IMDb > The Greene Murder Case (1929)

The Greene Murder Case (1929) More at IMDbPro »

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Bartlett Cormack (dialogue)
Louise Long (screenplay)
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Release Date:
11 August 1929 (USA) See more »
See ~ Philo Vance, Solve one of the most baffling crimes ever committed!
At the end of each year, the extremely wealthy but odious Greene family gets together at the spooky old family castle to establish terms of a will... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
William Powell's second Philo Vance See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Frank Tuttle 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Bartlett Cormack  dialogue
Richard H. Digges Jr.  titles (uncredited)
Louise Long  screenplay
S.S. Van Dine  novel

Produced by
B.P. Schulberg .... producer
Original Music by
Karl Hajos (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Henry W. Gerrard (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Verna Willis (uncredited)
Casting by
Fred A. Datig 
Costume Design by
Travis Banton (uncredited)
Casting Department
Dick Stockton .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
69 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (MovieTone) (Western Electric System)

Did You Know?

One of the earliest of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by MCA ever since. Because of its age, and its primitive sound recording techniques, which 1950s sponsors considered a viewing deterrent, it was only rarely taken off the shelf, but interest in the author of the original story and the still relevant members of the cast gave a few viewers, who chose to stay up for the Late, Late Show, an opportunity to take a look at it. In Lowell, Massachusetts it was aired 16 April 1960 on WBZ (Channel 4), in St. Louis 14 November 1960 on KMOX (Channel 4), in Los Angeles 3 March 1961 on KNXT (Channel 2), in Chicago 10 July 1961 on WBBM (Channel 2), in New York City 21 August 191 on WCBS (Channel 2), and in Wheeling, West Virginia, 15 November 1961 on WTRF (Channel 7).See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
William Powell's second Philo Vance, 17 March 2014
Author: kevin olzak ( from Youngstown, Ohio

1929's "The Greene Murder Case" was the second of three early talkie Paramounts starring William Powell as Philo Vance, coming six months after the first, "The Canary Murder Case," eight months before the third, "The Benson Murder Case." Storywise, it's perhaps the best of all three, while technically it's a huge improvement on its predecessor, the pacing agreeable, the acting more natural, and Powell again joined by District Attorney Markham (E. H. Calvert) and Sgt. Ernest Heath (Eugene Palette). Also returning as a different character is young Jean Arthur, in a far more substantial role than her cameo in "The Canary Murder Case." The Greene household, consisting of bedridden matriarch and four offspring, are beholden to the will of the late patriarch Tobias Greene, requiring everyone to remain under the same roof for 15 years before the estate can be divided evenly between them. One dark midnight, both Chester (Lowell Drew) and Ada (Jean Arthur) end up shot (Chester fatally), but the robbery motive piques the curiosity of Philo Vance, particularly as the two shots were fired minutes apart. Always intrigued by the psychological aspects of each case, Vance has his hands full under this roof, where Tobias kept an extensive library on the history of crime. He may wind up solving this one by having only one suspect left! Florence Eldridge (Mrs. Fredric March) is an assured scene stealer, but her doctor boyfriend is played by dull as dishwater Ullrich Haupt (hard to believe that two women would be interested in him). Powell is far more involved here, and his amusing rapport with Eugene Palette never goes over the top. Struggling in a role few actresses could credibly pull off, beautiful Jean Arthur was still an unknown quality at the time, but remained one of Powell's favorite leading ladies (later seen to best advantage in "The Ex-Mrs. Bradford").

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