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The Murder in the Museum (1934)

When a city councilman is murdered while investigating allegations of drug dealing going on a a somewhat disreputable sideshow, the daughter of the chief suspect teams up with a newspaper reporter to find the real killer.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Bernard Latham Wayne, alias Prof. Mysto (as Henry B. Walthal)
...
Jerry Ross
...
Lois Brandon
Tom O'Brien ...
Alfred Carr
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Police Commissioner Brandon (as Joseph Girard)
...
Katura the Seeress
Donald Kerr ...
Museum Tour Guide
...
Councilman Blair Newgate
...
Detective Chief Snell (as John Elliot)
Steve Clemente ...
Pedro Darro
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Storyline

When a city councilman is murdered while investigating allegations of drug dealing going on a a somewhat disreputable sideshow, the daughter of the chief suspect teams up with a newspaper reporter to find the real killer.

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Plot Keywords:

carnival | murder | See All (2) »

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Sinister sideshow of death!

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Thriller

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Release Date:

27 May 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Five Deadly Vices  »

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(International Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Edited into Confessions of a Vice Baron (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

If you liked FREAKS ...
14 March 2000 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

When reform-minded city councilman Newgate is gunned down while investigating dope peddling charges lodged against a seedy metropolitan side show, a key suspect's debutante daughter joins forces with a slick newspaper reporter to find the real killer.

This 1933 Poverty Row whodunit was most likely inspired by Tod Browning's FREAKS (1932), and cleverly co-opts the whodunit format to provide a mediation on urban cynicism in Depression-era America. Instead of the expected lineup of affluent ne'r-do-wells peculiar to mystery thrillers, the unusual suspects here comprise a sobering cross section of disappointed and bankrupt men, from Steve Clemente's Mexican revolutionary turned knife-thrower to Henry B. Walthall's "Professor Mysto," a sad-eyed bibliophile reduced to performing sleight-of-hand in the disreputable Sphere Museum. Several of the characters refer to grudges borne and threats perceived (whether real or imagined), and with the dead "blue-nose city councilman" etched as more of an opportunist than a philanthropist, THE MURDER IN THE MUSEUM inclines intriguingly toward social criticism - but also offers entertaining flashes of pre-Production Code pulchritude and plenty of ripe, dime novel dialogue.

Sadly, both Walthall (formerly a star of silent films) and lead John Harron (WHITE ZOMBIE) would die before the end of the decade - lending additional poignancy to this tale of financial and spiritual ruination. Three Stooges fans will get a kick out of seeing Symona Boniface cast here as "Katura the Seeress."


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