6.1/10
507
19 user 13 critic

The Canary Murder Case (1929)

A beautiful showgirl, nicknamed 'the Canary', is a scheming nightclub singer. Blackmailing is her game and soon ends up dead. But who killed 'the Canary'. All the suspects who knew her had ... See full summary »

Directors:

Malcolm St. Clair, Frank Tuttle (uncredited)

Writers:

Albert S. Le Vino (adaptation) (as Albert Shelby LeVino), Herman J. Mankiewicz (titles) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

At the end of each year, the extremely wealthy but odious Greene family gets together at the spooky old family castle to establish terms of a will, though they despise each other. This year... See full summary »

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: William Powell, Florence Eldridge, Ullrich Haupt
Certificate: Passed Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Philo Vance, accompanied by his prize-losing Scottish terrier, investigates the locked-room murder of a prominent and much-hated collector whose broken Chinese vase provides an important clue.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: William Powell, Mary Astor, Eugene Pallette
Certificate: Passed Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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
Pandora's Box (1929)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After falling pregnant to a pharmacist and refusing to marry, a young woman is thrown from her home and sent to a strict girls' reform school.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Louise Brooks, Josef Rovensk√Ĺ, Fritz Rasp
Certificate: Passed Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When the body of a man nicknamed "Cock Robin" is found with an arrow in the heart on an archery range along with a chess bishop as a clue, Philo Vance investigates.

Directors: David Burton, Nick Grinde
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Leila Hyams, Roland Young
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Druggist Elmer Prettywillie is sleeping. A woman rings the night bell only to buy a two-cent stamp. Then garbage collectors waken him. Next it's firemen on a false alarm. And then a real fire.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: W.C. Fields, Louise Brooks, Blanche Ring
Certificate: Passed Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two people with ties to rich murdered socialite Lowe Hammle die from unusual suicides but Vance suspects hypnosis and foul play.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Edmund Lowe, Virginia Bruce, Benita Hume
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After gold shipments from a mining town have been hijacked, the three Mesquiteers buy a plane to fly the gold out. The owner of the shipping line brings in Eastern gangsters to thwart them.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: John Wayne, Louise Brooks, Ray Corrigan
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The friendship between two orphans endures even though they grow up on opposite sides of the law and fall in love with the same woman.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, George Cukor
Stars: Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A down and out private eye falls for a woman he has been hired to frame.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: William Powell, Margaret Lindsay, Ruth Donnelly
Certificate: Passed Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After socialite Lynn Llewwllen receives an anonymous threat, he is poisoned at his uncle's casino, and although he recovers, his wife is murdered by the same killer.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Paul Lukas, Alison Skipworth, Donald Cook
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Powell ... Philo Vance
Jean Arthur ... Alice LaFosse
James Hall ... Jimmy Spottswoode
Louise Brooks ... 'The Canary' - Margaret O'Dell
Charles Lane Charles Lane ... Charles Spottswoode
Lawrence Grant ... John Cleaver
Gustav von Seyffertitz ... Dr. Ambrose Lindquist
E.H. Calvert ... Dist. Atty. John F.X. Markham (as Captain E. H. Calvert)
Eugene Pallette ... Sgt. Ernest Heath
Ned Sparks ... Tony Skeel (as Ned A. Sparks)
Louis John Bartels ... Louis Mannix
Edit

Storyline

A beautiful showgirl, nicknamed 'the Canary', is a scheming nightclub singer. Blackmailing is her game and soon ends up dead. But who killed 'the Canary'. All the suspects who knew her had been used by her. The only witness to the crime was also killed. Only one man, debonair detective, Philo Vance, might be able to figure out who silenced 'the Canary'. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How can a half burned cigarette bring justice in the "Canary Murder Case"? (Print Ad- The Daily News,((St.Thomas, V.I.)) 18 August 1930) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1929 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Stimme aus dem Jenseits See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (MovieTone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Assuming its copyright has not lapsed already, this film and all others produced in 1929 enter the U.S. public domain in 2025. See more »

Goofs

In "The Greene Murder Case" (about 29 minutes in) someone mentions reading about "The Canary Murder Case". But, in "The Canary Murder Case" (about 21 minutes in) someone mentions that he hasn't seen Vance since "The Greene Murder Case". The studio may not have been sure which order the movies would be released when the dialog was written. See more »

Quotes

'The Canary' - Margaret O'Dell: Send him in please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Upon its initial release, a message appeared at the end of the film requesting that the audience not reveal to anyone the surprise ending. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Kennel Murder Case (1933) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A curiosity at best
2 June 2003 | by tprofumoSee all my reviews

This film is today memorable only for those interested in the struggles the studios went through during the conversion to sound, and those interested in the fortunes of two of Hollywood's most fascinating characters, William Powell, and Louise Brooks.

Powell is cast as Philo Vance and plays him in a straight, deadpan manner. It's interesting because he has almost none of the charm and sophistication that he would bring just a few years later to the Nick Charles character that would become such a major hit.

On the other hand, this is the film that sunk the Hollywood career of Louise Brooks. She had just completed the silent version of this film when her Paramount contract came up for renewal. She was owned a $250 bump in salary, which would have boosted her all the way to $1,000 a week. But B.P. Schulberg refused to honor the deal, saying he didn't know how she would record. Of course, Brooks walked out on the film, went to Europe and made film history, although it would be 30 years before anyone realized it. But eventually, the restored version of "Pandora's Box" would turn her into a screen legend and perhaps, the greatest femme fatale in movie history. But the film pretty much flopped at the time, mostly because it was carved up by the censors.

Meanwhile, Paramount decided to do some reshoots to get some sound into "Canary", but could not lure Brooks back to Hollywood for love or money. So Margaret Livingston was brought in and dubbed Brooks' voice, unfortunately using a Brooklyn accent that sounded nothing at all like Brooks. (For a real example of her voice, check out "Windy Riley Goes Hollywood," a terrible 1929 short that was actually directed by Fatty Arbuckle under an assumed name. She has a low, sexy voice, despite Paramount's contention that she "didn't record." It's now available on DVD as added material for Brooks' other German triumph, "Diary of a Lost Girl," directed by G.W.Pabst.)

At any rate, Canary is slow moving and dull to the extreme. After Brooks' character is knocked off, the film goes straight downhill and is almost impossible to watch. But the first part is fascinating, if only because Brooks is so damned beautiful that she takes your breath away.


34 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 19 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed