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 »
Mary Gray, whose father manufactures cold cream, is engaged to sappy Horace Niles, the son of Hugo Niles, the elder Gray's most competitive rival in the cosmetics business. Chip Armstrong, ... See full summary »
A musical revue that basically has Paramount stars and contract-players doing things some had never done on screen, and wouldn't again; such as Ruth Chatteron , in a French-café setting ... See full summary »
To prove his thesis that any product--even one that doesn't exist--can be merchandized if it is advertised properly, a young man gets together with his father's savvy secretary to market a ... See full summary »
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Louise Brooks refusal to dub the movie angered her parent studio, Paramount, and effectively sabotaged her acting career. According to the documentary Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu (1998), Paramount spread the word that Brooks' voice was not suitable for sound film, although later sound productions made by Brooks proved this to be wrong. See more »
1929's "The Canary Murder Case" was William Powell's second sound film, but his first in the role of S. S. Van Dine's debonair detective 'Philo Vance,' who uses psychology to ferret out the culprits alongside District Attorney Markham (E. H. Calvert) and Police Sergeant Ernest Heath (Eugene Palette). Completed as a silent then reworked for sound, Louise Brooks still contributes the standout performance, despite never returning to dub her part, having already been spurned by Paramount's promised pay raise (their subsequent blacklist of the actress only confirmed her worst suspicions about Hollywood). Golddigging showgirl 'The Canary' (Brooks) has her claws in several men (some of them married), but has selected wealthy young Jimmy Spottswoode (James Hall) to become her husband, despite the fact he is promised to Alice La Fosse (Jean Arthur), another showgirl. There is no shortage of suspects after the Canary is found strangled 17 minutes in, but with another hour to go, the limitations of early talkies make it a real chore to watch. Technically, silents were at their peak of efficiency when talkies arrived, only for Hollywood to stumble along in primitive fashion for at least two years beyond. This Feb 1929 release has the characters speak slowly, pausing in between lines, an unnatural style of acting that stretches the running time beyond endurance. Even Powell can't escape the trap, especially since the role of Vance hardly taxes him here. Jean Arthur gets shortchanged as well, barely registering in what amounts to a cameo, despite billing more prominent than Brooks' (she would return for the next Philo Vance feature, "The Greene Murder Case"). E. H. Calvert and Eugene Palette would be retained in all three Paramount Vances, the last being "The Benson Murder Case." Powell would leave Paramount for Warners by the time of his fourth and final entry as Vance, 1933's "The Kennel Murder Case," easily the best of them all (Warren William replaced Powell in the fifth, "The Dragon Murder Case").
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?