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Murder on the Blackboard (1934)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Mystery  -  15 June 1934 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 352 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 2 critic

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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Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Edna May Oliver
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edna May Oliver ...
...
...
Addison 'Ad' Stevens
Gertrude Michael ...
Jane Davis
...
Detective Smiley North
Edgar Kennedy ...
Detective Donahue
Tully Marshall ...
Mr. MacFarland
Jackie Searl ...
Leland Stanford Jones
Frederick Vogeding ...
Otto Schweitzer, the Janitor (as Fredrik Vogeding)
Barbara Fritchie ...
Louise Halloran
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 June 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El crimen en la pizarra  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edgar Kennedy returns as the slow-thinking Donovan although he seems to have been promoted to Detective Sergeant. In both films he is knocked unconscious. In "The Penguin Pool Murders" in a bathroom and here in a cellar. Kennedy's iconic bald pate is visible although in the first film his head was shaved. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[last lines]
Oscar Piper: ...A fella could come up and see ya some time couldn't he?
Hildegarde Withers: Why, Oscar Piper!
[Oscar laughs]
Hildegarde Withers: Why, you dreadful man! You get out of here. Go on, get out!
[He leaves the diner, laughing heartily, as Hildegarde smoothes her ruffled feathers]
Hildegarde Withers: Insulted at my age!
Bearded Diner: Better late than never, sister.
Hildegarde Withers: [haughtily] That will do.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Plot Thickens (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
Music by Charles Lawlor (1894)
Played after the credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
You don't watch it for the plot, you watch it for Edna May Oliver!
5 September 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

There were many, many B-detective series films through the 1930s and 40s--ranging from Sherlock Holmes to Ellery Queen to Charlie Chan to The Falcon--and many, many more. Despite the wide variety, these film are quite similar and the plots are rather interchangeable. However, I always look forward to a Hildegarde Withers film starring Edna May Oliver, as her films, regardless of the plot, have a lot more going for them than the rest of the pack. That's because Ms. Oliver was simply a delight to watch--as her detective was given the snappiest and most sarcastic dialog and her delivery was always wonderful. While she appeared at first much like a Jessica Fletcher-style character, you soon discovered she wasn't so cuddly or sweet and was more of a "dame" in the best sense of the word.

This particular film is about a dead body that is discovered but then disappears at a school. Later, the body is found in the most grisly fashion and it's up to Miss Withers and her sidekick, the Inspector (James Gleason) to solve the crime. The film isn't quite as good as their previous film, THE PENGUIN POOL MURDER and interestingly enough they actually refer back to that case--something you don't often see in these films. Watch it--it's exciting, funny and different.

Sadly, despite the higher than usual quality of these films, Ms. Oliver only made three and the studio tried replacing her with Helen Broderick and Zasu Pitts--pale imitations of the original.


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