Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Do you have a Number 1 son and Number 7 son like Charlie Chan..?


TopBilled
 Share

Recommended Posts

Recently I finished watching a movie on YouTube and before I could turn the channel, another random flick started playing. You know how that happens, it's happened to you I'm sure. The next movie that came on was CHARLIE CHAN'S MURDER CRUISE (1940). I've never watched any of the Chan movies because of the racial stereotypes. Political correctness has effectively kept me away from these "gems."

Anyway, I did sit through the first five to ten minutes...I guess because I was too lazy to turn it off at first. In the early scenes of this movie, our lead crime solver is joined by two of his sons. He calls one of them Number 1 Son and the other one, a younger boy, is referred to as Number 7 Son. This made me laugh.

My father is the oldest of nine children (seven boys and two girls). Nobody has ever called him Number 1 Son, and nobody has ever called my Uncle Mark who's almost the same age I am, as Number 7 Son. I sincerely doubt my grandfather ever thought about the number of sons he had. He viewed all seven of his sons, and his two daughters, as workers to carry out the chores on the land he and my grandmother owned (but that's another story).

Before I switched the movie off, I noticed that Number 1 Son seemed very familiar. Then I recognized him as Hop-Sing from TV's Bonanza (actor Victor Sen Yung):

Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise

screen-shot-2018-11-21-at-6-47-55-am.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Recently I finished watching a movie on YouTube and before I could turn the channel, another random flick started playing. You know how that happens, it's happened to you I'm sure. The next movie that came on was CHARLIE CHAN'S MURDER CRUISE (1940). I've never watched any of the Chan movies because of the racial stereotypes. Political correctness has effectively kept me away from these "gems."

Anyway, I did sit through the first five to ten minutes...I guess because I was too lazy to turn it off at first. In the early scenes of this movie, our lead crime solver is joined by two of his sons. He calls one of them Number 1 Son and the other one, a younger boy, is referred to as Number 7 Son. This made me laugh.

My father is the oldest of nine children (seven boys and two girls). Nobody has ever called him Number 1 Son, and nobody has ever called my Uncle Mark who's almost the same age I am, as Number 7 Son. I sincerely doubt my grandfather ever thought about the number of sons he had. He viewed all seven of his sons, and his two daughters, as workers to carry out the chores on the land he and my grandmother owned (but that's another story).

Before I switched the movie off, I noticed that Number 1 Son seemed very familiar. Then I recognized him as Hop-Sing from TV's Bonanza (actor Victor Sen Yung):

Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise

screen-shot-2018-11-21-at-6-47-55-am.jpg

Note that as the Chan serial progressed Chan and his wife had more and more children and this became a continuing running-joke of the serial.    E.g. one ended with Chan saying he had to rush out (after solving the murder of course!),  because his wife was about to give birth.     

As for Victor Sen Yung;  He has always been one of my favorite Asian movie actors of the 40s - 50 and later on,  in many T.V. shows.    He could play serious \ strong Asian characters for WB (e.g.  The Letter with Davis,  Across the Pacific with Bogie, Moontide with Gabin,  The Breaking Point with Garfield etc,.) as well as the more silly type of son he played in the Chan serial. 

 Being half-Asian,  I never forget him in Get Smart playing Abe Fu Yung (like the food) in an episode called "I Am Curiously Yellow" (talk about being NON PC!);    This is where the head bad guy is Chinese and they attempt to kidnap the white blonde daughter of a diplomat.    They keep kidnapping the wrong gal and when asked by Smart why say something like;  'well they all look alike to us!'.     

Yung is a enemy agent and the front is a Chinese laundry;  Smart confronts him and he says he is a spy that is great at disguises.   Yung gets a line like 'I'm Japanese,,, but I can disguise myself as Chinese,, just like that' (as he snaps his fingers).       Smart gives a great comic look that clearly says 'like any of use white folks could tell the difference!".     Just some funny Buck Henry stuff.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Victor Sen Yung played Jimmy Chan, aka Number 2 son. Number 1 son was Lee Chan, played by Keye Luke in the earlier Warner Oland/Charlie Chan films. When Oland left, so did Luke. Instead of considering it a recast, they just said Lee had moved away for school, and Jimmy (Victor Sen Yung) became his father's chief assistant/comic foil.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Victor Sen Yung played Jimmy Chan, aka Number 2 son. Number 1 son was Lee Chan, played by Keye Luke in the earlier Warner Oland/Charlie Chan films. When Oland left, so did Luke. Instead of considering it a recast, they just said Lee had moved away for school, and Jimmy (Victor Sen Yung) became his father's chief assistant/comic foil.

So just to be clear-- Son Number 2 becomes Son Number 1? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, TopBilled said:

So just to be clear-- Son Number 2 becomes Son Number 1? 

No, Number one son (Lee Chan/Keye Luke) left the series, so the character in the movie you mention seeing part of was Number two son (Jimmy Chan/Victor Sen Yung). It's unusual in that, instead of the regular practice of recasting the original character (much the way that Charlie Chan was recast), they brought in a whole new character in the next eldest son. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

No, Number one son (Lee Chan/Keye Luke) left the series, so the character in the movie you mention seeing part of was Number two son (Jimmy Chan/Victor Sen Yung). It's unusual in that, instead of the regular practice of recasting the original character (much the way that Charlie Chan was recast), they brought in a whole new character in the next eldest son. 

