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The Kennel Murder Case (1933)

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.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Philo Vance
... Hilda Lake
... Detective Heath
... Raymond Wrede - the Secretary
... District Attorney Markham
... Archer Coe
... Brisbane Coe
... Dr. Doremus
James Lee ... Liang - the Cook
... Sir Thomas MacDonald (as Paul Cavanaugh)
... Gamble - the Butler
... Doris Delafield
... Eduardo Grassi (as Jack LaRue)
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Storyline

Archer Coe has been found dead in his locked bedroom. The cops consider it suicide, but Philo believes otherwise. When the Coroner shows up, he finds that Archer had been hit with a blunt object, stabbed and shot - making suicide unlikely. When the evidence points to his brother, Brisbane is found stabbed to death in the closet. Archer had a number of enemies, any one of which would have been glad to knock him off, but which one did and how did the murder occur in a room looked from the inside. Only one man, the keen, fascinating, debonair detective Philo Vance, would be able to figure out who is the killer. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

William Powell returns as Philo Vance. See more »

Genres:

Mystery

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

28 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il pugnale cinese  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first of Etienne Girardot's three appearances as Dr. Doremus, the first of Robert McWade's two as D.A. Markham, and the last of Eugene Pallette's four as Sgt. Heath (excluding a cameo in "Paramount On Parade"). See more »

Goofs

It's never explained where Philo gets the detailed models of the buildings involved in his explanation of this theory of the crime. See more »

Quotes

Detective Sgt. Heath: "Unsolved Murders!" That's a swell book to take to Chicago!
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Connections

Followed by The Dragon Murder Case (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It Was All In The How
27 October 2007 | by See all my reviews

William Powell's final outing as Philo Vance occurs in The Kennel Murder Case where the murder of a championship show dog leads to two more murders and one attempt of the human kind. It's all in the figuring out of how that leads to the who and why.

The Philo Vance murders by S.S. Van Dine were most popular at the time and the clever Mr. Van Dine figured out a way to sell his books one at a time to the highest studio bidder. This is why you see so many Philo Vances and so many studios putting them out. Had Bill Powell not gone on to greater fame with MGM as Nick Charles of the Thin Man series, he would have been known as the greatest of Philo Vances.

It turns out that Powell had entered his little terrier Captain in the same contest where the murdered dog was entered and then another rival owner became the first murder victim. As usual Powell shows up Eugene Palette as Sergeant Heath whose biggest contribution to the proceedings was using his bulk to break down the locked from the inside door where the first murder victim was found.

I did say locked from the inside and it was an upper story so it was in figuring out the how. Powell has a lovely group of suspects, as extensive as what normally is in a Thin Man mystery. People like Paul Cavanaugh, Helen Vinson, Ralph Morgan, Mary Astor, fill their cast roles well.

Warner Brothers liked this version so much that in fact they remade it again in the Thirties with James Stephenson in his one and only outing as Philo Vance. It doesn't hold a candle to this one.

As this is the only Powell Philo Vance that is out on VHS or DVD by all means see this one or acquire it if you can.


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