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The Garden Murder Case (1936)

Passed  -  Drama | Mystery  -  21 February 1936 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 182 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

Two people with ties to rich murdered socialite Lowe Hammle die from unusual suicides but Vance suspects hypnosis and foul play.



(screenplay), (book)
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Title: The Garden Murder Case (1936)

The Garden Murder Case (1936) on IMDb 6/10

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Complete credited cast:
Zalia Graem
Benita Hume ...
Nurse Gladys Beeton
Douglas Walton ...
Floyd Garden
Nat Pendleton ...
Edgar Lowe Hammle
Major Fenwicke-Ralston
Kent Smith ...
Woode Swift
Frieda Inescort ...
Mrs. Madge Fenwicke-Ralston
Henry B. Walthall ...
Dr. Garden
Jessie Ralph ...
Mrs. Hammle
Charles Trowbridge ...
Inspector Colby
Etienne Girardot ...


Someone has shot and killed Lowe Hammle and everyone at his 22 room apartment is a suspect. The reasons are as varied as the number of people there. There is Dr. Garden, whose son Floyd was killed at the track in a mysterious way which is thought to be a suicide. There is Mrs. Fenwicke-Ralston who was supposed to complete a deal on a horse. There is the blackmailing Nurse Beeton and the niece Zalia, who knows that Uncle is trying to break up her relationship with Woode. Since there is no powder marks on the body, Vance knows that it is murder and believes that a woman did the job. But he has to find the killer and the motive. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nurse | murder | horse | hypnotism | police | See more »


Drama | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Garden Murder Case  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fred Warren as "Ah Fooey" is in studio records/casting call lists as a cast member, but he did not appear in the movie. Hollywood Reporter production charts included Robert McWade and Leonard Carey in the cast, but neither of them appeared in the movie. See more »


Philo Vance: Ah, Doremus! How about a warm cup of embalming fluid?
Dr. Doremus: Never mind the levity.
See more »


Follows The Kennel Murder Case (1933) See more »


(The Man on) The Flying Trapeze
(1868) (uncredited)
Music by George Leybourne
Hummed by Edmund Lowe in a shower
See more »

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User Reviews

Just Your Garden Variety Philo Vance

Edmund Lowe plays Philo Vance(making him now the fifth actor after William Powell, Basil Rathbone, Warren William, and Paul Lukas)to assay the role of the urbane detective. His characterization is okay but he doesn't really seem to have the wit of most of his previous precursors. The mystery here too is somewhat thin and when added with Lowe comes out a bit weak. This time around a jockey gets killed after saying he must go out and ride and be killed as does a woman getting on a bus. Vance makes friends with a young woman who hates her rich uncle(the sparring between Lockhart and Bruce might just be the best part of this film). Vance meets a strange nurse and H. B. Warner affecting a British accent trying to make sense out of the third murder - that of Lockhart. The film is loaded with some great character actors like H. B. Warner, Henry Walthall, and Gene Lockhart to help make things go smoothly yet the film meanders here and there, and some scenes just look incredibly cheesy as the bus scene does. The ending with Vance confronting the killer was convincing though. The female lead and future Vance bed-mate is played by Virginia Bruce and she does a nice turn with a somewhat complicated role. This Vance is an acceptable mystery but a definite notch below those that came before it.

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