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Moonlight Murder (1936)

Passed | | Crime, Music, Mystery | 27 March 1936 (USA)
An escaped lunatic, a mysterious swami, and various lovers all have designs on a famous opera singer.



(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Toni Adams
Gino D'Acosta
Dr. Adams
Louisa Chiltern (as Katherine Alexander)
Godfrey Chiltern
Leonard Ceeley ...
Ivan Bosloff
Police Chief Quinlan
Stage Manager


Opera star Gino D'Acosta (Leo Carrillo), due to perform in the open air of the Hollywood Bowl, is warned by a Swami (Pedro de Cordoba)that he will die if he sings. That warning comes to pass and his death proves to be murder. Police detective Steve Farrell (Chester Morris) works backstage to sort out the clues pointing to the identity of the killer. Suspects include a primma donna, her conductor husband, an insane composer, an ambitious singer and a dancer and her husband partner. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

singer | opera | lunatic | clue | dancer | See All (48) »


Crime | Music | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 March 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hollywood Bowl  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Duncan Renaldo (Cisco) and Leo Carrillo (Pancho) would team up in 1950 in TV's The Cisco Kid (1950). See more »

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User Reviews

When the truly annoying are killed does anyone really care?...
6 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

...and annoying is the best way to describe tenor and opera singer Gino D'Acosta (Leo Carrillo). In the looks department he is a solid 5/10 yet in spite of that and his obvious lack of sincerity and subtlety he is a lady's man with two currently on a string, he has an understudy that badly wants his big chance, then there are the boyfriends (husbands??) of the girls he is stringing along, and a lunatic that wants to kill D'Acosta because he won't sing an opera he has written. So when D'Acosta dies on stage it is no surprise to the audience. On hand to solve the murder is the reason I - and maybe most people - hang around. That reason is Chester Morris as Detective Steve Farrell. He teams up with Dr. Adams' niece Toni (Madge Evans) who is a chemist and helps him analyze evidence. You see, at first it is thought D'Acosta was poisoned by some wine he drank before going onstage, but the autopsy proves that the poison was delivered while he was performing, and now it is a combination of Steve's detective work and Toni's forensic analysis that work to crack the case. Madge Evans is playing this role somewhat as a screwball comedienne Jean Arthur style, and the result is a good performance and good chemistry between herself and the always entertaining Chester Morris who plays this role as a good yet tough guy.

So what's not so good about this film? Mainly the short running time combined with, IMHO, an excess of opera music. The time taken up by the opera music could have been used to beef up the plot a bit more. Still I'd recommend it for fans of B murder mysteries from the 30's and 40's and definitely for fans of Chester Morris.

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