. Rogers.

Postal money order.

Impossible to trace.

And this.

"payment in full
for services to date.

Do nothing more
about pauline webster."

Signed r. Rogers.

Man tried to
disguise handwriting,

But police will
learn everything

By checking everyone
who work at bank.

Now are you satisfied
I'm in the clear?

If we find this girl, your
innocence might be established.

Perhaps she guilty.

she would appear.

Oh, no, no.
She couldn't.

Why not?

Well, because she couldn't.
She's--she's too nice. She's...

Well, she's wonderful.


Inspector, you will
please inform newspapers

You have arrested ned stewart
for murder of samuel black.

Arrest me? Why?

Wish to learn
if strange girl

So wonderful
as you say.

Miss webb, uh,
I was wondering

If mr. Fletcher
had seen these headlines?

Thank you, mr. Adams. I'll
show the paper to mr. Fletcher.

And another thing
I don't understand is--

[telephone rings]

Pardon me.

Inspector davis.

Oh. For you, charlie.


Excuse, please.

Charlie chan speaking.

Oh, yes.

Most happy to meet you
tonight at lotus garden cafe.

7:30 p.M. Yes.
Thank you so much.


It's the girl.

She have important
information for me.

I meet her tonight.

Good. Now we're
getting places.

If you would excuse me,
I, uh, will leave now.

I have important personal
matters to attend to.

I will see you tonight, after
I have talked with girl, huh?

I'll be here.

And as I started
down the street,

Mr. Black stepped
out of the shadows,

Started to tell me
something and fell dead.

You know what mr. Black
want to tell you?

No. Before he could tell me, he died.

Ever hear name
jan van horn?

Jan van horn?

You know such person?

No. No, I'm not acquainted
with anyone by that name.

Mr. Stewart?

This young lady
you speak of?

I'll say she is.

You may join us,
mr. Stewart.

This is miss paula webb,

Known to you as
miss pauline webster.

This young lady
has done noble thing

By clearing you
of murder charge.

But, miss webb, we expect
you to come tomorrow

To police headquarters to make
affidavit of what you tell me.

Oh, I'm sure
she'll do that.


You will excuse,

Uh, I have important business
at police headquarters.

Mr. Stewart,

You are to escort
charming young lady home.

Do, uh, well, I...

Is it all right
with you?

Must you go,
mr. Chan?

Oh, quite necessary.

Besides, much better
for you to have dinner

With young detective
than with old detective.

Good night.

Well, I don't know exactly
what to say, but thanks.

Oh, I know you didn't
have anything more to do

With mr. Black's death
than I did.

What did you
do that for?

Well, now we're even.

Well, why?

You kissed me,
didn't you?

Yes, but I did that because I didn't want
you to start an argument with mr. Black,

And besides, he was
beginning to be pretty nasty

And I was afraid somebody
would make a scene.

Well, it certainly
was worth it.

Wh-what is?

Catching up with you.

Are you sure
you have?

Oh, you're not married?


In love?

not exactly.

You had me pretty scared
there for a minute.


Well, if you're in love
with someone else,

You can't very well
be in love with me

And if I'm in love
with you, naturally I--

Just--just--just a minute.

What are you
trying to say?

Well, uh,
can't you guess?


oh, no.

People don't fall in love
that fast, except on the stage.

Or do they?

Finish in the offices,

No, I have mr. Fletcher's
office to do,

But he's in there
with mr. Harris.

They came back
after dinner.

Davis speaking.

Yes, larkin.
What'd you see?

I can't talk, inspector,
I'm being watched.

You and mr. Chan
get here quick.

you're just in time.

Something wrong?

Plenty. Larkin called from the bank.
Told us to get over there quick.

Come, we go.

It's all right, boys. Let
them in. It's the police.

Where's larkin?

We can't find him, but we found
this in mr. Harris's office.

[chuckling] well, I haven't
even been in my office tonight.

Mr. Adams, you bank guard
by day, also by night?

Uh, double duty today,
sir, because I switch over

To night duty
for the coming month.

