6.7/10
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27 user 14 critic

Murder at the Vanities (1934)

Passed | | Musical, Mystery, Romance | 18 May 1934 (USA)
A homicide detective with an eye for the ladies investigating a murder in Earl Carroll's Vanities allows the music review to continue during the investigation.

Director:

Mitchell Leisen

Writers:

Carey Wilson (screenplay), Joseph Gollomb (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carl Brisson ... Eric Lander
Victor McLaglen ... Bill Murdock
Jack Oakie ... Jack Ellery
Kitty Carlisle ... Ann Ware
Dorothy Stickney ... Norma Watson
Gertrude Michael ... Rita Ross
Jessie Ralph ... Mrs. Helene Smith
Charles Middleton ... Homer Boothby (as Charles B. Middleton)
Gail Patrick ... Sadie Evans
Donald Meek ... Dr. Saunders
Toby Wing ... Nancy
Duke Ellington ... Duke Elliogton
Duke Ellington Orchestra Duke Ellington Orchestra ... Duke Ellington's Orchestra
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Storyline

Shortly before the curtain goes up the first time at the latest performance of Earl Carroll's Vanities, someone is attempting to injure the leading lady Ann Ware, who wants to marry leading man Eric Lander. Stage manager in charge Jack Ellery calls in his friend, policeman Bill Murdock, to help him investigate. Bill thinks Jack if offering to let him see the show from an unusual view point, after he forgot to get him tickets for the performance, but then they find the corpse of a murdered women. Bill suspects Eric of the crime, especially, after the second female lead Rita Ross told him she saw the women leaving from Eric's room. Then Rita is shot onstage with Eric's gun. Jack and Bill decide not to stop the show, but Bill preparing to arrest Eric. Is he on the right track ? Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MURDER STALKS IN THE MIDST OF LOVELINESS! (Print Ad- Albany Times-Union, ((Albany, NY)) 26 June 1934)


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Broadwayn mysterio See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This is the film that contains the "Sweet Marijuana" song and dance number. It got past the censors because at the time the film was made, the drug was not illegal. Today most prints omit this production number altogether. See more »

Goofs

A door to a dressing room is slammed, shattering a good portion of the mirror attached to the door. A moment later, when the door is opened, the breakage has changed so that part of the mirror is restored. See more »

Quotes

Jack Ellery: [to Murdock] Why don't you take your lamps off those dames and do a little police work?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Movie Melodies on Parade (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Lovely One
by Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow
Sung by male chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Duke Ellington in his brief number was the highlight of Murder at the Vanities
10 February 2008 | by tavmSee all my reviews

Since this is Black History Month and I'm reviewing the achievements of many African-Americans on film in chronological order, I got this movie on VHS from the library because Duke Ellington and his Orchestra were in it. Their jazz version of Franz Liszt's "Rhapsody" was the highlight of this mostly overlong murder mystery-musical comedy mixture. Many other numbers I liked were Kitty Carlisle's especially "Sweet Marijuana", Carl Brisson's "Cocktails for Two" as well as his duet with Carlisle on that earlier, and the ones by Gertrude Michael who's great as the woman you love to hate. Jack Oakie and Victor McLaglen probably go a little too long with their love/hate banter as the producer and detective but they grow on you. And Toby Wing is a sexy dumb tease as Nancy who keeps trying to say something to Oakie but gets a "Not now" from him every time. While many of the characters have a motive for the murders that happen, I wasn't surprised by the revelation of who done it. And get a load of how naked the women here are (though of course their breasts are covered, either by their hands or some flimsy top). This was very obviously pre-Code. Worth a look for any film buff interested in this sort of thing. P.S. As a long-time Louisiana resident, I like noting when someone was born here as Carlisle was a New Orleans native.


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