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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 »
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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
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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:

The sinister threat of a jealousy maddened lover- a whispered warning- a scream! And next morning the world asks- WHO KILLED THE CANARY!!! (Print Ad- Sunday Times, ((Perth, S.A.)) 4 August 1929) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the earliest 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 MCA ever since. Because of its age, and its primitive sound recording techniques, which 1950s sponsors considered a viewing deterrent, it was only rarely taken off the shelf, but interest in the author of the original story and the still relevant members of the cast gave a few viewers, who chose to stay up for the Late, Late Show, an opportunity to take a look at it. The earliest documentation of its being taken out of the vault took place in Mason City, Iowa Wednesday 3 May 1961 on KGLO (Channel 3)'s Nitecap Theatre. 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

Charles Spottswoode: What happened backstage? Were you able to see the Canary.
Philo Vance: No luck Charles. She's about as hard to get out of that judging room, as she is in that swing.
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 Garden Murder Case (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Probably the most asinine character in detective fiction."
14 May 2005 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

One of the earliest private-eye talkies was "The Canary Murder Case," featuring William Powell as an American detective called Philo Vance ... later described by Raymond Chandler as "probably the most asinine character in detective fiction."

This type of "classic" murder mystery, transposed to an American location, must have seemed a natural for early talkie producers: few sets, all interiors, a lot of talk and little of that difficult action stuff which meant the camera might have to move around… Like filming a stage play, in fact. Here was an opportunity to set up the static camera in its enclosed booth and let the actors get on with the job…

Most of these films turned out to be the dullest ever made… It wasn't the fault of William Powell, who played Philo Vance with wit and elegance… It was the fault of a basic misconception in making private-detective movies…

Powell played Vance four times... Others who, followed him were: Paul Lukas, Edmund Lowe, Warren Williams, Grant Richards, James Stephenson and Alan Curtis…


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