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 ...
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William A. Wellman
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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 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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
In what turns out to be his second talking picture William Powell introduces to the screen the character of debonair detective Philo Vance. Like his later Nick Charles, Powell as Vance likes to live the high life though he's not as big a drinker.
He gets called in by an old friend Charles Lane (not the acerbic character actor we all know from TV and films) but an older gentlemen who is concerned about the continuing involvement of his son James Hall with nightclub singer Louise Brooks known only as The Canary. This girl is a much cruder version of Lorelei Lee who is determined to marry wealthy and insure a steady income for her pleasures. Hall is engaged to good girl Jean Arthur, but can't keep away from Brooks.
She's got a whole gang of other men on the string as well and she also has an ex-husband so when Brooks turns up dead there are no lack of suspects for Powell to work through. The police however with dumb as a brick Eugene Palette as Sergeant Heath seem to zero in on Hall.
For those who like the vivacious Jean Arthur in the classic films she was yet to do you won't find her here. She's pretty wasted as a typical good girl part. One player who will be a revelation is Ned Sparks as Brooks's ex-husband who claims he's not an ex. He's not the lovable sourpuss we later saw in many films, but a rather vicious animal. Totally a surprise.
William Powell's perfect diction and stage training make The Canary Murder Case hold up well even today. Unlike so many of his contemporaries at this time, Powell seem to know instinctively how to play for the new talking picture camera. Sound made his career.
For those who enjoy nice detective stories with a closed ring of suspects, you can't go wrong with The Canary Murder Case.
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