I can't understand
larkin's disappearance,

But why are the police
looking for him?

Because he's
a detective.

A police detective we
put in here 3 months ago.

You search entire bank?

Thoroughly, sir. Both
floors and every room,

But somehow larkin
managed to get out.

I don't understand it
because the guards

Haven't unlocked the door
to let anyone out tonight.

But larkin's gone.
What's happened to him?

Appears to be mystery

Which we must
solve alone, inspector.

Rising generation
sit too much.

Why you here instead of
mailing important letters?

I mailed them, pop.

But on the way,
we got this.

You get illegal
u-turn ticket?

Mr. Chan, I'll tell
you just how--

Tommy, you tell it.

I warned you, birmingham.
I said, "no u-turn here."

That's what you said:
"no, you turn here."

I said,
"no u-turn here."

That's what I did,
"you said no u-turn here!"

Pop, I told him.
I said, "no u-turn here."

That's what you said. "no,
you turn here." and I did.

You see what I mean?
I said, "no u-turn here."

Mr. Chan, did you
hear? He said--

Please. Please.
You turn so many u-turns,

You have my head spinning
like merry-go-round.

You--you remain here
until I find doghouse

Big enough to hold
both of you.

Please, please.

Oh, mr. Chan,

I have something important
I'd like to ask you.

Do you think, uh,
paula will like it?

Do not offer ring
until case is closed.

Hey, now wait a minute.

Do you still think paula is
connected with these murders?

Ancient ancestor once say:

"even wise man cannot fathom
depth of woman's smile."

Any further trace
of larkin?


My men are
making a check

Of the entire first floor of
the bank building right now.

What is below bank?


Must be service tunnel,

That's right. I never
thought of that, charlie.

I'll call up
the building department

And have them send
the plans right up.

When you receive architect's
plan, we take look below bank.

And here's
another thing, charlie.

I got a report that these
2 men, morgan and taylor,

Were seen leaving fletcher's
office yesterday morning.

I ordered them both
picked up.

They both have records.

When they are
brought in here,

We'll put the heat on
them and make them talk.

Good work, inspector.

Hey, where are we goin'?

We're going to investigate
on our own. We'll show pop.

You show him.
I'll stay right here.

Come on, we're going to
check up on the sewers.

Sewers? Why, this detective
job ain't sanitary.

Let's try this manhole.


What's the matter?

No use, anyway.
We couldn't find it.

We lost it already,
I think.

Yeah, just ain't
no use at all, tommy.

Yeah, we tried 3 manholes
and the same cop showed up--

That's what I said...

Why don't you look
where you're walkin'?

the whole sidewalk...

Birmingham, that's them.
The fellows whose pictures

We saw in the inspector's
office. Let's follow them.

No, no.
Let's wait right here.

Birmingham, suppose
paul revere had waited,

Where would this country
be now? Come on.

Wait a minute. I'm birmingham,
I ain't paul revere.

Hi, rita.

hi, buzz.

We're goin' out back, rita.
Anything happened?

Anything happen around
here? Are you kidding?

What a sense of humor. I know.

Now we want 'em but
we can't even find 'em.

There's a girl inside. Now we
gotta get inside and take a look.

We got to get inside?

Did you see that big man go
in there? You go in there.

We'll give them the eager
beaver routine number 5.

Ok, the eager beaver. That's all
right... Eager beaver routine?


Is miss evelyn wing here?

Miss evelyn wing isn't
here. I work here.

Oh, that's funny.
I have a date with her.

She asked me
to call for her here.

You heard me.

I'm sorry.

That's funny,
she should be here.

Uh, in case that
she should show up,

Will you please tell her
that I was here?



[door closes]

They hid in here?

They came in here.
They haven't gone out.

They must be in here.

Well, my knees
is killin' me.

Strange, now. There's only
one door, and there's...

[groans] goodness gracious, earthquake.

The floor's movin', the table's
movin'. Everything's movin'.

Tommy, I'm going to move.
Let's get out.

Well, look at here.

