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The Canary Murder Case (1929)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  1929 (Germany)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 265 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 4 critic

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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, (uncredited)

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(adaptation), (titles), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Alice LaFosse
James Hall ...
Jimmy Spottswoode
...
'The Canary' - Margaret O'Dell
Charles Lane ...
Charles Spottswoode
Lawrence Grant ...
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
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Storyline

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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1929 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Die Stimme aus dem Jenseits  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(MovieTone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Jimmy Spottswoode: No other man should ever have you alive!
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 »

Connections

Referenced in A Shriek in the Night (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

 
William Powell's debut as Philo Vance
16 March 2014 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

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").


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