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anyone know what inscrutable means?


I’ve been a Charlie Chan fan since my first hurricane. Let me explain. When I was a kid, a close pass by a hurricane meant all-night Charlie Chan movies. A local station showed them between hurricane-news broadcasts. I loved it and would actually look forward to bad weather (Hey, I was just a kid).

Unfortunately, sometimes the power would go out sooner rather than later, and then it was a rather boring although scary night. We had to light the candles and "Hurricane (Oil) Lamps" to get around and the grown-ups would play cards and stuff. We couldn't do anything except sneak outside into the darkness once in a while and feel the force of the winds. Yes I was stupid and reckless once. I remember going out when the eye of a hurricane passed over and it went from awful swirling winds to a deathly quiet. You could even see the stars in the clear sky and then the winds would start up again from the opposite direction. There's nothing else I know like it, except maybe an eclipse of the sun, although that's a different feeling.

I’ve read several of the novels but the movies are really on a different level and have a special place in my heart and my cinema library.

I’ve seen about all the “A” versions available. After the series was discontinued by Fox after Castle in the Desert, Monogram picked it up and made many more films. Of course they were often poorly made and very low-budget, but they were still Charlie Chan movies and quite profitable for Monogram.

I don’t count the last Charlie Chan movie/comedy (travesty) in 1981, Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen, as the last true film, so the actual final film would be 1949’s The Sky Dragon, a film I’ve never seen. Actually I’ve only seen a handful of the Monogram films as it is. I would try to see more if the cost wasn’t so prohibitive or they were broadcast on television from time-to-time.

The final film is interesting because it featured Keye Luke in his final return as Number 1 son Lee (he’d left years earlier and had been replaced by Number 2 son Jimmy played by Sen Yung who was a wonderful addition to the cast). One of my favorite actor/comedians (who was from Louisiana), Mantan Moreland as Birmingham Brown, was in this film and many others for Monogram, along with Noell Neil the first (I think) Lois Lane on TV’s Superman, movie veteran Lyle Talbot, affectionately remembered as the name “star” along with an already deceased Bela Lugosi in Plan 9 From Outer Space. Also in the film was Milburn Stone, “Doc” Adams on Gunsmoke and the lovely Evelyn Ankers’ (LOVED her - *smooch*) fiance in Captive Wild Woman where he plays a Clyde Beatty type character. Clyde Beatty actually doubled for all the lion/tiger circus trainer scenes. Pretty neat! Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to purchase the remaining films I haven’t seen and maybe have my own little hurricane party.

Of course Charlie is probably best remembered for his insightful aphorisms, and I learned a great deal about life listening to these wise sayings in the movies. Here are a few of the more than 500 he is said to have uttered:

Nut easy to crack often empty.

One ounce of experience worth ton of detective books.

Only foolish man waste words when argument is lost.

Owner of face cannot always see nose.

Patience big sister to wisdom.

People who listen at keyholes rarely hear good of themselves.

Expert is merely man who make quick decision - and is sometimes right.

Every maybe has a wife called Maybe-Not.

Even wisest man cannot answer until he knows question.

A wise man question himself, a fool others.

Charming company turn lowly sandwich into rich banquet.

Cannot tell where path lead until reach end of road.

Race not always won by man who start first.

Rising generation sit too much.

Sharp wit sometimes much better than deadly weapon.

Sitting man must hold mouth open very long time before roast goose flies in.

Slippery man sometimes slip in own oil.

Woman's tongue like sword that never gets rusty.

When money talk, few are deaf.

When all players hold suspicious cards, good idea to have joker up sleeve.

Grain of sand in eye may hide mountain.

QUIZ: What three actors played Charlie Chan?


When my baby gave me that special look
Ooooh, sweet nothings!

EDIT - One of my lj friends just made his/her 500th comment to my journal. Can you guess who? I'll give you a hint. 491 of the comments were "YUMMY!" *LOL*

Top Commenters on metaphorsbwithu's LiveJournal
(Self and anonymous comments excluded from rankings)
1el_jefe59500 500
2miss_kat_1968294 294
3aspoor270 270
4macabredelight169 169
5xinexine72150 150
6amaliadubois129 129
7tera00126 126
8countessgregula109 109
9crystalgee103 103
10tniassaint97 97
11judevenn74 74
12theresaboo65 65
13dadoffille49 49
14japanesedream33 33
15sharefantasy31 31
16goodall31 31
17draculagirl00724 24
18punkin_bread18 18
19ysatice16 16
20magdollna9 9
21manos994 4
22_vox_2 2
23auggiewren1 1
24drunah1 1
25itzwicks1 1

Total Commenters: 27 (2 not shown)
Total Comments: 3806

Report generated 1/5/2007 2:51:47 PM by scrapdog's LJ Comment Stats Wizard 1.7


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
I've not read the Chan books nor seen the movies but I will have to add them to my list. A lot of people seem to like them a lot!
Jan. 5th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Check out all the Warner Oland films available from the 1930's on (some are lost) then the Sidney Toler films up to Castle in the Desert in 1942. I wouldn't watch a Monogram film until you'd at least seen a few of the best since they pale in comparison and some are very poorly made.

Here's another Chan saying for you:

Fresh weed better than wilted rose.
Jan. 5th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
BTW. That was your 500th comment to my journal. Congratulations! You are the newest winner of my "Hearty Handclasp" award. I hope the next 500 will be just as memorable.
Jan. 5th, 2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
I feel honored!
Jan. 5th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
You mustn't have read my edit. You know me. I had to make a funny.
Jan. 5th, 2007 09:53 pm (UTC)
But I am honored that you made a funny about me.
Jan. 5th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
Wow - at least I made the top 10

I remember watchin Chan movies when I was small... but only a little...

My strange childhood movie memories were, What's New Pussycat, Bogart Movies and Clint Eastwood... oh... and that includes Paint Your Wagons.
Jan. 5th, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
All the really fun old movies were on after midnight and I was a night owl. I don't have cable and rarely get to see my favorites although I have hundreds on tape. Some of the characters, especially in the running series, are like old friends. I've often thought of writing a creepy/suspense/horror novel along those lines but I'm sure one or 200 must have already been done.

You know, technically, if we add up all of Judith's incarnations, you slip down to 11 so you'll have to get on the stick. *LOL* It's quality that counts in my book anyway. Hope everything is nice and quiet for you guys over there. If I had to recommend one Charlie Chan movie to see it would probably be Charlie Chan in Reno, although I have many favorites bunched together. The Toler movies have much more humor but I love the more serious Oland portrayals best. Toler is great too, just different, and didn't try to mimick Oland which is actually fresh and good.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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