They must have gone
down there. Let's go.

Now, wait. You said
they was murderers.

I think so.

Why do you want
to go down there?

Don't let me down.
Now come on.

Oh, my goodness.
Ain't this somethin'?

Now, I got to follow you
all around here.

I don't see...
Why don't you watch...


Now be careful, birmingham. Be careful.

it's all wet.

[door squeaks]

H-hey, tommy.

Somebody done
took the door away.

Shh. Come on.

Hey, tommy.
Hey, tommy.

I told you not
to leave me like that.


There's something
in here.

Follow me, birmingham.


Don't do that.
It's a long way down.

I just found that out.

Look. The sewers are
down there. Come on.

Sewers? Now you goin' way down there?

Now why do you
want to go down there?

Come on.

Gracious me.

Why don't you
stay up here?

I got to follow you all over the
world, now, ain't this somethin'?

And to go down here, this
is something ridiculous.

I don't see what-- what
I want to meet you for.

Let's go this way.

Why don't you investigate
where all this light is?

Why do you want
to go down in the dark?

Come on.

Now, be very careful, now.
This part is wet.

You're liable
to get drowned here.

Water, water, water.

I ain't never seen so
much water in all my life.

Look. Listen. Come over here.
Now, be very careful. Careful here.

This is the first time
that I ever seen anything

That there was enough of.

There's too much water and it's
too dark. And I'm going back.

Birmingham, we are gonna stay
down here and solve these murders,

Even if the water
comes up to my neck.

Your neck?
Mmm-mmm, I'm gone.

Birmingham. All right.
You want to go, go.

You'll get lost.

Sure, I'll go. I ain't
gonna stay with you.

Lost? Hmm?
Wait a minute.

Tommy. Tommy!

I'm sorry. I thought
you were someone I knew.

She doesn't look familiar, but
she sounds like someone I know.

Strike me same way.

Where are we going,

Below bank.

See, you might get lost, so
I think I'll take the lead.

See, if you come on
out here, tommy.

Now, take it easy.
Come on with me.


Is that you?


That's all right.
I was--

Why don't you just
follow me, birmingham?




He's dead.

He's gone.

He's gone?
I'm goin'.

There's a man comin' behind
you and he ain't dead.

They got me.
I'm shot.

[alarm ringing]

Are you all right?
Let's go.

[birmingham yells]

Heating and water pipes
run through here.

help! Help!

Uh, we arrive too late.

Taylor, the laundry store.
Let's get out of here.


My assistants out of
doghouse and in more trouble.

tommy. Birmingham.

Pop. Thank goodness.

How you get here?

Through a laundry, pop.

You look wet enough
for laundry.

We followed those 2 fellows we
saw in the pictures this morning.

When we got down,
they started shooting.

After we found
a dead man.

You find dead man?

Down below,
in the sewers.

Come show me.
This way, pop.


Charlie, it is larkin. Now we'll
never know what he wanted to tell us.

Even in death,
mr. Larkin tell us

What murderer do not
wish police to know.


Yes, thank you,

Mr. Larkin is 4th person to
die by fangs of the cobra.

At least we had a motive
for his murder.

He wanted to
tell us something.

For same reason
3 other people die.

Miss paula webb say mr.
Black wish to tell something.

he was killed.

Sure, people are always getting in
trouble for talking too much, pop.

Be sure
you remember that.

Mr. Larkin's body found
on outside of bank,

Which prove in reverse there
is way of getting into bank

Without using
doors or windows.

Yes, but charlie,
the bank plans

Show there's only
one entrance to the bank.

Buildings can be altered
without altering plans.

What about
the maintenance store, pop?

Maintenance store
not inside of bank.

That is outside,
in hallway of building.

Now, this is bank.

Time element prove
neither mr. Black,

Mr. Rafferty nor miss dunham
poisoned inside of bank.


Mr. Black's body
found there.

Rafferty got in the car
and died right there.

Miss dunham
got on the bus

And dropped dead
right there.

There, there and there.

Seem logical place where 3
persons poisoned by human cobra?

