Very weak entry in the series. A lot of comedy filler and not much for mystery fans. Sidney Toler is Charlie Chan and Benson Fong is number three son Tommy. There are a couple quick comedy breaks with Mantan Moreland and his partner Ben Carter. Also a lot of comedy with Moreland as Birmingham Brown and Fong. There’s also a few funny segments with Virginia Brissac as Mrs.Marsh, the sponsor from hell of an awful radio soap opera. Towards the end Jack Norton as Willie Rand does a drunk act on an experimental television station.
Captain Flynn is following a man suspected of stealing radar secrets from the government. Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) arrives on the scene and says he only wanted the man followed but not arrested. The man ducked into a tugboat. A shadow comes up behind him. Charlie and Flynn get inside too late. While Charlie sees a cigarette and a bloody footprint the murderer escapes in a car parked just outside.
Charlie goes to Cosmos Broadcasting to talk with actress Diane Hall who reported her car stolen. She says it really wasn’t because when she went back to the parking lot, there it was. Outside a studio door Charlie sees a footprint with the same pattern at the murder scene.
It’s revealed early on that the murderer is Studio Manager Ralph Brett. He calls a phone number and asks for the Manager. Whoever it is communicates via teletype. No voice is heard. That’s the boss of the outfit that’s stealing secrets. In the same building as the broadcasting company is a lab with the radar plans in a safe.
Actress Gloria Bayne tells Brett she wants better jobs and more money or else she’ll tell Charlie that Brett is the one who stole Diane’s car. Brett calls the Manager and a teletype tells him not to worry. Later Gloria lights up a smoke and dies.
Charlie has his hands full with a lot of suspects. The solution is really lame. Mystery fans can easily avoid this one but comedy fans may gets something out of it.
Virginia Brissac’s career started in 1913. Her last role was as James Dean’s grandmother in 1955’s “Rebel Without A Cause.”