The Canary Murder Case (1929)

 |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  1929 (Germany)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 314 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 6 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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(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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Paramount bought the rights to the first 3 S.S. Van Dine mysteries (The Benson Murder Case, The Canary Murder Case and The Greene Murder Case) as a package deal in 1928, filming the second effort first. MGM would outbid the studio for the 4th Philo Vance best-seller, The Bishop Murder Case (1930). 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 »


'The Canary' - Margaret O'Dell: Send him in please.
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 »


Followed by Philo Vance Returns (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

"Probably the most asinine character in detective fiction."

One of the earliest private-eye talkies was "The Canary Murder Case," featuring William Powell as an American detective called Philo Vance ... later described by Raymond Chandler as "probably the most asinine character in detective fiction."

This type of "classic" murder mystery, transposed to an American location, must have seemed a natural for early talkie producers: few sets, all interiors, a lot of talk and little of that difficult action stuff which meant the camera might have to move around… Like filming a stage play, in fact. Here was an opportunity to set up the static camera in its enclosed booth and let the actors get on with the job…

Most of these films turned out to be the dullest ever made… It wasn't the fault of William Powell, who played Philo Vance with wit and elegance… It was the fault of a basic misconception in making private-detective movies…

Powell played Vance four times... Others who, followed him were: Paul Lukas, Edmund Lowe, Warren Williams, Grant Richards, James Stephenson and Alan Curtis…

18 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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