The Black Camel (Fox Film Corporation, 1931)

One Sheet Poster


Based on Earl Derr Biggers 1929 Charlie Chan novel of the same name, The Black Camel was the second of sixteen screen appearances as Charlie Chan for Warner Oland. Bela Lugosi plays a fortuneteller, one of many suspects in the murder of an actress. Shot on location in Hawaii, the film reunited Bela Lugosi with his Dracula co-star Dwight Frye in a brief role.


Production Company: Fox Film Corporation

Producer: Hamilton McFadden

Associate Producer: William Sistrom

Director: Harold McFadden

Assistant Director: Sam Wurtzel

Screenplay & Dialogue: Barry Conners and Philip Klien

Adaptation: Hugh Stanislaus Stange

Based on Earl Derr Biggers 1929 Charlie Chan novel The Black Camel

Cinematography: Joseph August and Daniel Clark

Art Director: Ben Carré

Recording Engineer: Al DeGaetano

Sound Recordist: W.W. Lindsay, Jr.

Costume Design: Gary, and Dolly Tree

Title Music: Samuel Kaylin

Running Time: 67 minutes

Copyright Number: LP2301, May 27 1931


Warner Oland: Charlie Chan

Sally Eilers: Julie O’Niell

Bela Lugosi: Tarneverro/ Arthur Mayo

Dorothy Revier: Shelah Fane

Victor Varconi: Robert Fyfe

Robert Young: Jimmy Bradshaw

Marjorie White: Rita Ballou

Richard Tucker: Wilkie Ballou

J.M. Kerrigan: Thomas McMaster

Mary Gordon: Mrs. MacMaster

C. Henry Gordon: Huntley Van Horn

Violet Dunn: Anna the maid

William Post, Jr. Alan Jaynes

Dwight Frye: Jessop the butler

Murray Kinnell: Smith

Otto Yamaoka: Kashimo

Rita Rozelle: Luana

Robert Homans: Chief of Police

Louise Mackintosh: The housekeeper

Hamilton McFadden: Val Martino, a movie director

James Wang: Wong the Chinese cook


April 3, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 1931

Courtesy of Http://Charliechanfamily.Tripod.Com


April 3, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 1931

We arrived in Hollywood in Hawaii as FILM party

Torquay, To take a scene of “Black Camel ‘, 40 people more than here

When I arrived in Los Angeles to spend a week taking the scene for the production company of people of videos of more than 40 of Earl DERR Biggers “, came to Honolulu today generous part of the Hollywood” Black Camel. “ Author actor, director, cameraman, sound engineer, the scrip is, made up the party “support” the man, the husband or wife of a member of the company. “Charlie Chan, carry on heading to bring about another story of” Charlie Chan, a young director has made a company, the recentlu Hamilton McFadden, Biggers “. We will Mr. McFadden William Fitzgerald of the week that arrived before the party, the production manager, starts the “shooting” a Saturday and look through the positive place of today. Even if there is a scene, was never in the morning the date of arrival, as were taken for painting on board during the voyage, to travel, is not given vacation members of the company down. In the same way as is required intensive work, to stay here, short visit does Mase holiday at all they are creating. Plays the role of detective Charlie Chan, of Honolulu absolute certainty, for his portrayal of the villainous character goods, it is Warner er land known on the screen, including the teacher Fu Manchu well. According to Mr. er land, a change in the character was welcomed from poarts “villain” of the once mild character ODF Charlie Chan. He can carry the “Charlie Chan played the same role.” Prominent members of the other cast is Bela Lugosi, who created the role of Count Dracula in the stage production of the story of the terror by Bram Stoker, that since its release, who were destroyed, universal picture of the play, the same Record a home in theater of mainland played a role. He plays the role of crystal fortune-teller in this photo. Sally Eilers, the wife of Western painting star wife “foot” Gibson, a popular, plays the role of a woman to lead the jury of it in private life. However, her husband is not a member of the company, she is shipped. It said, “Hoot Stars” is, and becoming increasingly popular, a picture of the West to predict the day “to bigger and better”. The role of the actress that form Sheila Fain, a plot of the murder spree is played by Dorothy thread Bielsko hotel. Miss Violet Dunn, the wife of director McFadden is playing the part of Anna, the ‘maid of actress. Bernard Connell will Beachcomber towards the person who doubt is facing murder. He is his beard to grow during the voyage. Other members of the cast will be included Robert Young Alphonse Eithie, Victor Varconi, Murray Kinnell, William Post. Barry Connors Art Director Assistant Director, Ben Carré, William Fox · Sistrom director, Philip Klein, Sam Wurtzul is a scrip writer, in addition to staff and other technical photographer.

