When the owner of the New York Globe-Leader dies without making a will, the paper is inherited by his only living relative, an "old maid schoolteacher" from Nebraska. Martha Aldrich, along ... See full summary »
George B. Seitz
Edna May Oliver,
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 <email@example.com>
The series ground to a halt when Edna May Oliver left her RKO contract in 1935. The studio tried to continue the series with different actresses but audience interest was negligible and original novelist Stuart Palmer was not happy about this attempt at all. 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 »
This is the first of three films that Oliver and Gleason made together as teacher Miss Withers and Inspector Piper. It is also the best, though Murder on the Blackboard is also top notch. The series continued without Oliver, but not at the same level. The dialogue is witty, prim, sarcastic and sometimes even suggestive. Gleason and Oliver have a fabulous chemistry, the likes of which would never been seen today, due to casting decisions that have more to do with pretty faces that acting talent and intelligence. If you like early talkie mysteries, this one will satisfy anytime.
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