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The Dragon Murder Case (1934)

Approved | | Mystery | 25 August 1934 (USA)
The Stann family gives a small party prior to daughter Bernice's marriage to socialite Monty, but all of the guests seem to be against the match.

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(by), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Leland
...
Helen Lowell ...
Mrs. Stamm
...
...
Stamm
...
Ruby
...
Tatum
Etienne Girardot ...
...
Monty Montague
...
Dr. Halliday
...
Greeff (as William Davidson)
...
Trainor - Stamm's Butler
...
Det. Hennessey (as Charles Wilson)
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Storyline

Wonderful idea to give a party with people who dislike each other. Late at night, everyone decides to go into the pool, except Stamm, who is drunk. Montague dives in as does Greeff and Leland, but only Greeff and Leland come out. Montague is no where to be found so Leland suspects foul play and calls the cops. Luckily, Philo is with the D.A. and comes along, but they do not find Montague. When they drain the pool the next day, they find nothing except what looks like dragon prints. Philo has his suspicions and tries to piece the clues together to find out what has happened. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 August 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den hævnende drage  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tropical fish were not as yet popular in Southern California, but they were called for in the script as one of the film's most important sets was a solarium filled with fish tanks, most remarkably, Siamese fighting fish. Pet stores did not stock them as there was no demand. Then an advanced collector located in the San Fernando Valley agreed to have his collection rented. The appearance of tropical fish in "The Dragon Murder CAse" was the spark that boosted tropical fish sales nationwide. See more »

Goofs

When Monty enters Ruby's car at the filling station, the car door opens from the rear. When he exits her car at the Stamm house, the same door opens from the front (suicide door). See more »

Quotes

Dr. Doremus: [Leaving the scene, thoroughly annoyed that the body was not dead] Now I'm going to get some breakfast...
[turning for one last word]
Dr. Doremus: ... and, Heath, don't you call me out here again unless you've got a corpse. I'm here as a coroner, not as a doctor!
Sergeant Ernest Heath: [shouting after him sarcastically] Why don't you learn to carry a hard-boiled egg in your pocket?
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Connections

Followed by Philo Vance Returns (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Without That Certain Thing
(1933) (uncredited)
Written by Max Nesbitt and Harry Nesbitt
Played during the first scene in the house
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sags After a Promising Start
3 June 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Despite the many unfavorable reviews, the first 15 minutes of this programmer are exotic and memorable. Take a look at the impressive outdoor set that places the nightmarish swimming pool in front of the majestic stairway leading up to the mansion's front door. All are full-size components of a single sound stage creation (listen for the echo), unusual for a movie of this type. Now, it's hard for me to believe that First National (Warner Bros.) would go to the trouble and expense for a series B- picture like this. But however that may be, the result is unusually atmospheric, particularly the eerie pool where any kind of mutant creature might be growing amid the ugly murk.

Then there are the stylishly dressed party guests, a good look at high fashion, circa 1934. How the guest-suspects react to the fighting fish battling to the death in the mansion's many aquariums is how we get to know them. It's an offbeat idea that also shows how the mansion's inside is as strange as its outside. And when one of the guests mysteriously vanishes in the haunted pool, thanks to the weird build-up, I was ready to believe that the legendary dragon had gotten him.

At that point, however, the screenplay collapses into a routine who-dun-it, and a not very coherent one, at that. Note how little interaction there is among the suspects after the murder. In fact, the comely Margaret Lindsey almost disappears until the end. Most of the dialogue goes to humorous throw-away lines from the froggish Sergeant Heath (Palette) and the raspy Dr. Doremus (Girardot). Nor, for that matter, does director Humberstone show any imagination in developing the characters or the initial atmosphere. Even the usually forceful Warren William seems uninterestingly subdued. Too bad a more stylish director and less pedestrian screenwriter didn't get hold of the material first. That way maybe we would have gotten more than just a promising start.


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