It's the coffee shop.


Place which need much attention,
which we give same tomorrow.

But, pop, we found larkin's
body down in the sewers.

Excellent, excellent,
very good.

You talk fast. You
think fast. Excellent.

We go now to laundry with
mysterious trapdoor. Come.

In here, pop.

Pop, the trapdoor's
back there.

There. Right there.

Who are you to come
bustin' in here?

Police, please.

This is the table, pop.

We picked it up--

Just like this.

The trapdoor's gone.

Well, don't look at me.
I didn't take it.

There never was
a trapdoor here.

I could have
told you that.

Pop, I want to talk
to you as man to man.

I am ready, but you still
have few years to go.

That's right.

Well, is that all
you gents want?

Sorry for intrusion.

Forget it.

Next time, bring your laundry
and I'll call it square.

Gee, I'm sorry, pop. I guess we
should have our eyes examined.

Yeah, mr. Chan,
we are mortified.

Perhaps you not so dumb as
you think. We call police.

You want us to
watch the laundry, pop?

No. Make the occupant

We learn nothing.

[telephone ringing]

Hello. Rita?

What happened?

It worked, jarvis.
Yeah, they just left.

They couldn't
find a thing.

Good girl, rita.
Now, take it easy,

Because they've been
completely thrown off the track.

You were right but how did you
know those 2 kids got in yesterday?

The maintenance door.
We wired it.


When it opens, an alarm bell
rings down in the tunnels.

It didn't ring
when those 2 got in,

So they must have followed
us in through the laundry.

Well, we've got work to do.
Get these things out.

Yeah, that rita's
a pretty clever kid.

What's the idea
of the, uh, rockets now--

Be careful, taylor. You
want to blow us to bits?

Why are we loadin'
these things now?

Have you finished those
tubes down below the vault?

Yeah, they're all set.

The boss wants us to get ready to get
this radium any night. Maybe tonight.

Very clever and unusual.

Uh, in-information
most interesting.

Thank you very much.

You're entirely welcome.

What did he say, pop?

What's up, charlie?

Will illustrate.
Come with me.

why'd we come here, charlie?

My assistants not
entirely insane.

Huh? "not entirely?"

Lawbreakers make first move,
so we make 2nd one.

Recently has been counter
here. Also shelves.

My assistants
in this room yesterday.

Oh, no, pop.
We were next door.

No. Cannot sell bearskin
before shooting bear.

Watch the entrance.

You not here yesterday?

Why, no, pop,
we were...

Why, yes,
we were.

Yes, sir,
mr. Chan.

This is the table
right here.

It's got to be.
See, pop?

How did you know this
was in here, charlie?

Oh, I am very
smart detective.

I talk with one man who always
know what happen in his street:

United states
letter carrier.

He tell me yesterday
laundry here.

Today, move one door
further away.

We go down.

You two, watch
from across street.

I see you later.

Thank you, mr. Chan.

Thank you very much.

Peculiar arrangement of pipes
so close to bank wall.

Must study architect's plans
to determine purpose of same.

Down there is where
we found larkin's body.

Now, we try to discover how larkin
get from inside of bank to here.

Someone employed
here recently.

Look, they work here.

Someone has made an opening
into the ventilating system.

Passageway go upward,
but not built far.

I'll try it.

(ned) I'm making a turn left.
There's a light up ahead.

Mr. Chan, this seems
to open into the bank.

Mmm-hmm. I am certain of same.

Come, quick.
Let us go.

Visitors are supposed
to be announced.

Sorry. Police do not
read emily post.

Uh, I must offend
emily post once more.

Your company not desired.

This where you came
out of the ventilator?

Right there.
I closed it.

This is where mr. Larkin
so strangely exit from bank.

Oh, this is a surprise.

That's what
I was going to say.

You often work here
late at night?

No, mr. Fletcher never
keeps me after regular hours.

Paula, are they
questioning you about me?

Where'd you come from?
I didn't see you come in.

You can see us
all go out.

Miss paula, get your
things and come with us.

