Charlie Chan in Honolulu

Charlie Chan in Honolulu is a 1939 American film directed by H. Bruce Humberstone, starring Sidney Toler as the fictional Chinese-American detective Charlie Chan. The film is the first appearance of both Toler as Chan and Victor Sen Yung as "number two son" Jimmy.

Charlie Chan in Honolulu
Directed byH. Bruce Humberstone
Produced byJohn Stone
Written byCharles S. Belden
StarringSidney Toler
Phyllis Brooks
Victor Sen Yung
Music bySamuel Kaylin
CinematographyCharles G. Clarke
Edited byNick DeMaggio
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • January 13, 1939 (1939-01-13)
Running time
67 minutes
CountryUnited States


The film opens with Detective Chan rushing to the hospital to be with his daughter as she prepares to give birth to his first grandchild. While Charlie Chan waits at the hospital, his "number two" son Jimmy intercepts a message intended for Charlie about a murder on board the freighter Susan B. Jennings.

The freighter is on its way from Shanghai to Honolulu under the leadership of Captain Johnson (Robert Barrat). Jimmy wants to prove his investigative skills to his father and so boards the Jennings pretending to be Charlie Chan, with his younger brother Tommy (Layne Tom Jr.) in tow. The ruse doesn't last long and soon the real Chan arrives on board, interrogating a motley assortment of crooks, heiresses and crew as he works to solve a crime whose only witness is secretary Judy Haynes (Phyllis Brooks).


Rest of the Chan Family

  • Eugene Hoo Chan Son
  • Frances Hoo Chan Daughter
  • Hippie Hoo Chan Son
  • Florence Ung Ling Chan
  • David Dong Chan Son (uncredited)
  • Allan Hoo Chan Son (uncredited)
  • Grace Key Mrs. Chan (uncredited)
  • Faye Lee Chan Daughter (uncredited)
  • Margie Lee Chan Daughter (uncredited)
  • Grace Lem Mama Chan (uncredited)
  • Helen Quan Chan Daughter (uncredited)
  • Eunice Soo-Hoo Infant Chan Daughter (uncredited)
  • Barbara Jean Wong Chan Daughter (uncredited)
  • Iris Wong Tao Chan (uncredited)
  • Sinclair Yip Chan Son (uncredited)


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