Charlie Chan in Panama is a 1940 mystery film starring Sidney Toler. It is an unaccredited remake of Jacques Deval’s novel “Marie Galante”, produced by Fox Film Corporation in 1934, directed by Henry King.
Mary Whitman has arrived in Reno to obtain a divorce. While there, she is arrested on suspicion of murdering a fellow guest at her hotel (which specializes in divorcers).
Movie star Shelah Fayne is making a picture on location in Honolulu, Hawaii. She summons mystic adviser Tarneverro from Hollywood to help her decide whether to marry wealthy Alan Jaynes, a man she has only known for a week. Her friend Julie O’Neil worries, however, that the famous psychic has too much influence over her. Meanwhile, Julie has fallen in love herself with local publicity director Jimmy Bradshaw.
Charlie Chan is brought in when an archaeologist disappears while excavating ancient art treasures in Egypt. Charlie must sort out the stories of the archaeological team, deal with the crazed son of the missing scientist, learn why priceless treasures are falling into the hands of private collectors, and battle many seemingly supernatural events.
Chan’s testimony results in a death sentence for convicted murderer Steve McBirney (Marc Lawrence). However, he escapes and heads to a wax museum, a secret Mob hideout run by Dr. Cream (C. Henry Gordon). Cream, a crooked “facial surgeon”, operates on McBirney, changing his appearance.
An ocean liner sinks off Honolulu and Allen Colby, heir to millions, is presumed dead…but local sleuth Charlie Chan is not so sure, and flies to San Francisco to investigate further.