Yeah, yeah, I know you're
police, but I ain't done nothin',

No matter what
my ex-wife says.

You own this place?

Is that a crime?

Employees of bank
come here often?

All the time. They
are my best customers.

Where you obtain
music box?

Uh, oh, that, I--I got it
from a fellow come in one day.

I make a big
percentage on it.

Name of man who
put in machine, please.

A guy named
jan van horn.

Jan van horn?

Name sound familiar
to you, miss webb?

I told you, I know no one by that name.

Can you describe
van horn?

Oh, sure.

He was a sort of a short,
uh, well, not too short.

He was a little bit on the
heavy, uh, but, uh, but his hair.

Oh, he had his hat on.

He was just-- j-j-just one of them
mediocre guys, like you and me.

Oh, thank you so much.
Yes, splendid.

Uh, you will all
remain here, please.

We'll see you
later. Come.

Charlie, we couldn't find the
jukebox company in the telephone book,

So why did we come here to the
2nd floor of the bank building?

To find girl whose
voice comes from jukebox.

How do you know
she's here?

She come from elevator
in hall downstairs yesterday.

Girl whose voice sound
strangely familiar.

Elevator boy tell me
she work in this office.

Strange place
for music jukebox.

Skeleton key, please.

You know,
this is slightly illegal.

4 murders
much more illegal.

No jukebox equipment
in here, charlie.

What is it?

Suspect pentylite.
Very powerful explosive.

I wish police chemist
to analyze same.

Girl of voice work here,
so jukebox must be here.

Yes, but where?

Amateur attempt
at concealment.

Must be hidden spring or
some strange, secret device.

A doorknob.

This is other end
of jukebox.

Would like to work
mechanism, please.

What these buttons
on desk for?

Well, this one's
for the microphone,

And this
for the speaker...

Who are you?


She know that.
Excuse, please.

Television screen work?

I only work here.

Uh, we see.

That's the coffee shop.

Sorry to keep
you waiting.

Oh, that's ok, pop.

I thought
I heard pop's voice.

You did.

Hm, I knew it.

I knew it. You fool
around with murders

And you'll turn up
a ghost.

Mr. Chan talking
from the jukebox.

thank you, mr. Stewart.

Everyone there?

Yes, sir.

Please, when
mr. Black there,

He put coin in box?

Yes, he did
put a coin in.

Then he got the wrong number
and demanded his money back.

He get money?

Yes, he did.
Through the return coin slot.

I see. One moment.

When mr. Black in coffee shop
press button for return money,

Which button
you press here?

I didn't. I, uh...

Thank you
for information.

Mr. Stewart,

You will please press
button for return money,

But do not press button
with finger. Understand?

Yes, sir.

Here. Use this.


Ready here,
mr. Chan.

Ready here.

push button.

Mr. Chan,
you found the cobra.

It's a device here
in the machine.

Thank you, mr. Stewart.

So, this is how you kill
mr. Black and 2 others.

I didn't-- I didn't
touch that lever.

It was always
jan van horn.

One moment, please. You
will describe jan van horn.

I can't. I never saw
his face in my life.

Most unfortunate,

You not see man's face
after so many associations?

You will come with us
to police headquarters

And refresh
your memory. Come.

So, inspector,
girl not lying

When she say she not see
jan van horn's face.

I still think she can
tell us more than she has

And I'm not
going to let her go.

Quite right, inspector.
She most important witness.

Still sitting.

The girl talk?

Not right kind of talk.
No new developments.

Want a suggestion,


Want a suggestion,


No? Oh.

Seems like we're getting
no place fast in this case.

On contrary, inspector, we
get some place very quickly.

I was hoping you'd have
something up your sleeve.

No new developments.
We create same.

I am giving out
information to the papers

That government will remove
radium from bank tomorrow.

Are you going
to do it?

If thieves believe
we remove radium tomorrow,

Perhaps they might try
to steal same tonight.

Excellent idea,

When they go in
to crack the vault,

I'll have my men outside
and we'll nab them.

