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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

'The Canary' - Margaret O'Dell: Shall we go over here?
Charles Spottswoode: Why, yes. Will you sit down?
'The Canary' - Margaret O'Dell: Thank you.
Charles Spottswoode: Well, I don't think we need to waste any time, Miss O'Dell. You know why I'm here. How much?
'The Canary' - Margaret O'Dell: Nothing doing, Mr. Spottswoode. I've decided to marry Jimmy.
Charles Spottswoode: I'm afraid that marriage is quite out of the question, Miss O'Dell.
'The Canary' - Margaret O'Dell: Oh. You're sure about that are, are you?
Charles Spottswoode: I'm positive.
'The Canary' - Margaret O'Dell: Well, how would you like me to tell the world about Jimmy's embezzling from your bank?
Charles Spottswoode: What?
[...]
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 Calling Philo Vance (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Louise Brooks Does Not Talk
2 September 2005 | by drednmSee all my reviews

A famous "transition" film. One shot as a silent and partly re-shot for talkies. William Powell stars as Philo Vance. Jean Arthur plays a show girl. Louise Brooks is the "Canary." Of course this film is famous because Brooks refused to return from Europe to re-shoot scenes as a talkie. The studio then released news her voice would not record well. To get even more even they hired Margaret Livingston to dub Brooks' voice in a high nasal New York accent. Livingston also appears in a few long shots in a Louise Brooks hair cut.

Slow but OK murder mystery. Brooks disappears after about 15 minutes; Arthur has no real part. That leaves us with James Hall as the dupe, Eugene Palette the dumb sergeant, Charles Lane the father, Oscar Smith the desk attendant, etc. Lots of talk.

Brooks is gorgeous and in the credits you note she gets downplayed from 2nd to 4th billing. Another Paramount jab. Brooks indeed had a fine voice even though I've only seen a couple of lousy westerns she made. She was a beauty and had a good voice. But she sure was difficult. And her "Lulu in Hollywood" memoir doesn't change my mind about her. By the way: I loved her in Beggars of Life as well as Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl.


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