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 »
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 »
19-year-old Billy Lynn's brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks, the film shows what really happened to his squad - contrasting the realities of war with America's perceptions.
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>
Completed in 1929, but not released 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 »
[to Sperling, who is unresponsive]
Well, young fella, you thought you'd get away, did yuh? Oh, you're one of those silent lads, are you? Say, we'll have you talkin' so much that lockjaw will look like a case of St. Vitus dance!
See more »
A very satisfying Philo Vance entry though a little creaky in spots
"The Bishop Murder Case" is one of the best in the Philo Vance film series. The mystery seems a bit silly at first when children's nursery rhymes are used by the perpetrator of the crimes to publicize his murders, not unlike methods used by present-day serial killers. But once the plot unfolds the nursery rhyme angle makes complete sense. The Bishop is a key figure in solving the mystery as the title indicates. So keep your eyes focused on that clue. I won't say any more except to add that this is a complex mystery.
Basil Rathbone is second only to William Powell in breathing life into S.S. Van Dine's famous private investigator. It's obvious from this performance why Rathbone was chosen at the end of the decade to play Sherlock Holmes. The other actor who shines in this movie is Roland Young. Though much of the acting hearkens back to the silent era which was coming to an end, Rathbone and Young seem modern in their approach. From playing on stage and in silent pictures, actors were used to wild exaggerations and outlandish gesticulations which were no longer needed now that movies could talk. Several of the characters in "The Bishop Murder Case" have not yet adjusted to working with sound. Not so Rathbone and Young.
Another early talky distraction for modern viewers is the absence of music for dramatic effect. Since live music was used to accentuate the silent screen action and mood, it seems strange that music was not immediately utilized for the same purposes on the talky screen. Producers were misinformed that music coming from nowhere would puzzle and confuse the audience. So it took a few years for Hollywood to rid itself of this misconception. The decision not to use music plus fairly primitive sound effects (the viewer will readily recognize the sound of thunder as the sound of huge sheets of metal being snapped)take away from the overall effects of this otherwise clever and well-written murder mystery.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this