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The Kennel Murder Case (1933)

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
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Archer Coe
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Brisbane Coe
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James Lee ...
Liang - the Cook
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Sir Thomas MacDonald (as Paul Cavanaugh)
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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

Taglines:

A beautiful debutante trapped in a house of hate...A glamorous stage star keeping a tryst with a "dead" man...A corpse walking upstairs to commit suicide...A wounded dog that knew the solution to the most baffling mystery ever tackled by the most fascinating sleuth since Sherlock Holmes! 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

The miniature buildings Vance uses to illustrate his theory are the actual miniatures used earlier in the picture. 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

Dr. Doremus: I'm a doctor, not a detective.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It Was All In The How
27 October 2007 | by See all my reviews

William Powell's final outing as Philo Vance occurs in The Kennel Murder Case where the murder of a championship show dog leads to two more murders and one attempt of the human kind. It's all in the figuring out of how that leads to the who and why.

The Philo Vance murders by S.S. Van Dine were most popular at the time and the clever Mr. Van Dine figured out a way to sell his books one at a time to the highest studio bidder. This is why you see so many Philo Vances and so many studios putting them out. Had Bill Powell not gone on to greater fame with MGM as Nick Charles of the Thin Man series, he would have been known as the greatest of Philo Vances.

It turns out that Powell had entered his little terrier Captain in the same contest where the murdered dog was entered and then another rival owner became the first murder victim. As usual Powell shows up Eugene Palette as Sergeant Heath whose biggest contribution to the proceedings was using his bulk to break down the locked from the inside door where the first murder victim was found.

I did say locked from the inside and it was an upper story so it was in figuring out the how. Powell has a lovely group of suspects, as extensive as what normally is in a Thin Man mystery. People like Paul Cavanaugh, Helen Vinson, Ralph Morgan, Mary Astor, fill their cast roles well.

Warner Brothers liked this version so much that in fact they remade it again in the Thirties with James Stephenson in his one and only outing as Philo Vance. It doesn't hold a candle to this one.

As this is the only Powell Philo Vance that is out on VHS or DVD by all means see this one or acquire it if you can.


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