Monday, October 3, 2011

Not coming soon to a TV near me

My friendly out-of-neighborhood chain bookstore's DVD section now includes a set of three Charlie Chan films.

Unfortunately, the three films aren't among the best of the series; they were made near the end, after the series had moved from Fox, which was a major studio, to Monogram, which, um, wasn't.

Two of the films feature Sidney Toler in his declining years. The third, made after Toler's death, stars Roland Winters, who is generally considered the least of the movie Chans, although he was generally a good character actor who shows up in a lot of old movies and TV shows.

If I wanted to buy this DVD set, I'd have to pay $39.95.

That's too much for me, given the general quality of Monogram's Chan films.

But I can't help suspecting that this is the first time in entertainment history that the cost of a DVD set has equaled the combined budgets of the movies themselves....


Judy Berman said...

Amusing. So, who was the best of the best who played Chan?

Mark Murphy said...

I suppose Warner Oland might have been the best, though Sidney Toler is very good, too, especially in his earlier efforts (like "Charlie Chan at Treasure Island," which many consider the best of the series).

On radio, by the way, Ed Begley Sr. played Chan.