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Shortly before the curtain goes up the first time at the latest performance of Earl Carroll's Vanities, someone is attempting to injure the leading lady Ann Ware, who wants to marry leading man Eric Lander. Stage manager in charge Jack Ellery calls in his friend, policeman Bill Murdock, to help him investigate. Bill thinks Jack if offering to let him see the show from an unusual view point, after he forgot to get him tickets for the performance, but then they find the corpse of a murdered women. Bill suspects Eric of the crime, especially, after the second female lead Rita Ross told him she saw the women leaving from Eric's room. Then Rita is shot onstage with Eric's gun. Jack and Bill decide not to stop the show, but Bill preparing to arrest Eric. Is he on the right track ? Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According the Kitty Carlisle in the documentary Complicated Women (2003), when the "Sweet Marijuana" number was being filmed, she had no idea what marijuana was. She thought it was a Mexican musical instrument. See more »
A door to a dressing room is slammed, shattering a good portion of the mirror attached to the door. A moment later, when the door is opened, the breakage has changed so that part of the mirror is restored. See more »
A fast-paced murder mystery set backstage at a performance of Earl Carroll's Vanities.
It's clear the filmmakers' primary motivation was to showcase the Vanities and realized they needed to wrap a movie around it. Far more screen time is given to the lavish musical numbers featuring countless scantily clad women than to the mechanics of the nominal plot, but that's not a criticism. It's rather fascinating to see this unique brand of stage entertainment captured in all its antiquated glory, and honestly the women are more interesting to watch than the story anyway. And though this is mostly a disposable B movie, it really does come alive in a special way during some of the musical moments, and some of the magic of seeing this kind of show performed live is captured on screen.
The cast includes an appealing Kitty Carlisle and a humorous Victor McLaglen, right before he was to win an Oscar for John Ford's "The Informer." Duke Ellington also makes a cameo.
Pretty fun stuff.
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