Yea,  why the need to bring in a new character instead of just recasting since as the Smart joke goes 'they all look the same'!.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

After all of these years of having discussions (e.g. about Song of the South),  I didn't know that avoid certain films because of "racial stereotypes.".     I guess I confused your desire to not see such material self-censored by media companies and stations (e.g. Disney,  TCM), with your desire to see such films.  

It feels odd to read this paragraph (I liked the rest of your post)...because I think you are trying to characterize me as either a racist or hypocrite or as someone who's political when you should know I never engage in political threads or political discussions on this site...because if anything I'm an apolitical individual. Therefore I could resent what might be perceived as a swipe at my integrity because you might have harbored some bad feelings about views I posted previously on another movie which you perhaps find disagreeable.

Now if you had asked me why I support the viewing of one film but do not view another film, we could discuss it. But even that would pose problems because I think it's a disservice to lump movies about African Americans in with movies about Asian Americans. It's like saying their marginalization is the same because they're minorities, with no other aspects of diversity and cultural traits factored in to the discussion.

But at the risk of walking into a metaphoric landmine, I stayed away from SONG OF THE SOUTH because of political correctness just like I have stayed away from the CHAN movies for that reason. However I don't think anyone should tell me never to watch SONG OF THE SOUTH, just like they shouldn't tell me not to watch a CHAN movie...since it should be my own right to watch the films and judge for myself. 

Just so we're clear-- my arguments about SONG OF THE SOUTH have mostly been about access to material. I know it is material that others may not like but how will they know they don't like it if they don't have access to the movie to form an opinion. In the case of the CHAN movies there seems to be access to them, at least on YouTube and probably other places, so I am not concerned about making sure people have access to them since that it is almost irrelevant due to their availability. I simply choose not to watch them, or as I did this morning to only watch ten minutes, because while I am glad to have access to it, it is not access I am seeking at this time. I am also not seeking access to SONG OF THE SOUTH, because one viewing was enough to last me a lifetime.

To summarize, it has nothing to do with politics, with racism, or with potentially offensive stereotypes (at least to me). It has to do with being able to see something or not see something, because I either want to see it or don't want to see it on my own terms. Not because I'm dependent on the permission of someone else to see it so I can judge it for myself.

This also relates to why I preferred the FilmStruck format over TCM's monthly schedules. I like the freedom to see or not see something when I choose, not because I am waiting until some magical day on the calendar for others to grant me access to the material. The content, and whether or not the content is offensive, is a parallel discussion. The CHAN movies are known to be offensive to some people. I stayed away from them simply because I did not want the headache of having to sit through a bunch of them in order to figure out if they offend me or don't offend me. In your case it seems like you have watched them, at least some of them, and have some positive feelings about them. I am glad you had access to them to formulate your thoughts about that. That is all. 

Now did I avoid stepping into a landmine or is this still going to blow up in my face? :) 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

No, Number one son (Lee Chan/Keye Luke) left the series, so the character in the movie you mention seeing part of was Number two son (Jimmy Chan/Victor Sen Yung). It's unusual in that, instead of the regular practice of recasting the original character (much the way that Charlie Chan was recast), they brought in a whole new character in the next eldest son. 

But the dialogue of this movie in the scene I viewed earlier has Toler directly addressing Yung as Son Number 1. Though you are saying he is still technically Son Number 2. So somewhere the numbering is "off" if you will.

I don't want this to get confusing.

***

The reason I started this thread, and it's already gone off in directions I did not intend, is because I thought it was funny that a man never addresses his sons by their first names but refers to them by number. As I said my grandfather would have never done that with his seven sons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, TopBilled said:

The reason I started this thread, and it's already gone off in directions I did not intend, is because I thought it was funny that a man never addresses his sons by their first names but refers to them by number. As I said my grandfather would have never done that with his seven sons.

Deleted. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, TopBilled said:

The reason I started this thread, and it's already gone off in directions I did not intend, is because I thought it was funny that a man never addresses his sons by their first names but refers to them by number. As I said my grandfather would have never done that with his seven sons.\

Well, that's probably because I didn't know which direction it was going...  ;)

I assumed you were referring to the book gimmick of Chan having a family of twelve kids, whom we never see onscreen until he brings them all along in Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936):

7 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Victor Sen Yung played Jimmy Chan, aka Number 2 son. Number 1 son was Lee Chan, played by Keye Luke in the earlier Warner Oland/Charlie Chan films. When Oland left, so did Luke. Instead of considering it a recast, they just said Lee had moved away for school, and Jimmy (Victor Sen Yung) became his father's chief assistant/comic foil.

Or, in some Republic movies, by Yung and "No. 1 Daughter", who was just as dimly impulsive and determined to solve the mystery herself as the previous Son was.

(Me, I already knew Charlie had a big family from the old 70's "Amazing Chan & the Chan Clan" Saturday-morning cartoon: )

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...