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Murder on the Blackboard (1934)

A pretty young music teacher is bludgeoned to death in Hildegarde's school, where she's reunited with Oscar, but the autopsy report says she was dying from poison too.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Addison 'Ad' Stevens
...
Jane Davis
...
Detective Smiley North
...
Detective Donahue
...
Mr. MacFarland
...
Leland Stanford Jones
Frederick Vogeding ...
Otto Schweitzer, the Janitor (as Fredrik Vogeding)
Barbara Fritchie ...
Louise Halloran
...
Dr. Max Von Immen
Tom Herbert ...
Detective McTeague
Jed Prouty ...
Dr. Levine
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Storyline

There are plenty of guilty secrets at the school where Hildegarde Withers teaches. When she finds the body of the pretty music teacher, she calls in her old friend Inspector Piper, who promptly arrests the obvious suspect. Clues multiply and everyone looks suspicious as Piper and Miss Withers continue their battle of the sexes. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

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Details

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Release Date:

15 June 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det mystiske Tegn  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edna May Oliver was forced to take a salary cut, as were other RKO contractees, for austerity reasons when she worked on this film. See more »

Goofs

Two wide-mouthed bottles appear out of nowhere on Miss Halloran's desk as Miss Withers searches it. See more »

Quotes

Hildegarde Withers: [Discussing Otto] Smells like my Uncle Henry used to smell when my mother wouldn't let me kiss him good-night.
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Connections

References She Done Him Wrong (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
Music by Charles Lawlor (1894)
Played after the credits
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User Reviews

Good Mystery
27 February 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Murder on the Blackboard (1934)

*** (out of 4)

The second of six films in RKO's Hildegarde Withers (Edna May Oliver) series has the wannabe detective working at a school when a music teacher is shot dead. Inspector Oscar Piper (James Gleason) is soon helping on the case, which features the usual suspects including one played by Bruce Cabot. I've got the first film in the series, Penguin Pool Murder, recorded but haven't watched it yet so this is the first film from the series that I've actually watched. There's nothing overly special about this film but it does stand apart from the countless other mystery films of the decade. For one, Edna May Oliver plays her role pretty well and while it's somewhat over the top she never goes way past that line to where the character becomes obnoxious. She manages to bring a few laughs to the film and keeps the film going throughout. The actual mystery is also done pretty well with some nice atmosphere trapped in the small school.


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