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The Benson Murder Case (1930)

Passed  -  Crime | Mystery | Thriller  -  13 April 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 82 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

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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Title: The Benson Murder Case (1930)

The Benson Murder Case (1930) on IMDb 6.8/10

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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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






Release Date:

13 April 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Benson Murder Case  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


One 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 Universal ever since. See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: William Powell (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

The Benson Murder Case
17 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a fast-paced, standard mystery from the Philo Vance catalog. I just picked up the first three with William Powell and this was probably just slightly the best of that original trio. 'The Canary Murder Case was mostly of interest due to the presence of Louise Brooks, who was so poorly dubbed, one can only treasure some nice shots of her beautiful face. The Greene Murder Case was nearly as static, but had more atmosphere than Canary or even this one. The problem with those two more than their innate stiffness, is that the mysteries are so poor and immediately predictable that they may be the worst mysteries I have seen from early Hollywood.

The Benson Murder Case has similar faults, but by 1930 the sound technology had improved enough that it moves much better than the previous two. The mystery is more of a challenge for Philo Vance and he proves that he is not only up to the challenge, but he hammers it all home in a satisfying finale. Frank Tuttle, a veteran of the previous two, directed this one and does a competent, but unremarkable job. It has less atmosphere than Greene, but thankfully is a more interesting mystery. Also, Distict Attorney Markham is strangely very angry for most of this film. Eugene Palette is his usual, boisterous self as Sergeant Heath.

Paramount stopped making Vance movies after this one, but had prepared S.S. Van Dine's "The Scarab Murder Case" for William Powell. They even created an advance poster for this film that was sadly not made. Had Powell not made another Vance film after this, his legacy as a great screen detective would remain intact, but he came back one more time to play Vance in Warner's The Kennel Murder Case in 1933, which would easily trump all his previous efforts, and ultimately be the best Philo Vance film. But, if you crave William Powell as a screen detective, add this rarity to your list - It's a solid, workman-like picture, lacking in style, but ample in entertainment for the classic mystery fan.

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