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A Slight Case of Murder (1938)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  5 March 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,306 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 14 critic

Former bootlegger Remy Marco has a slight problem with forclosing bankers, a prospective son-in-law, and four hard-to-explain corpses.



(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruth Donnelly ...
Edward Brophy ...
Harold Huber ...
Eric Stanley ...
Paul Harvey ...
Bobby Jordan ...
Joe Downing ...
Bert Hanlon ...


Remy Marco, Prohibition beer baron, figures he'll do even better after repeal. Only trouble is, his beer tastes terrible. (He drinks no beer himself and nobody dares tell him). Four years later, when he's about bankrupt, he visits his summer home in Saratoga, complete with: 1) a dead-end-kid orphan; 2) his daughter's fiance...a state trooper!, 3) the bodies of four gangsters who planned to ambush Remy but had a shootout; 4) half a million in loot they hid in the house...just the amount Remy needs to get out of hock. The comic confusion mounts... Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


High finance teaches a racketeer new tactics !


Comedy | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 March 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bare et lite mord  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 11 September 1935 and closed in October 1935 after 69 performances. The opening night cast included John Harrington as Remy Marco and Georgia Caine as Nora Marco. Future screen star 'José Ferrer (I)' played a Policeman. See more »


When Remy drinks from the glass of beer from which Whitewood drank, there is inexplicably more beer in the glass. See more »


Nora Marco: It's that grab bag of yours again, Remy.
Remy Marco: Say he hadn't walked around in his bare feet.
Nora Marco: I think we should go up and slip him a Mickey Finn.
Remy Marco: Uh, uh. He's liable to create a taste for them. Marco will talk to him. You go up the front stairs and I'll go up the back.
See more »


Version of Stop, You're Killing Me (1952) See more »


Bob White (Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight?)
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Bernard Hanighen
Played offscreen on piano at the party while Remy and Nora are alone talking
See more »

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User Reviews

We're Going Legit...See?
23 September 2006 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"A Slight Case of Murder" is a delightful gangster comedy written by the legendary Damon Runyon and directed by Lloyd Bacon. It's also a nice change of pace for star Edward G. Robinson who gets to display his comedic talents as he spoofs his gangster image.

Remy Marco (Robinson - in an obvious spoof of his "Rico" character in "Little Caesar") is a bootlegger who has made his fortune running illegal beer during prohibition. When prohibition ends, Marco proudly announces that he's going to be strictly legit, believing that he will no longer need strong arm tactics, and that he will continue to rake in the money from legal sales. What he doesn't realize is that because he's never actually tasted his own brew, is that it tastes awful.

Now that the public can buy well brewed better tasting beer legally, Marco sees his fortune disappear over the ensuing four years. On the verge of bankruptcy, he finds himself in debt over a half a million dollars and has to deal with two predatory bankers Post (John Litel) and Ritter (Eric Stanley) who are trying to foreclose on him.

Marco's daughter Mary (Jane Bryan) has returned home and plans to marry the bumbling State Trooper son, Dick Whitewood (Willard Parker) of business tycoon Paul Harvey. Marco and his wife Nora (Ruth Donnelly) plan to host an engagement party at their country house in Saratoga. What he doesn't know is that a rival gang has heisted $500K from bookies and are holed up in Marco's house.

With his three stooges, Mike (Allen Jenkins), Lefty (Edward Brophy and Gip (Harold Huber), Marco learns that four of the five gangsters have been murdered and their bodies left in a guest bedroom while the fifth hangs around trying to escape with the money. The satchel containing the money is found by an orphan with the distinguished moniker of Douglas Fairbanks Rosenbloom (Bobby Jordan), who had been brought by Marco from the orphanage for the weekend.

And then the fun starts.

Robinson proved that he could play comedy and ranked this film among his favorites. But Warner Bros. saw him as a gangster and so he had difficulty breaking away from that genre. After he left Warners in the early forties, he turned in a number of great performances notably in "Double Indemnity" (1944) and two FRitz Lang classics, "The Woman in the Window" (1944) and "Scarlett Street" (1945). Oddly enough, he returned to Warners Bros. in 1948 to play gangster Johnny Rocco in "Key Largo" (1948).

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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