No, no, please.

Mice will never play
so long as cat is in house.

You will have your men in police
cars in street outside the bank.

Uh, you will move them in
only when I give the word.


Where will you be?

I have important

With mr. Fletcher
at the bank.

No, no, mr. Stewart.

You will please
look after miss webb.

Too many hands
sometimes spoil pudding.

My sitting assistants
will drive car.

He's here now. We'll
get busy right away.

Well, they're playing right
into our hands, morgan.

The government is planning on
moving the radium in the morning.

They think they're
going to get the radium.

Well, fortunately,
we have everything ready.

It took a great deal of work
to make this rocket practical.

That sure ought to
put a nice hole in the vault.

It will. Is everything
ready in the tunnel?

Taylor's waiting for me.

It's now 7:05.

Here, check
your watch with mine.

We must make sure
that there's no slip-up.

Now unless I hear
from you differently,

I'll put the rockets in the
tubes from here at exactly 11:00.

The sewer explosion must
be timed to go off 5 minutes

After we get the radium.

We have everything set.


This is one time
the famous charlie chan

Is going to find
himself outsmarted.

That won't be hard
to take.

I don't need
to caution you

About handling
this pentylite.

I want to live
a while longer.

Assistants will
not be needed.

I will only be 5 minutes.
Remain here.

Good evening,
mr. Chan.

Fletcher told me
you were coming.

I have appointment with
mr. Fletcher to visit vault.

Uh, suggest you come along.

Yes, sir.

You have work in bank
long time, mr. Adams?

Yes, mr. Chan.
A long time.

8 years, perhaps.

You know, people in bank
act very strangely.

For instance, mr. Fletcher's
secretary, paula.

You mean, uh, miss webb?


You think she connected
with murder in any way?

Oh, that child? Why,
she couldn't harm a soul.


Uh, thank you so much,
mr. Adams.

Mr. Fletcher,
sorry to inconvenience you,

But my business
most important.

Glad to be of service.

Wish to open vault.

You can't.

The time lock won't open
until 9:00 tomorrow.

Time lock not set for
tonight, by my orders.

Not set?

Mr. Chan, that's a violation
of banking regulations.

So sorry,
but government

Now in charge
of bank vault. Come.

Open vault quick, please.

Everything in order.

Thank you so much,
uh, mr. Fletcher.

We return now
to your office.

Look, there's one of the
men the police are after.

I wonder what
he's up to?

Yeah, that's that great
big man. I ain't curious.

He's probably heading for the
laundry. We gotta take a look.

Your pop told us
to stay right here.

Pop would want to know
what he's up to. Come on.

He must have gone
in the laundry.

Big as he is, I don't
care where he went.

Come on.

What are you
closing that door for?


This door leads into the
room with the trapdoor.

He must have
gone in there.

Yeah, but I still
ain't curious.

If I didn't know you better,
I'd think you were scared.

Yeah, and I ain't
relaxed, neither.

You know,
that's a big man.

Pop said the police
would guard this place.

He also told us to stay in
the car and wait for him.

He's gone down there.
The trapdoor's open.

And I'm goin' out.

Hey, tommy, look.

Why, it's the police.

Just knocked out.
Whoever did it must--

I don't know who
did it, but I'm go--


What's the matter?

The big fella.

Come. Here.

Oh, my goodness.

Hurry up.

Birmingham, come quick.

Come out this way.

What way?

Don't lose me now.

Hey, we're trapped.

Come on.
Follow me, quick.

Hold it, taylor.

Birmingham, quick.

This will be easier.

Explosion. Beneath bank.
Must investigate.

I wouldn't go in there if I were you.

Tell me later.


No, taylor.
I'll keep him covered.

Call jarvis.
Tell him to go ahead.

In the meantime, I'll
prepare to blast the sewer.

Birmingham. Tommy.

You--you hurt?

No, pop.
I guess I'm ok.

We're trapped.

how are you?

I didn't know it was going
to be this cold down here.

Number, please?
Thank you.

There's something
wrong with the lines.

