IMDb > Murder at the Vanities (1934)

Murder at the Vanities (1934) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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6.7/10   373 votes »
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Up 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Carey Wilson (screenplay) and
Joseph Gollomb (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Murder at the Vanities on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 May 1934 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
Pre-Code Hollywood 2: Music, Comedy, Action and Adventure
 (From CinemaNerdz. 31 January 2014, 7:40 AM, PST)

The curse of the musical interlude
 (From Shadowlocked. 20 December 2010, 2:33 AM, PST)

Broadway Star Kitty Carlisle Hart Dead at 96
 (From WENN. 19 April 2007)

User Reviews:
Kitty Carlisle Sings and Gets Involved in Murder See more (25 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Carl Brisson ... Eric Lander

Victor McLaglen ... Bill Murdock
Jack Oakie ... Jack Ellery

Kitty Carlisle ... Ann Ware
Dorothy Stickney ... Norma Watson
Gertrude Michael ... Rita Ross
Jessie Ralph ... Mrs. Helene Smith

Charles Middleton ... Homer Boothby (as Charles B. Middleton)
Gail Patrick ... Sadie Evans

Donald Meek ... Dr. Saunders
Toby Wing ... Nancy

Duke Ellington ... Himself (as Duke Ellington's Orchestra)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernestine Anderson ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Lona Andre ... Lona - Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
William Arnold ... Treasurer (uncredited)

Lucille Ball ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Lucille Battle ... Black Dancer in Ebony Rhapsody number (uncredited)
Betty Bethune ... Fat Charwoman (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Policeman (uncredited)
Mildred Boyd ... Black Dancer in Duke Ellington's Ebony Rhapsody (uncredited)
Marion Callahan ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Nancy Caswell ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Juanita Clay ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Roy Crane ... Assistant Stage Manager (uncredited)
Helen Curtis ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Virginia Davis ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Dorothy Dawes ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Mike Donovan ... Police Sergeant (uncredited)
Winnie Flint ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Barbara Fritchie ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Nora Gale ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Zumetta Garnett ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Gwenllian Gill ... Gwen - Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Mary Gordon ... Assistant Wardrobe Woman (uncredited)
Mildred Gover ... Pearl (uncredited)
Hal Greene ... Call Boy (uncredited)
Gladys Henderson ... Black Dancer in Duke Ellington's Ebony Rhapsody (uncredited)
Cleo Herndon ... Black Dancer in Duke Ellington's Ebony Rhapsody (uncredited)
Ruth Hilliard ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Otto Hoffman ... Walsh (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Inez Howard ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Billie Huber ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Diane Hunter ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Constance Jordan ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Evelyn Kelly ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
The King's Men ... Lovely One Quartet (uncredited)
Patsy King ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)

Alan Ladd ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Iris Lancaster ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Mitchell Leisen ... Orchestra Leader (uncredited)
Charles McAvoy ... Ben (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Detective (uncredited)
Leda Nicova ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Dave O'Brien ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Dennis O'Keefe ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Ted Oliver ... Murdock's Chauffeur (uncredited)
Wanda Perry ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Esther Pressman ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Arthur Rankin ... Assistant Treasurer (uncredited)
Rita Rober ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Ruth Scott ... Black Dancer in Duke Ellington's Ebony Rhapsody (uncredited)

Ann Sheridan ... Lou - Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Laurie Shevlin ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Teru Shimada ... Koto (uncredited)
Gwynne Shipman ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Carolynne Snowden ... Black Dancer in Duke Ellington's Ebony Rhapsody (uncredited)
Frank Sully ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Colin Tapley ... Stage Manager (uncredited)
Anya Taranda ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Beryl Wallace ... Beryl - Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Cecil Weston ... Miss Bernstein (uncredited)
Dorothy White ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
Gladys Young ... Earl Carroll Girl (uncredited)
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Directed by
Mitchell Leisen 
 
Writing credits
Carey Wilson (screenplay) and
Joseph Gollomb (screenplay)

Earl Carroll (based upon the play by) and
Rufus King (based upon the play by)

Sam Hellman (dialogue)

Jack Cunningham  uncredited

Produced by
E. Lloyd Sheldon .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Howard Jackson (uncredited)
William E. Lynch (uncredited)
Milan Roder (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Leo Tover 
 
Film Editing by
William Shea (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier (uncredited)
Ernst Fegté (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Earl S. Hayman .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Rudolph G. Kopp .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Larry Ceballos .... dance numbers
LeRoy Prinz .... dance numbers
Mrs. Tom Rooney .... chaperone (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
89 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Donald Meek, who plays the medical examiner, played Dr. Crabtree, a police medical examiner in a series of Warner shorts from 1931 to 1932.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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:
Jack Ellery:Say, Rita, come here a minute, will you? There's a fellow out here that used to go to school with you.
Rita Ross:There's a catch in it somewhere. I never went to school.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References King Kong (1933)See more »
Soundtrack:
Live and Love TonightSee more »

FAQ

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20 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Kitty Carlisle Sings and Gets Involved in Murder, 12 March 2006
Author: drednm from United States

A Murder investigation goes on back stage while The Vanities, on its opening night, plays on to an unknowing audience. Odd combination of musical and murder mystery is worth a look for its cast, its production numbers, and the sheer novelty of the film.

Gertrude Michael has the showy role of a bitchy actress intent on stopping the marriage between the show's stars, Kitty Carlisle and Carl Brisson, as well as starring in the infamous "Sweet Marijuana" number (which was also on a 70s Bette Midler album). So while the chorus girls shuffle around backstage, bumbling detective Victor McLaglen ogles the girls while he tries to solve the backstage murder of an unknown woman.

We quickly learn that the maid (Dorothy Stickney) loves Brisson from afar, that the wardrobe lady (Jessie Ralph) is Brisson's mother, and that the stage manager (Jack Oakie) butts into everything. Lots of plots twists among the musical numbers. The show's best-known song is "Cocktails for Two." Kitty Carlisle also sings the haunting "Where Do They Come From?" And there's a weird rhapsody that erupts into a Harlem specialty number featuring Duke Ellington! Quite the cast.

Some terrific acting here, especially Gertrude Michael and Dorothy Stickney. Kitty Carlisle is quite good as well. Brisson is a total zero though.

Charles Middleton plays Homer, Toby Wing plays Nancy, Donald Meek plays the doctor, and also see if you can spot Ann Sheridan and Lucille Ball among the show girls.

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