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Penguin Pool Murder (1932)

Passed  -  Comedy | Drama | Mystery  -  9 December 1932 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 555 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 7 critic

Shady stockbroker and abusive husband Gerald Parker is found dead in the penguin pool of a NYC aquarium after being knocked cold by his wife's boyfriend.



(screen play), (from the novel by), 1 more credit »
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Title: Penguin Pool Murder (1932)

Penguin Pool Murder (1932) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Complete credited cast:
Edna May Oliver ...
Robert Armstrong ...
Barry Costello
Gwen Parker
Donald Cook ...
Philip Seymour
Edgar Kennedy ...
Clarence Wilson ...
Hemingway (as Clarence H. Wilson)
James Donlan ...
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
Von Donnen (as Gustav Von Seyffertitz)
William Le Maire ...
MacDonald (as William LeMaire)
Joe Hermano ...
Chicago Lew
Guy Usher ...
Rochelle Hudson ...
Telephone Operator
Wilfrid North ...


The body of unscrupulous stockbroker Gerald Parker suddenly appears in the penguin tank at the aquarium. Naturally, suspicion falls on his wife and her boyfriend, who were present. Inspector Piper investigates with the unsolicited aid of teacher Hildegard Withers, a witness who's taken an interest in the case; Piper develops a grudging respect for Miss Withers' acumen (and sharp tongue), as they search among the red herrings for the aquarium killer... Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Penguin Pool Murder  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The New York Aquarium, where the Penguin Pool Murder is set, was originally located on the southern tip of Manhattan in Battery Park from 1896 until it was closed in 1941. It has been located in Coney Island since 1957. See more »


The boom's shadow appears on a column behind Edna Mae Oliver when Miss Withers is looking through the aquarium at night. See more »


Isadore - Student with Glasses: Miss Withers, you took the very words right out of my mouth.
Hildegard Withers: Don't worry, you'll have plenty left.
Isadore - Student with Glasses: And if I haven't, you've got a couple!
See more »


Followed by Murder on the Blackboard (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

For a B-detective series entry, this one is superb
30 March 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

It's really too bad that they only made a few Hildegarde Withers mysteries and that only a few of these starred Edna May Oliver. The bottom line is that in the 1930s, no woman in Hollywood was more fun to watch in colorful supporting roles than Miss Oliver, so it was a real treat to see her in a starring role--and one that allowed her cool screen persona to shine! Instead of the usual somewhat insipid detective series films, her Miss Withers was a smart-aleck and tough lady--not some pampered playboy or Chinese detective. Plus, it was a great casting decision to have her work with police detective James Gleason and give him better than usual writing for such a role. In practically every B-detective series, the police are complete morons--so much so that the films lack any suspense or chemistry at times. Usually you KNOW the cops are all idiots and the amateur sleuth knows everything, but here she is assisted by a reasonably capable cop and they work on the case together. Because of this, it was cute to see that through the course of the film, Gleason's character fell for Miss Withers--he grew to love and respect her just like the audience did throughout the film.

For the genre, this is about as good a film as you'll find--plus, it has cute penguins and Edna May Oliver!! What more could you ask for in a movie?!?!

19 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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