There must be
a short some place.

I'll have one of the men
cut the line out.

That seems to be
in morse code.

Hand me your pencil.

Get inspector davis
at police headquarters.

Do you think you
will get through, pop?

If not,
number 3 son and father

Will join
honorable ancestors.

Mr. Chan, tell your
honorable ancestors

To move over
and make room for me.

Hello, inspector davis?

Just a minute, please.

Inspector davis? We have just
received a message from charlie chan.

I'll read it to you.

"bank robbers
apparently attempting

"to blow vault by using
pentylite bombs

"in mysterious tubes
in maintenance tunnel.

"instruct men to proceed
at once with our plan.

We are imprisoned in
sewer tunnel by explosion."

Is that clear?

Yes, I got it.

Inspector davis speaking. Put
out a broadcast to all cars.

Jarvis'll be ready
in 2 minutes.


[siren wailing]

5 seconds.

All set here.

(davis) we're coming through. Charlie.

Sorry for delay, but
necessary for change of linen.

Inspector, I have
arrested 4 persons

But still seek killer
and leader of bank robbers.

The police said it was
a man named van horn.

Jan van horn, at moment,
is man of mystery.

But not for long.

Miss webb,

Every time the name of
jan van horn is mentioned,

You frightened.

Not for self,
but for jan van horn.

A man named rogers
worry about you.

Uh, mr. Adams
also worry about you.

What are you
getting at?

I have compared fingerprints
on mr. Rogers' letter

With people working
in bank.

All right.
I wrote the letter.

Show me wrists, please.

From fire in shanghai.

Your face greatly changed.

Plastic surgery.
I also dyed my hair.

I am jan van horn.


Even humble detective notice
affection between you two.

Dad never killed anyone
or robbed any bank anywhere.

Mr. Van horn, after you
escape, why you come here?

Because one of the men on
the boat in which I escaped

Had some of the jewels I was
accused of stealing in shanghai.

Why not inform police?

Because he was
not the leader.

I intended to follow him to
get to the man who framed me

For robbery and murder.

Who was man
you follow?


Jarvis take offices in bank
building, so you get job in bank.

Paula also got a job.

She saw black
talking to jarvis,

So she started
following black at night.

That's why I hired
mr. Stewart to follow her.

Only one man ever fully believe
you rob bank in shanghai.

Man who collect all and
only evidence against you.

Who was that?

Man who disappear
when you escape.

Special agent hume
of shanghai.

I have here bag
of strange powder

Which I find
on mr. Jarvis' desk.

Mr. Jarvis, you can explain what it is?

You should be
more careful, sir.

Excuse, please.

Real explosive
in another bag.

You are one
who stop being careful.

For first time,
you use left hand.

What are you
talking about?

Special agent hume, killer
of shanghai, also left-handed.

Are you trying to say
that my name is hume?

Will prove same when I receive
fingerprints from England.

All right.

You're breaking
my arm. Let go.

Take them both out.

Put them in confinement.

At last, inspector davis,
we capture the human cobra.

2 buttons, observe:

One to open, other for
killing detective larkin.

I can't tell you how much
you've done for me, mr. Chan.

Glad to be of service.

Perhaps can still be
of further service.

Some time ago, mr.
Stewart purchase this ring

In the hope miss paula
might wear same

With your permission.

Excuse, please.

I--I forgot my words.

Well, case is closed.
We can now retire.

No, pop. We still have
some unfinished business.


Another illegal
u-turn ticket?

That's right, pop.

Let's give it to
the inspector, huh?

No. You turn here
and go to hoosegow.

But, pop,
we didn't--

No buts.
You go to hoosegow.

You, too.
But, mr. Chan.

I wasn't drivin'.

Neither was I, pop.

No, that was
last night.

And, mr. Chan,
that was you drivin'.


That's right, charlie.

But, inspector, I say to you,
"do I go straight ahead?"

And you say,
"no, you turn here."

No, charlie. You're mistaken.
I said, "u-turn here."

No, inspector,
you say--

[all laughing]