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The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939)

Approved | | Comedy, Mystery | 2 June 1939 (USA)
The zany plot follows nitwit Gracie Allen trying to help master sleuth Philo Vance solve a murder. Allen's uncle fixes her up with Bill at a company picnic. When the two go out to a ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (based on the book by)
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Cast overview:
Bill Brown
Dixie Del Marr
Donald MacBride ...
Jed Prouty ...
Uncle Ambrose
Daniel Mirche
Richard Lawrence
Sam Lee ...
Thug (as Sammy Lee)
Al Shaw ...
Hotel Clerk


The zany plot follows nitwit Gracie Allen trying to help master sleuth Philo Vance solve a murder. Allen's uncle fixes her up with Bill at a company picnic. When the two go out to a nightclub that night, Gracie inadvertently links Bill to the murder of a thug after finding the dead body and Bill's cigarette case at the scene of the crime. While being questioned at the club, she meets Vance who's investigating the homicide. After Gracie's bungled attempts to solve the case, Vance decides it might be easier to have her working with him. Despite Gracie's "help," the two eventually find the real killer. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 June 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Comédia de um Crime  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The source novel featured the same title as the film. However, in 1950 a paperback edition was issued under the title "The Smell of Murder." See more »


Gracie Allen: How about some pansies?
Florist: Well, frankly, my pansies are drooping.
Gracie Allen: Oh, well then, you should wear suspenders.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits show a grist mill. Each of the paddles has a character name and the actor who portrays him; the other credits are listed against a background of the nearby web rocks. See more »


Follows The Kennel Murder Case (1933) See more »


Snug as a Bug in the Rug
Music by Matty Malneck
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung by Gracie Allen
See more »

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User Reviews

Where's Philo????
27 December 1999 | by (S. Bound Brook, NJ) – See all my reviews

I've always loved the scatter-brained comedy of Gracie Allen, but she is terribly out of place in this (so-called) "mystery". Don't get me wrong -- she's EXCELLENT but, unfortunately, "overwhelms" the film, and the mystery is lost in the shuffle. Warren William (as Philo) is pitifully wasted in this film.

A better title for this film should be, "What Happened to Philo Vance"?

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