Philo Vance, accompanied by his prize-losing Scottish terrier, investigates the locked-room murder of a prominent and much-hated collector whose broken Chinese vase provides an important clue.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
...
Raymond Wrede - the Secretary
Robert McWade ...
Robert Barrat ...
Frank Conroy ...
Etienne Girardot ...
James Lee ...
Liang - the Cook
...
Sir Thomas MacDonald (as Paul Cavanaugh)
Arthur Hohl ...
Helen Vinson ...
...
Eduardo Grassi (as Jack LaRue)
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Storyline

Archer Coe has been found dead in his locked bedroom. The cops consider it suicide, but Philo believes otherwise. When the Coroner shows up, he finds that Archer had been hit with a blunt object, stabbed and shot - making suicide unlikely. When the evidence points to his brother, Brisbane is found stabbed to death in the closet. Archer had a number of enemies, any one of which would have been glad to knock him off, but which one did and how did the murder occur in a room looked from the inside. Only one man, the keen, fascinating, debonair detective Philo Vance, would be able to figure out who is the killer. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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William Powell returns as Philo Vance. See more »

Genres:

Mystery

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Details

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Release Date:

28 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il pugnale cinese  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr Doremus' repeated line "I'm a Doctor not a..." was later used as the catchphrase of DeForest Kelley's character Dr Leonard "Bones" McCoy on the sci-series Star Trek (1966). See more »

Goofs

About twelve minutes into the film, you can see the boom mic reflected in a mirror in Miss Delafield's apartment. See more »

Quotes

Philo Vance: Say, Markham, I just heard about Arthur Coe.
Dist. Atty. Markham: Yes. Too bad he had to bump himself off like that.
Philo Vance: Hmm, that's why I called you. You sure that he did bump himself off?
Dist. Atty. Markham: Well, his butler tells us he's sitting in a locked room with a revolver in his hand and a bullet in his head. I don't know what else you'd call it.
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Connections

Followed by Philo Vance's Secret Mission (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just so clever
14 May 2004 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

Why can't this type of compact, entertaining mystery be filmed in the new century? It keeps the viewer thinking and guessing all the way. The cast is a great ensemble. William Powell exhibits true star quality. Who knows--perhaps he was rehearsing for his future as Nick Charles. He is a joy to watch. One also can see why Eugene Pallette made more than 200 films. He is a great supporting character actor and his excellent chemistry with Powell is fun to watch. Mary Astor does above average work in a not very meaty role. All other hands chip in to make this a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend 73 minutes. I suspect Michael Curtiz had a ball directing his one. Bravo!


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