IMDb > Murder at the Vanities (1934)

Murder at the Vanities (1934) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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6.7/10   395 votes »
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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:
deliciously different 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)

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)
 
Costume Design by
Travis Banton (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

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:
This is the film that contains the "Sweet Marijuana" song and dance number. It got past the censors because at the time the film was made, the drug was not illegal. Today, most prints omit this production number all together.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:
Rita Ross:[Exit line to Mrs. Smith] Ta, Ta! I'll see you in the chair.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Second Hungarian RhapsodySee more »

FAQ

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
deliciously different, 22 April 2009
Author: mukava991 from United States

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.

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