Millionaire William van Luyn falls in love with his secretary Joan Thayer and marries her. Her family, part of "the great middle class" (as blowhard nephew Henry keeps reminding us), is ... See full summary »
A German immigrant to a small American town is a barber with four children. He has saved enough money to invest in a savings-and-loan company with a friend. Unfortunately, one of his sons ... See full summary »
Jack is a sailor who lives to go to sea. A typical sailor, he is always broke and has been in seven jails in the last seven ports. The one girl he tries to impress the most is in London and... See full summary »
Although his murdered friend was by all accounts a scoundrel a true "bounder" Edward Wales is determined to trap his killer by staging a seance using a famous medium. Many of the 13 seance ... See full summary »
Jack lives the high life and wants to make Marjorie his one and only. He then learns that his deceased father is alive but dying of lead poisoning. His father sent him away, twenty years ... See full summary »
Cheri-Bibi is an escape artist wrongly imprisoned for murdering the wealthy father of his admirer Cecile. The real murderer is Cecile's fiancé, so how will Bibi escape his death sentence and win back Cecile?
When Sally (Charlotte Greenwood) and Eve (Leila Hyams) take a vacation together to make their rich husbands miss them, the boys (Reginald Denny and Harry Stubbs) promptly invite over two ... See full summary »
The murders start with the body of Robin. He is found with a arrow through the heart, but Vance deduces that the body was placed and not found where he was killed. The note found dealing with the murder was part of a nursery rhyme and signed by 'Bishop'. The only witness may have been Mrs. Drukker and Adolph, but they are not talking. As the murders progress, each one is accompanied by a nursery rhyme. It is up to Philo Vance to unravel the clues and unmask the identity of the murderer 'Bishop'.Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Although modern sources often refer to this as a 1930 production, it was completed in 1929, and premiered in San Antonio, Texas on 31 December 1929, but not released nationally until early 1930. See more »
When Vance and fellow detectives investigate the body of Robin, who has been shot with an arrow, the angle of the arrow changes. Sometimes it's straight up out of the body, other times it's at almost a 45 degree angle. See more »
My dear Miss Dillard, our problem is to match normal thinking against the abnormal scheming of a criminal mind.
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I recently learned that Willard Huntington Wright aka S.S. Van Dine the author of the Philo Vance mysteries sold the various screen rights to his stories one at a time to the various studios who would pay for them. It's the reason that Paramount, MGM, Warner Brothers and later the B independent Producer's Releasing Corporation all had a hand in the series and we have so many Philos to compare styles with.
Basil Rathbone takes his turn at Philo and the Philo he creates isn't too much different from Sherlock Holmes. He's got no Watson to be his scribe and record his genius, but otherwise he's the same clever fellow who found out the secret of that hound of the Baskervilles, etc.
S.S. Van Dine did create a dumb flatfoot of a police sergeant Heath for Vance to constantly show up. At Paramount and later at Warner Brothers it was Eugene Palette, here we have James Donlon who even the maid puts down regularly. I'm not sure what Heath is there for because the District Attorney just calls in Vance for help when there's an interesting case.
Here we have the discovery of a dead body found on an archery field with an arrow through him. Of course the minute Vance gets there he deduces all is not as it appears.
I will say this, the murderer here was a surprise to me and even more important four people die in this film, but only the first murder was a planned one. The others happened because of some unforeseen circumstances our culprit didn't see coming.
That Philo, he's a regular Sherlock Holmes when it comes to solving these murders.
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