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April 3, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 1931

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Unknown Newspaper, April 5, 1931

April 5, 1931 (2)*

Los Angeles Times, May 17, 1931

Lugosi Completes Roll

Bela Lugosi has completed work in “The Black Camel,” and will begin shortly in “Frankenstein.” Lugosi seems to be the logical actor for such mystery roles, after his success in “Dracula.”


Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1931


Bela Lugosi knows what hard work is. He is finishing The Black Camel, and Universal is waiting for him to start shooting on Frankenstein. “I like to be busy,” he says. “Nothing creates such a joy of living as being active. I recall the dull times when I first came to Hollywood, and producers did not know me, and I rejoice each morning that I hear the early alarm.


Motion Picture Daily, June 9, 1931


The Simmons Brand (Abilene, Texas.), June 20, 1931

The Simmons Brand (Abilene, Tex.), June 20, 1931*

Motion Picture Daily, June 23, 1931


Black Camel, Mt. Pleasant Daily Times, July 3, 1931

Black Camel, Mt. Pleasant Daily Times (Mount Pleasant, Tex.), Friday, July 3, 1931


The New York Times, July 4, 1931


Murder danced its macabre steps across the screen of the Roxy yesterday. It snuffed out the life of a fair lady, and grimly reported the death of a moving-picture director. Not content with just the history of a lurid past, it killed an artist and then tried chucking knives at the master detective, Charlie Chan. This last effort failed, and the hero of “The Black Camel” lived at least long enough to worry a confession out of those least suspected.

The latest addition to the saga of Chan takes place in Hawaii, and a better spot for two murders and an attempt could not easily be found. For while blood runs darkly over the floors of a grand mansion, outside are the natives. They strum their guitars, and sing simple, alliterative songs to the accompaniment of the sea. Their rustic simplicity is occasionally disturbed by bathing beauties establishing alibis, but by this time Hawaii is used to almost everything. The amiable Charlie Chan rolls up his career, still proving the correctness of that old phrase by Ed Wynn. He follows clues to their ends, retains his bland manner while the lights go out and knives rattle about his head, and delivers the calm aphorisms of Earl Derr Biggers. In this latest instalment of the Chan legends he has changed not much from those which went before, and judging from the Roxy’s interest in him he has a considerable following. They seemed to approve of “The Black Camel,” although the hilarity was never out of control. Almost every one but the cameraman is involved in murder’s machinations at one time or another. There are persons married, divorced and with motives; and others only hopeful of the thing called love—and with motives. There is even a painter, living native like a character by Somerset Maugham, and servants, a seer and many vagrants of the Hawaiian shore. From this crowd Detective Chan weeds his pair of dangerous thistles. Warner Oland takes the part of Chan, and gives to the picture a good and even performance. Tarneverro—the man every one but Charlie suspects—is played by Bela Lugosi. Dorothy Revier has the rôle of Shelah Fane, one of murder’s most noted victims. Sally Eilers is Julie O’Neil. The identity of the person who put out the lights in a critical moment is not revealed, although the knife thrower confesses. Charlie Chan makes him. Murder in Hawaii.  THE BLACK CAMEL, an adaptation of Earl Derr Biggers’s novel; directed by Hamilton MacFadden; produced by the Fox Film Clorporation. At the Roxy.  Charlie Chan . . . . . Warner Oland  Julie O’Neil . . . . . Sally Eilers  Tarneverro . . . . . Bela Lugosi  Shelah Fane . . . . . Dorothy Revier  Robert Fyfe . . . . . Victor Varconi  Jimmy Bradshaw . . . . . Robert Young  Rita Ballou . . . . . Marjorie White  Wilkie Ballou . . . . . Richard Tucker  Thomas MacMaster . . . . . J. M. Kerrigan  Mrs. MacMaster . . . . . Mary Gordon  Van Horn . . . . . C. Henry Gordon  Anna . . . . . Violet Dunn  Alan Jaynes . . . . . William Post  Jessop . . . . . Dwight Frye  Smith . . . . . Murray Kinnell  Kashimo . . . . . Otto Yamaoka  Luana . . . . . Rita Roselle  Chief of Police . . . . . Robert Homans  Housekeeper . . . . . Louise Mackintosh


