Ruth Raymond works on the switchboard and her boyfriend is John Blake. It has taken 14 years, but a detective named Murray has found her and confirmed that she is Ruth Carson. As a child, ... See full summary »
At the end of each year, the extremely wealthy but odious Greene family gets together at the spooky old family castle to establish terms of a will, though they despise each other. This year... See full summary »
Someone has shot and killed Lowe Hammle and everyone at his 22 room apartment is a suspect. The reasons are as varied as the number of people there. There is Dr. Garden, whose son Floyd was killed at the track in a mysterious way which is thought to be a suicide. There is Mrs. Fenwicke-Ralston who was supposed to complete a deal on a horse. There is the blackmailing Nurse Beeton and the niece Zalia, who knows that Uncle is trying to break up her relationship with Woode. Since there is no powder marks on the body, Vance knows that it is murder and believes that a woman did the job. But he has to find the killer and the motive.Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Philo Vance is back with a new face and minus that thick accent he had in the last film (ha!). This time Vance is investigating strange suicides. The best part of the movie is the return of Etienne Girardot as coroner Dr. Doremus. This wonderful actor steals every scene he's in. He was previously in two Philo Vance films in a row, The Kennel Murder Case and The Dragon Murder Case. But then he was noticeably absent in The Casino Murder Case. His part was played by a dull actor with no flair for comedy. This marks his return to the role but sadly is also the last time he'll play it. By coincidence or not, the three Vance films Girardot are in also happen to be the best three of the series.
The rest of the cast is solid. Edmund Lowe is not as well-known as William Powell or even Warren William, but he's charming and good with comedy. If you get a chance to see it, check out the underrated gem Espionage (1937) that he stars in. He's wonderful in that. The supporting cast here is pretty impressive. Great character actors Nat Pendleton, Gene Lockhart, H.B. Warner, Jessie Ralph, Henry B. Walthall, and Grant Mitchell -- nice lineup. Also beauties Virginia Bruce, Frieda Inescort, and Benita Hume, who would go on to be Mrs. Ronald Colman and then Mrs. George Sanders! This also happens to be the film debut of Kent Smith, leading man of the Cat People movies. This is a good B detective flick with a short runtime and quick pace. It's not the best of the series but it's up there. It's a shame Lowe didn't play Vance anymore. The series badly needed a steady actor in the role.
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