6.8/10
438
26 user 11 critic

Murder at the Vanities (1934)

A homicide detective with an eye for the ladies investigating a murder in Earl Carroll's Vanities allows the music review to continue during the investigation.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Three con artists dupe two Olympians into serving as editors of a new health and beauty magazine which is only a front for salacious stories and pictures.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Buster Crabbe, Ida Lupino, Robert Armstrong
Torch Singer (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When she can't support her illegitimate child, an abandoned young woman puts her up for adoption and pursues a career as a torch singer.

Directors: Alexander Hall, George Somnes
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Ricardo Cortez, David Manners
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A drunken newspaperman is rescued from his alcoholic haze by an heiress whose love sobers him up and encourages him to write a play, but he lapses back into dipsomania.

Director: Dorothy Arzner
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Fredric March, Adrianne Allen
The Cheat (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Love, lust, possession, money, social standing, and addiction. Elsa Carlyle is impulsive and a gambler; though loved by her husband Jeff, she's spoiled and selfish, concerned with social ... See full summary »

Directors: George Abbott, Berthold Viertel
Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Harvey Stephens, Irving Pichel
Hot Saturday (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A pretty but virtuous small-town bank clerk is the victim of a vicious rumor from an unsuccessful suitor that she spent the night with a notorious womanizer.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Cary Grant, Nancy Carroll, Randolph Scott
Blonde Venus (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A cabaret singer takes up with a millionaire to pay for her gravely ill husband's operation.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant, Herbert Marshall
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Film told in flashbacks of an older man's obsession for a woman who can belong to no-one but can frustrate everyone. The backdrop is SternbergÍs surreal and fantastic Carnaval in Spain. In ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Lionel Atwill, Edward Everett Horton
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A wealthy but neurotic Southern belle finds herself trapped in the hideout of a gang of vicious bootleggers. The gang's leader lusts after her, and is determined not to let anything stand in the way of his having her.

Director: Stephen Roberts
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, William Gargan, Jack La Rue
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman from a very rich family impulsively marries a reporter, but each assumes the other is the one whose lifestyle must change.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Jean Harlow, Loretta Young, Robert Williams
Midnight Mary (1933)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young woman is on trial for murder. In flashback, we learn of her struggles to overcome poverty as a teenager -- a mistaken arrest and prison term for shoplifting and lack of employment ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Loretta Young, Franchot Tone, Ricardo Cortez
Easy Living (1937)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

J.B. Ball, a rich financier, gets fed up with his free-spending family. He takes his wife's just-bought (very expensive) sable coat and throws it out the window, it lands on poor ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Ray Milland
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Bill Murdock
...
Jack Ellery
...
Ann Ware
Dorothy Stickney ...
Norma Watson
...
Rita Ross
Jessie Ralph ...
Mrs. Helene Smith
...
Homer Boothby (as Charles B. Middleton)
...
Sadie Evans
...
Dr. Saunders
Toby Wing ...
Nancy
...
Himself (as Duke Ellington's Orchestra)
Edit

Storyline

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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 May 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadwayn mysterio  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Earl Carrol Girls who appeared in the stage version of Murder at the Vanities, but not this film version, included Dudone Blumier, Eunice Coleman, Muriel Evans, Evalyn Knapp, Helene Madison, Lorna Rode and Marion Semler, . Also in the cast was a Ruth Mann, who was probably Helen Mann. See more »

Goofs

When the body of the woman on the catwalk is turned on her back, you can see the actress' chest rise and fall as she takes a breath. See more »

Quotes

Rita Ross: [Exit line to Mrs. Smith] Ta, Ta! I'll see you in the chair.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Grass (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Where Do They Come From (and Where Do They Go)?
by Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow
Sung by Kitty Carlisle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
deliciously different
22 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This murder mystery with musical numbers is long on atmosphere and character but rather short on suspense and plausibility. Based on a stage play by Broadway showman Earl Carroll and others, it combines a whodunit plot with a backstage ambiance (a homicide investigation takes place on opening night at the theatre where a musical revue is being staged).

The cast is impressive and varied: tough-goofy Victor McLaglen as the police officer who leads the investigation and never fails to leer idiotically at whatever showgirl happens to be in sight; Jack Oakie (the prewar Jack Lemmon – or was Jack Lemmon the postwar Jack Oakie?) as the harassed director who must coordinate the staged performance as well as the chaos behind the scenes; the ever-homely Jessie Ralph as a wardrobe mistress with deep, dark secrets; Dorothy Stickney, who has a stunning close-up monologue near the end, as the tremulous maid madly in love with the male lead; Carl Brisson, the Danish star, as that very male lead, warbling the classic "Cocktails for Two" not once but twice; Kitty Carlisle, operatically delivering "Where Do They Come from and Where Do They Go" and other Johnston-Coslow songs; the glorious Gertrude Michael, who parted from us too soon, as a mean-spirited showgirl whose love for Brisson is spurned; the usually ridiculous Toby Wing who here at least is the center of a laugh-getting running joke.

When the plot complications get out of hand there is always an interesting performer or fun and tuneful musical number to distract the viewer. The film's most celebrated sequence is the "Marahuana" number, led by Michaels, but aside from its controversial history, it's really one of the lesser musical offerings. All of the songs here are staged as if they could actually have fit into a standard proscenium theatre space, as opposed to the cinematic fantasy setup of the Busby Berkeley style.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
My new favorite show tune! TheKingOfLasVegas
DVD due out in Canada Apr. 7, 2009 modsquad
"Them babies look like they got clues or something." Satantangoandcash
Discuss Murder at the Vanities (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?