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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  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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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

Detective Donahue: [Noticing Dr. Von Immen and Hildegarde talking in his hospital room] Hey, what are those two talkin' about, for the love of Mike?
Oscar Piper: Whatta you care? You're lucky they're not both in bed with yuh.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Murder on a Honeymoon (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Stay After School
1 January 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

When talkies happened, there was a mad rush to make films of mysteries because they were enormously popular in the pulp trade. Series of published stories became movie serials as if by accident and it took nearly a whole decade for the movie industry to figure out a basic cinematic vocabulary apart from books.

So when you see something that worked during that transition, its worth figuring why. Almost always it was not because of anything in the film itself, rather the stage presence and usually humor of one or two characters.

This formula started in 1932 as one of the early talkies. It depended on the character of the nosey biddy and whatever humor could be milked from it. A cartoon cop was the foil, and a pretty effective one too.

In this, the second, his cartoonishness becomes self-referential. There are at least three major jokes in the thing where he talks about what he would do if he were a movie detective. One time, the schoolmarm treats him like he is irrelevant and he says: "What am I here, the costume designer?"

This was the same year that "The Thin Man" hit on a better, more dialog-driven comic formula that would lead to screwball. So this series flagged a bit, dragging on with different twists.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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