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Who Killed Rover? (1930)

In this Dogville mystery, a wealthy resident leaves his fortune to his nephew, who is then kidnapped by jealous relatives. Detective Phido Vance tries to find the nephew before any harm can come to him.




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Zelda, the new wife of John B. Rover, asks criminologist Phido Vance to help her husband, who she believes is in danger. Rover just inherited his uncle's vast fortune, which irks those in his family that got left out of the will. At Rover and Zelda's wedding earlier today, a gunshot was fired, the believed target being Rover, who was spared from injury. Phido and the DA head to the Dogville Police Station to round up all the suspects. But if Phido and the DA don't have all the correct suspects, Rover's life is put at risk with the real culprit still out on the loose and ready to finish what he or she started at the wedding. Written by Huggo

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An All Barkie Murder Mystery


Short | Comedy | Crime | Mystery





Release Date:

13 December 1930 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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An All Barkie Murder Mystery
26 September 2003 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

An MGM DOGVILLE Short Subject.

Criminologist Phido Vance is called upon to stop a murder - but instead he finds it a case of WHO KILLED ROVER?

Here is another entry in MGM's delightfully bizarre Dogville series, in which all the roles are enacted by trained - and sometimes constrained - canines. This little film is a spoof of the Philo Vance mysteries of the period which starred human actors William Powell at Paramount & Basil Rathbone at MGM. The dogs are lovable and the attention to detail is terrific - note in particular the hilarious wedding scene - with hilarity & suspense dolloped out in equal measure.


Often overlooked or neglected today, the one and two-reel short subjects were useful to the Studios as important training grounds for new or burgeoning talents, both in front & behind the camera. The dynamics for creating a successful short subject was completely different from that of a feature length film, something akin to writing a topnotch short story rather than a novel. Economical to produce in terms of both budget & schedule and capable of portraying a wide range of material, short subjects were the perfect complement to the Studios' feature films.

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