IMDb > The Bishop Murder Case (1930)
The Bishop Murder Case
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The Bishop Murder Case (1930) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
6.0/10   369 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
S.S. Van Dine (from the book by)
Lenore J. Coffee (adaptation)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Bishop Murder Case on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 January 1930 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The finest of all S. S. Van Dine's murder mystery stories...now an all-talking picture! (original poster) See more »
Plot:
When the body of a man nicknamed "Cock Robin" is found with an arrow in the heart on an archery range along with a chess bishop as a clue, Philo Vance investigates. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Nursery Rhymes, Chess, and Archery See more (19 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Basil Rathbone ... Philo Vance

Leila Hyams ... Belle Dillard

Roland Young ... Sigurd Arnesson

Alec B. Francis ... Professor Bertrand Dillard
George F. Marion ... Adolph Drukker
Zelda Sears ... Mrs. Otto Drukker
Bodil Rosing ... Grete Menzel
Carroll Nye ... John E. Sprigg
Charles Quatermaine ... John Pardee (as Charles Quartermaine)
James Donlan ... Ernest Heath
Sidney Bracey ... Pyne (as Sydney Bracey)

Clarence Geldart ... John F.-X. Markham
Delmer Daves ... Raymond Sperling
Nellie Bly Baker ... Beedle
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Cramer ... Detective in Park (uncredited)
Frank Fanning ... Officer Manning (uncredited)
Marcia Mae Jones ... Hungry Child in Park (uncredited)
Broderick O'Farrell ... Dr. Van Pelt (uncredited)
Douglas Scott ... Child with Book in Park (uncredited)

Directed by
David Burton (stage direction by)
Nick Grinde (screen direction by) (as Nick Grindé)
 
Writing credits
S.S. Van Dine (from the book by)

Lenore J. Coffee (adaptation, scenario and dialogue by)

Original Music by
William Axt (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Roy F. Overbaugh (photographed by) (as Roy Overbaugh)
 
Film Editing by
William LeVanway (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Sound Department
Donald MacKenzie .... recording director (as Dr. Donald Mac Kenzie)
Frank McKenzie .... sound (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Henrietta Frazer .... wardrobe by
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
88 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric System)
Certification:
USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
Continuity: When the camera follows Carroll Nye to the left side of the rock in the park where he is murdered, there is obviously a cut before his head falls into camera range as the shadows change.See more »
Quotes:
Belle Dillard:[as Sprigg and Arnesson enter] Eric, Eric! I'm so glad you're here. Robin's been killed!
John E. Sprigg:Robin?
Sigurd Arnesson:Cock Robin. Well, his name was against him, wasn't it?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Followed by Philo Vance Returns (1947)See more »
Soundtrack:
Waltz in A Minor, Op.34, No.2 ('Waltz Brilliante')See more »

FAQ

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Nursery Rhymes, Chess, and Archery, 25 November 2006

S. S. Van Dine's socialite detective is brought to film for the third time - this time having Basil Rathbone play Philo Vance. While I will not argue with some of the critical assertions that the film is static, stationary, and decidedly creaky, not too mention very far-fetched and predictable, The Bishop Murder Case was made in 1930 when sound was just coming into its own. That is very evident in this film as much of the dialog is hard to hear and comprehend. The stationary microphone was used throughout with director Nick Grinde using lots of expansive scenes with the actors standing around the screened microphone as was the case for sound pictures then. That being said, the film is a pretty decent detective mystery for its time. Rathbone makes an affable Vance. His character is given little depth, however. The mystery, while not entirely and sufficiently explained to me has some things going for it with red herrings involving chess pieces, archery, Ibsen plays, and murders emulating nursery rhymes of a kind. While Grinde directs with the limitations at hand, I did like some of his wide shots. The balcony of the building scene when the professor discovers a man killed by an arrow looked quite impressive, and you can see some wide shots that most definitely mirror German film expressionism of the 1920s with some large, long windows shot in the backdrops of several scenes. All the actors are competent with some real nice character turns by the likes of Charles Quartermaine as a chess expert, George F. Marion as a hunchbacked pseudo-intellectual, James Donlan as a police sergeant(giving the film some of its much needed light moments), and Roland Young, Cosmo Topper himself, turning in a sly, witty performance as a possible suspect. The script is unfortunately riddled with too much ambiguity to make any real sense, but when all is said and done, The Bishop Murder case is mildly entertaining - again making consideration for the time it was made.

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