10 user 2 critic

The Plot Thickens (1936)

A priceless Cellini silver cup is stolen from a local museum with both Hildegarde and Oscar on the case.


Ben Holmes


Clarence Upson Young (screenplay), Jack Townley (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
James Gleason ... Oscar Piper
Zasu Pitts ... Hildegarde Withers
Owen Davis Jr. ... Robert Wilkins
Louise Latimer ... Alice Stevens
Arthur Aylesworth ... Kendall
Paul Fix ... Joe
Richard Tucker ... John Carter
Barbara Barondess ... Marie
James Donlan James Donlan ... Jim
Agnes Anderson ... Dagmar
Oscar Apfel ... H. G. Robbins


John Carter just had one of those days. First he had an argument with a mysterious Frenchman. Then Alice wants him to pick her up at the park after she has a fight with Robert over him. So Carter takes the roadster just as Marie and Joe were getting ready to leave. But Kendall, the butler, follows the roadster as he thinks it is Joe and his girl Marie. So when Carter picks up Alice and goes out in the country to park - he is shot dead. But the next day, he is found dead in the library at home. The investigation may be run by Inspector Piper, but most of the snooping is done by Hildegarde. The Sultan's Emerald, and a picture of the Cellini Cup, may be the clue leading to Carter's killer. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HIST!...A Sizzling Crime Drammer! (original print ad)


Comedy | Drama | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The first of two appearances by Zasu Pitts as Hildegarde Withers. See more »


The Italian couple that Officer Cassidy talks to near the beginning of the movie say "good night" to him in Spanish. See more »


Oscar Piper: [Seeing a piece of evidence] I saw this on Carter's desk this morning.
Hildegarde Withers: Sure, and it went in one eye and out the other.
See more »


Followed by Forty Naughty Girls (1937) See more »


Pretty Baby
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne and Tony Jackson
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Played by the organ grinder in the park
See more »

User Reviews

Hilarious dry humor!
8 August 2003 | by needtoknowSee all my reviews

I saw this movie for the first and only time in the late '80's on AMC and have been searching for it to purchase ever since. My son, who was then 6 years old, and I laughed and chuckled throughout the movie at the dry wit, sarcasm and humor. You have to pay attention, because like many other movies of this era, there is a plot (!!) and a true storyline and you have to be listening to catch the sometimes subtle humor, particularly between Gleason's and Pitts' characters. My kids grew up on these old B&W's and can't understand why their friends don't find them entertaining. Since it's not a "splash & gash" movie of today, with no storyline and only loud music and special effects, most young people (and many adults) today would no doubt find it boring. It's not "Arsenic & Old Lace" or "The Maltese Falcon", but it's a very funny old B&W and I have every intention of purchasing it ASAP!

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Release Date:

11 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Riddle of the Dangling Pearl See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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