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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
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Lois Brandon
Tom O'Brien ...
Alfred Carr
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Police Commissioner Brandon (as Joseph Girard)
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Katura the Seeress
Donald Kerr ...
Museum Tour Guide
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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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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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