The Benson Murder Case (1930)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller  |  13 April 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 98 users  
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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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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 ...


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


Murder done before your eyes! Vance right on the scene! Five suspects defy you to pick the guilty person! That's "THE BENSON MURDER CASE" (original print ad- title in all caps) See more »






Release Date:

13 April 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Benson-mysteriet  »

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

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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