The Pitsburgh Press, July 5, 1931

The Black Camel, The Pitsburgh Press, July 5, 1931*

The New York Times, July 6, 1931

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Variety , July 7, 1931

Black Camel

The Black Camel, Variet, April 7, 1931*

Film Daily, July 12, 1931


Variety, July 21, 1931

The Black Camel, Variety, July 21, 1931


Cinema Illustrazione No. 32, Milan August 12, 1931

(Courtesy of  Maria Teresa Antolin)

No. 32 Cinema Illustrazione, 12 月 8 日 1931 年 Milan (1)*

International Film Reporter, August 30, 1931

(Courtesy of JL Barnett, from the collection of makeup artist Charlie Gemora who worked the film)

The Black Camel, International Film Reporter, August 30, 1931. Courtesy of JL Barnett, from the collection of makeup artist Charlie Gemora who worked the film.*

Modern Screen, September. 1931

The Black Camel, Modern Screen, September 1931*

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 12, 1931

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Lobby Cards

The Black Camel Lobby Cards 5

Following lobby cards courtesy of

Black Camel Lobby Card 1

Black Camel Lobby Card 2*

Cinema Programmes

Roxy Theater, July 3, 1931

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The Black Camel Programme for the opening at the Roxy Theatre in New York

The Black Camel Programme for the opening at the Roxy Theatre in New York, July 5, 1931 (2)Nanking Theatre, Shanghai

Courtesy of

The Black Camel Nanking Theatre Programme

The Black Camel Nanking Theatre Programme 2*


Courtesy of  Http://Charliechanfamily.Tripod.Com

Courtesy of  Http://Charliechanfamily.Tripod.Com

Courtesy of  Http://Charliechanfamily.Tripod.Com



The Black Camel Herald 1

The Black Camel Herald 1

The Black Camel Herald 2

Argentina Herald, January 28, 1933

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Photoplay Edition of The Black Camel

The Black Camel Photoplay Edition*


The Black CamelBela Lugosi

The Black Camel cast

The cast en route to Hawaii aboard The City of Los Angeles

Bela Lugosi en route to Hawaii aboard The City of Los Angeles

Bela Lugosi en route to Hawaii aboard The City of Los Angeles

Bela Lugosi en route to Hawaii aboard The City of Los Angeles 2

Bela Lugosi en route to Hawaii aboard The City of Los Angeles

The Black Camel 7

Bela Lugosi and Warner Oland

The Black Camel 6

Warner Oland and Bela Lugosi

The Black Camel 5Dwight Frye, Bela Lugosi, C. Henry Gordon, Warner Oland, Richard Tucker and William Post

The Black Camel 4

Bela Lugosi, Dorothy Revier and Warner Oland

The Black Camel

Dorothy Revier, Bela Lugosi and Warner Oland