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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 273 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 5 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)

Writers:

(adaptation), (titles), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Canary Murder Case (1929)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Alice LaFosse
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
Edit

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

Completed in 1928, Paramount sensed that releasing the S.S. Van Dine (Willard Huntington Wright) Philo Vance whodunit as a silent would be financial disaster. Studio honchos called in Frank Tuttle to rework it as an all-talkie. Margaret Livingston supplied the voice of the uncooperative Louise Brooks (as the Canary), who had left Hollywood for a career in Europe. Livingstone, who also had short, bobbed hair, stood in for her in some of the retakes. The film was a big hit despite the high negative cost. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Followed by The Dragon Murder Case (1934) 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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