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The Benson Murder Case (1930)

Passed | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 13 April 1930 (USA)
A ruthless, crooked stockbroker is murdered at his luxurious country estate, and detective Philo Vance just happens to be there; he decides to find out who killed him.

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(novel), (scenario)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
William 'Stage' Boyd ...
Harry Gray (as William Boyd)
...
...
Adolph Mohler
...
Fanny Del Roy
Richard Tucker ...
Anthony Benson
May Beatty ...
Mrs. Paula Banning
E.H. Calvert ...
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Storyline

A murder takes place virtually in front of Philo Vance's eyes which, for all intents and purposes, should mean that even Sergeant Heath could solve it and Philo can go back home. Not quite, and neither can Philo Vance for a long period of time. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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DID SHE KILL? Solve the crime that shocked New York! (original print ad - first sentence all caps) See more »


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Passed
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Release Date:

13 April 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Benson-mysteriet  »

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(MovieTone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screen rights for the original 1926 source novel, the first in the Philo Vance series, was purchased by Paramount from author S.S. Van Dine for $17,500. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Kennel Murder Case (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

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

1930's "The Benson Murder Case" marked William Powell's third outing as debonair Philo Vance, following "The Canary Murder Case" and "The Greene Murder Case," with E. H. Calvert's District Attorney Markham, and Eugene Palette's Sgt. Ernest Heath also returning. The target for murder is ruthless stockbroker Anthony Benson (Richard Tucker), and it's certainly convenient that all of his jilted victims conveniently turn up in time for that fatal shot, his lifeless body tumbling down the steps. This time Vance is already present, challenged to solve this case by Harry Gray (William 'Stage' Boyd), who believes that no truly clever murderer would ever be caught by Vance. The paucity of suspects reduce the story from a 'whodunit' to a 'howdunit,' with future Philo Vance Paul Lukas and his Hungarian accent particularly difficult, playing a spineless, charisma-free gigolo. It's nice to find Powell's future "Thin Man" co-star (as Julia Wolf) Natalie Moorhead, playing a distinctively pre-code independent woman. Palette is again a delight, and Powell himself has even more to do than before, his meticulous recreation of the crime finally wearing down his devious foe. This was Paramount's final Philo Vance feature, following the release of MGM's "The Bishop Murder Case," which headlined another former villain, Basil Rathbone, in the title role. It would be three years before Vance would return to the screen, played for a fourth, and last, time by William Powell, again joined (this time at Warners) by Eugene Palette, with Robert McWade playing Markham.


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