The Canary Murder Case (1929)

 |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  1929 (Germany)
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A beautiful showgirl, name "the Canary" is a scheming nightclub singer. Blackmailing is her game and with that she ends up dead. But who killed "the Canary". All the suspects knew and were ... See full summary »


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(adaptation) (as Albert Shelby LeVino) , (titles), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
James Hall ...
Jimmy Spottswoode
'The Canary' - Margaret O'Dell
Charles Lane ...
Charles Spottswoode
John Cleaver
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
Dr. Ambrose Lindquist
E.H. Calvert ...
Dist. Atty. John F.X. Markham (as Captain E. H. Calvert)
Ned Sparks ...
Tony Skeel (as Ned A. Sparks)
Louis John Bartels ...
Louis Mannix


A beautiful showgirl, name "the Canary" is a scheming nightclub singer. Blackmailing is her game and with that she ends up dead. But who killed "the Canary". All the suspects knew and were used by her and everyone had a motive to see her dead. The only witness to the crime has also been 'rubbed out'. Only one man, the keen, fascinating, debonair detective Philo Vance, would be able to figure out who is the killer. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1929 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Die Stimme aus dem Jenseits  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the earliest of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by MCA ever since. See more »


In "The Greene Murder Case" (about 29 minutes in) someone mentions reading about "The Canary Murder Case". But, in "The Canary Murder Case" (about 21 minutes in) someone mentions that he hasn't seen Vance since "The Greene Murder Case". The studio may not have been sure which order the movies would be released when the dialog was written. See more »


Charles Spottswoode: What happened backstage? Were you able to see the Canary.
Philo Vance: No luck Charles. She's about as hard to get out of that judging room, as she is in that swing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Upon its initial release, a message appeared at the end of the film requesting that the audience not reveal to anyone the surprise ending. See more »


Featured in Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the earliest talking detective films
14 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Canary Murder Case" was not William Powell's first talking film. That was "Interference", also by Paramount. Also, even though Louise Brooks was prominently advertised as "The Canary", a showgirl determined to marry a rich young man just for the fun of ruining him, she doesn't get much screen time. That is because The Canary Murder Case was originally shot as a silent film, but then it was decided to make it into a talking picture. Louise Brooks detested talking pictures and refused to stay and reshoot her part. This pretty much finished her in film in the U.S., although she went to Germany and did some of her finest work. Unfortunately, that fact was not discovered in this country for another thirty years. Instead of starting over with another actress, it was decided to have someone dub Louise' voice, and as a result her lip movement is noticeably out of synchronization with her "voice". Much of The Canary's speaking is done with her back to the camera, minimizing the problem.

William Powell, who was quite wooden in his first talking performance in "Interference", does much better here. You see him moving toward the characterization of the dapper P.I. that he played through the Thin Man series of films beginning in 1934. Powell had a pretty good silent career after a long period of poverty doing stage work prior to 1920, and he was one of the few silent stars to successfully make the transition to talking films.

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