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Calling Philo Vance (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 3 February 1940 (USA)
Despite an exclusive contract with the U.S. government, designer Archer Coe's design is being bid on by German, Japanese, and Italian agents - until he's murdered.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Margot Stevenson ...
Henry O'Neill ...
Edward Brophy ...
...
...
...
Philip Wrede
...
Jimmy Conlin ...
Dr. Doremus - Coroner (as Jimmy Conlon)
Edward Raquello ...
...
Du Bois - Fingerprint Man
...
Richard Kipling ...
Wedgwood Nowell ...
Bo Ling ...
Ling Toy
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Storyline

Philo is in Vienna working for the US Government to see if Archer Coe is selling aircraft designs to foreign powers. He grabs the plans with Archer's signature, but is captured by police before he can escape. Deported he comes back to America and plans to confront Archer, but Archer is found dead in his locked bedroom with a gun in his hand. While it looks like a suicide, Vance knows better and the coroner finds that Archer has been shot, hit with a blunt instrument and stabbed - making suicide unlikely. But Vance is on the case and is looking to see if government secrets have been sold and who has murdered Coe. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

3 February 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tres horas trágicas  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Ralph Forbes is credited onscreen as "Tom MacDonald," but throughout the film, he is called Taylor MacDonald. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Doremus - Coroner: [about the dead Archer Coe] There couldn't have been much of a struggle. His hair isn't even mussed.
Ryan: [Sardonically] Somebody must have blackjacked him and then combed his hair.
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Connections

Follows The Kennel Murder Case (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), Op.314
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Whistled by Edward Brophy
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User Reviews

 
An enjoyable murder mystery despite a lackluster James Stephenson as Philo Vance.
3 December 1998 | by (Pine Grove, California) – See all my reviews

This remake of Kennel Murder Case, The (1933) has some good points, but James Stephenson is not one of them. He plays it too impersonal for my taste and pales by comparison with William Powell, who played Vance in the original. But the screenplay, which was updated for the war that loomed on the horizon, was nicely developed, concerning plans for a warplane. The setting was switched to the State Department, with Vance an employed investigator instead of a private eye. I really enjoyed how he used diagrams to explain the movement of the people involved in the murder of the warplane designer, so that in the end, the actions of all were clear. The film also had the advantage of having Edward Brophy in the Sergeant Heath role (here he's called Ryan), bringing comedy without the stupidity of the Heath character. It was rather fun to watch.


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