6.5/10
153
15 user 3 critic

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the book by)
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Adventure | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Despotic King Louis XIV discovers he has a twin brother who has grown up under the tutelage of his foster father, the patriotic musketeer D'Artagnan.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Louis Hayward, Joan Bennett, Warren William
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Detective Guy Johnson's client, Willie Heywood is framed for murder and while Guy hides him so he can catch the real killer, both of them are nabbed by the police, tried, convicted and ... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Claudette Colbert, James Stewart, Guy Kibbee
Midnight (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A chorus girl, stranded in Paris, is "set up" by a millionaire to break up his wife's affair with another man.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King ... See full summary »

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Barbara O'Neil
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "... See full summary »

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: Mae West, W.C. Fields, Joseph Calleia
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Larson E. Whipsnade runs a seedy circus which is perpetually in debt. His performers give him nothing but trouble, especially Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Meanwhile, Whipsnade's son ... See full summary »

Directors: George Marshall, Edward F. Cline
Stars: W.C. Fields, Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A show-biz couple inherit a college on the brink of bankruptcy. In a bid to increase funding they attempt to build up the college football team by offering $1,000 for every touchdown scored.

Director: James P. Hogan
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Martha Raye, Eric Blore
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Mystery | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Rare booksellers Joel and Grada Sloane are engaged to find who is stealing rare books from a private library.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell, Reginald Owen
Johnny Apollo (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold
Lambchops (1929)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

George and Gracie enter an elegant drawing room, looking everywhere for something. Turns out, they're looking for the audience, and when George spots the camera, they start in on their ... See full summary »

Director: Murray Roth
Stars: George Burns, Gracie Allen
Certificate: Passed Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A ruthless, crooked stockbroker is murdered at his luxurious country estate, and detective Philo Vance just happens to be there; he decides to find out who killed him.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: William Powell, William 'Stage' Boyd, Eugene Pallette
Day-Time Wife (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a young wife discovers her husband of two years is involved with his beautiful secretary, she applies for a job as secretary to a business rival.

Director: Gregory Ratoff
Stars: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Warren William
Edit

Cast

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 ...
Thug
...
Fred
...
Hotel Clerk
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 June 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Comédia de um Crime  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Quotes

Philo Vance: The question is, then, why would the killer have brought the body here?
Gracie Allen: Well, they've got a wonderful floor show.
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 »

Connections

Follows The Greene Murder Case (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Murder Most Comical
31 August 2008 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

THE GRACIE ALLEN MURDER CASE (Paramount, 1939), directed by Alfred E. Green, the tenth installment to the then popular "Philo Vance" murder mysteries that initially began with William Powell's portrayal in THE CANARY MURDER CASE (1929), returns Warren William to the role for the second and final time, with this being something completely different, placing S.S. Van Dine's fictional character solving his latest caper opposite none-other than Gracie Allen. After many years as part of the Burns and Allen comedy team opposite husband, George Burns, from vaudeville, radio, motion pictures and later television, Gracie Allen finally gets her chance to work opposite another straight man. By 1939, the motion picture field saw the temporary or permanent splitting of popular screen partnerships, ranging from Oliver Hardy of Laurel and Hardy fame, partnered opposite Harry Langdon in ZENOBIA, to the popular song and dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers ending their 10 film union-ship with THE STORY OF VERNON AND IRENE CASTLE. While George Burns didn't go solo until a decade after Gracie's death by the 1970s, this is Gracie minus George, acting as sidekick to Philo Vance, whom she addresses as "Fido." For a change of pace in the series where Philo Vance is actually a secondary character, appearing 28 minutes into the story and not around for the fadeout, leaving much of the 77 minutes over to Gracie Allen. The story begins in the city limits of Riverwood where employees of the Vogue Perfume Company are gathered together for their annual picnic. Bill Brown (Kent Taylor), the company's perfume mixer, loses the companionship of his girlfriend, Ann Wilson (Ellen Drew) to fellow employee, Fred (Richard Denning), leaving him to spend much of his time alone. Enter Gracie Allen, having just returned from her trip in Europe, arriving at the picnic, where her Uncle Ambrose (Jed Prouty) introduces her to his staff and to Bill. Bill accepts Gracie's company and later that night escorts her to the Diamond Slipper Cafe. As the plot develops, Benny the Buzzard (Lee Moore), who has escaped prison, arranges a meeting with Diamond Slipper manager Danny Mirche (Jerome Cowan). It is revealed through Dixie Del Mar (Judith Barrett), Benny's girlfriend and night club singer working for Mirche, that she knows that Benny took the rap for Danny, and believes there's trouble ahead. Later, Benny is found dead in Mirche's office, with the body discovered by Gracie, who also finds Bill's cigarette case on the floor in the office, believing that he done it. Sergeant Heath (William Demarest) and Attorney Markham (Donald MacBride) arrive at the scene after receiving a mysterious phone call, and through Gracie's testament, they place Bill under arrest with Gracie as material witness. With Dixie found dead through poisoning, Detective Philo Vance (Warren William) is called to investigate, accompanied by Gracie Allen. Philo Vance will never be the same again.

Unlike film series featuring such notable detectives as Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan or Bulldog Drummond, Philo Vance has faded to obscurity regardless of its long range of films lasting through the 1940s. Although Gracie Allen, in her final film for Paramount, never assisted the likes of Holmes, Chan or any other fictional film sleuths for that matter, this edition, ranks one of the more notable and acceptable entries. While the actors play it straight, the comedy rests upon Gracie in her typical manner and funny, and not so funny verbal exchanges (Demarest: "The chief wants to see you. Gracie: "I just love Indians"). Aside from acting daffy, Gracie also takes time to sing the Frank Loesser song, "Snug as a Bug in a Rug" during the picnic ceremony.

With H.B. Warner as Richard Lawrence, and Horace MacMahon as Gus the Waiter, in support, the cast also includes the comedy team of Al Shaw and Sammy Lee as "Two Thugs" taking part in the confusion of shaking hands with Gracie, getting all tangled up in the process. Other highlights include a well staged race against time through the Broadway district of Manhattan as Gracie rides behind the motorcycle cop going through traffic bound for the night club to prevent Philo Vance from smoking a poisoned cigarette accidentally placed in the case by his servant (Willie Fung).

Unavailable on the television markets since the 1970s, THE GRACIE ALLEN MURDER CASE finally made it to home video in 2006 through Video Attic and DVD in 2008 through Nostalgia Family. THE GRACIE ALLEN MURDER CASE is definitely of nostalgic interest to those who enjoy the antics of Gracie Allen and a curio for anyone who has never seen the likes of her or Philo Vance. (**1/2)


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?