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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.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

S.S. Van Dine (by), Robert N. Lee (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Powell ... Philo Vance
Mary Astor ... Hilda Lake
Eugene Pallette ... Detective Heath
Ralph Morgan ... Raymond Wrede - the Secretary
Robert McWade ... District Attorney Markham
Robert Barrat ... Archer Coe
Frank Conroy ... Brisbane Coe
Etienne Girardot ... Dr. Doremus
James Lee James Lee ... Liang - the Cook
Paul Cavanagh ... Sir Thomas MacDonald (as Paul Cavanaugh)
Arthur Hohl ... Gamble - the Butler
Helen Vinson ... Doris Delafield
Jack La Rue ... 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:

A beautiful debutante trapped in a house of hate...A glamorous stage star keeping a tryst with a "dead" man...A corpse walking upstairs to commit suicide...A wounded dog that knew the solution to the most baffling mystery ever tackled by the most fascinating sleuth since Sherlock Holmes! See more »

Genres:

Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Il pugnale cinese See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr Doremus' repeated line "I'm a Doctor not a..." was later used as the catchphrase of DeForest Kelley's character Dr Leonard "Bones" McCoy on the sci-series Star Trek (1966). See more »

Goofs

The police break down the door to get to the body in the study. The next day Philo demonstrates how the door was locked from the outside after the murder, but the door showed no signs of being broken and it is unrealistic to expect it to be fixed so quickly. See more »

Quotes

Philo Vance: [Refering to the wounded Sir Thomas] Could the wound have been self-inflicted, doctor?
Dr. Doremus: I'm the city butcher, not a detective. Don't bother me with any murders after three tomorrow. I'm going to the World Series.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Philo Vance's Gamble (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Philo Vance Goes to the Dogs
31 December 2006 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

One of the better Vance films succeeds more on interesting plot and artful direction by none other than Michael Curtiz. This time around a generally hated financier is found dead - shot in the head - in his locked and bolted bedroom on the upper floor. Philo Vance, hearing of the situation while about to set off for Italy, decides to end his vacation and try to solve what he thinks is a murder and what everyone else is considering a suicide. William Powell is as affable a Philo Vance as you will find. He never seems to press and is always very smooth in what he says and does. Powell is aided by a host of very talented actors - some first-rate character actors and actresses like Mary Astor as a niece that hated her uncle, Ralph Morgan as the dead man's secretary, Paul Cavanaugh as a rival dog fancier, Arthur Hohl as a mysterious butler, Helen Vinson as the next door kept blonde, and two really good performances by James Lee as the Chinese cook and portly Eugene Palette as a wise-cracking police detective. Add into the mix a wonderfully comedic turn by Etienne Girardot as a public coroner always missing his meal. It is this depth of suspects and a story that has many plots twists and turns that make The Kennel Murder Case a fast-moving, fun mystery.


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