Mission Improbable: Slovakia & The Czech Repubic to find the four lost Chan Films

Good morning Mr./Ms. (your name here.) Your mission is to take a team to Slovakia and The Czech Republic to locate and retrieve the remaining lost Charlie Chan films. The following was intercepted surrounding the film Charlie Chan in Paris on Rush Glick’s Charlie Chan Family Home site and explains why:

“…Charlie Chan in Paris was thought to be lost for many years until a print was discovered in Czechoslovakia in the 1970s.

Adapted from: AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE CATALOG – Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American Feature Films, 1911-1960

Until it was found in the former Czechoslovakia, Charlie Chan in Paris (1935) was among those missing-in-action after a 1937 fire at Fox Film Corporation destroyed over 40,000 of the studio’s reels and prints. Today, however, only four Chan films remain lost. The missing films are counted among those comprising the 44-Chan film proper, starring: Warner Oland (16), Sydney Toler (22) and Roland Winters (6). The lost film all starring Warner Oland are:

  • Charlie Chan Carries On (1931). This very first of the film proper was based on Biggers’ fifth Charlie Chan novel, Charlie Chan Carries On (1930).
  • Charlie Chan’s Chance (1932). Based on Biggers’ third Chan novel, Behind That Curtain (1928).
  • Charlie Chan’s Greatest Case (1933). Based on Biggers’ first Chan novel, The House Without A Key (1925).
  • Charlie Chan’s Courage (1935). Based on Biggers’ second Chan novel, The Chinese Parrot (1926).

With Czechoslovakia now divided into two countries, you will need two sets of volunteers to conduct simultaneous R&R (reconnaissance and recovery) missions. Each team will require: one makeup-disguise artist, one science-electronic wiz, one strong man, and one seriously gorgeous actress (Hey, it’s in the mission folder!) Everything you need to know will be in this dossier: THE LOST FILMS.

Should you decide to accept it (place your name here,) as usual if you or any member of your IMF are caught we will disavow any knowledge of your action. Additionally, you’ll be photographed wearing babushkas while eating onion perogies. Those pictures placed on social media.

Here is a classified recording of Mr. Phelps predecessor, Mr. Briggs, picking his IMF team members. It was recently discovered during a search of presidential/vice presidential households on another matter. Note the high tech comm-equipment and the contact’s Cardigan sweater. (Our analysts are trying to interpret why the contact’s tie is outside the sweater?)

1966 Pilot Film opening to Mission Impossible, starring Steven Hill as Mr. Briggs

Good luck (your first name.) I can tell you these films are priceless to 20th Century Studios, now owned by The Walt Disney Company. Should your mission be successful I recommend your team be the first to watch the films before returning them; perhaps with a nice plate of hot onion perogies. To begin your mission strike The Match.

“This blog page will self-destruct in five seconds!”

(Bob Johnson – the voice on Mission Impossible, ’88-’90 & The Outer Limits, ’63-’64)

5 thoughts on “Mission Improbable: Slovakia & The Czech Repubic to find the four lost Chan Films

  1. I have my pith helmet dusted off and I am ready for the safari…

    Seriously, I think that the best hope for the recovery of any of the remaining “lost” Charlie Chan films could come from some corner of a forgotten storage closet in a former Soviet Bloc nation. With the advent of World War II and the takeover of eastern European countries by Germany, films that were already in circulation in the ’30s would have been “frozen” in their locales. On the heels of the War came the Iron Curtain which lasted through the decade of the ’80s. So, with more than four decades of isolation, the hiding places are numerous, and much is possible…even the “impossible”!

    Liked by 1 person

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