The murders start with the body of Robin. He is found with a arrow through the heart, but Vance deduces that the body was placed and not found where he was killed. The note found dealing ... See full summary »
The murders start with the body of Robin. He is found with a arrow through the heart, but Vance deduces that the body was placed and not found where he was killed. The note found dealing with the murder was part of a nursery rhyme and signed by 'Bishop'. The only witness may have been Mrs. Drukker and Adolph, but they are not talking. As the murders progress, each one is accompanied by a nursery rhyme. It is up to Philo Vance to unravel the clues and unmask the identity of the murderer 'Bishop'. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Several times Roland Young's character sarcastically calls Basil Rathbone's investigator character "Sherlock Holmes". Nine years later Rathbone would take the role of Holmes and it became his iconic role. See more »
Zelda Sears is credited on-screen as playing "Mrs. Otto Drukker," but throughout the film she is called Miss Drucker and is referred to as the sister of Adolph Drukker, with no other Drukker in evidence (in particular, there is no Otto). This does, however, duplicate the name given in the "Cast of Characters" of the original book by S. S. Van Dine. (Although, in the book, she is listed as Adolph Drukker's mother.) See more »
Basil Rathbone is a dashing, intense-looking Philo Vance in "The Bishop Murder Case," an early talkie that shows signs of the painful transition from silents. I actually had quite a bit of trouble with the sound. I saw it on television and had difficulty understanding what was being said at times.
The film, nevertheless, is very interesting, if only to see Rathbone, with those amazing eyes of his, in his pre-Sherlock Holmes days. His acting is excellent. It was also delightful to see Roland Young. Leila Hyams plays the professor's niece, and she was quite beautiful and effective. It has a good plot as well.
Parts of this film came off like a stage play, probably because some of the actors were still adjusting to film technique. And the sound was darned strange. In one of the outdoor scenes, the actors sounded as if they were speaking through megaphones. Nevertheless, Philo Vance fans should certainly enjoy it, as will others from a historical perspective.
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