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The Canary Murder Case (1929)

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INTRODUCTION:
The Canary Murder Case is a detective mystery - the story of a blackmailing showgirl who is murdered. The film still exists, though is rarely shown in theatrical venues.


CAST:
William Powell .... Philo Vance (imdb)
Louise Brooks .... Margaret O'Dell (the "Canary")
Jean Arthur .... Alys LaFosse (imdb)
James Hall .... Jimmy Spotswoode (imdb)
Charles Lane .... Charless Spotswoode
Eugene Pallette .... Sergeant Ernest Heath
Gustav von Seyffertitz .... Dr. Ambrose Lindquist
Lawrence Grant .... Charles Cleaver
Ned Sparks .... Tony Sheel
Louis John Bartels .... Louis Mannix
E.H. Calvert .... District Attorney John F.X. Markham
Oscar Smith .... Stuttering hallboy
Tim Adair .... George Y. Harvey
Margaret Livingston .... Margaret O'Dell (voice over for Louise Brooks)

CREDITS:
Studio: Paramount
Director: Malcolm St. Clair (imdb)
Writing Credits: Screenplay by Florence Ryerson and Albert Shelby LeVino, adapted from the book by S.S. van Dine; titles by Herman J. Mankiewicz
Format: Sound - black & white
Cinematography: Cliff Blackstone and Harry Fischbeck
Film Editing: William Shea
Costume Design: Travis Banton
Production dates: September 11 - October 12, 1928; sound retakes, December 19, 1928
Running Time: 7 reels
Release Date: February 12, 1929
Country of Origin: United States

Alternate Titles:   Die Stimme aus dem Jenseits (Austria); O drama de uma noite (Brazil); Kanárkový vražedný prípad (Czechoslovakia); Hvem dræbte Margaret O'Dell? (Denmark); Salaperainen Rikos (Finland); Le meurtre du Canari (France); Die Stimme Aus Dem Jensits (Germany); La canarina assassinata (Italy); Il caso della canarina assassinata (Italy); O drama duma noite (Portugal); żQuién la mató? (Spain); Midnattsmysteriet (Sweden)

STORY SYNOPSIS: (contains spoilers)
Margaret O'Dell, a blackmailing musical comedy star, is found strangled in her aprtment, and four men come under suspicion: Lindquist, a half-mad doctor in love with Margaret; Cleaver, a politician whose career she threatened; Mannix, a fat broker with a jealous wife; and Jimmy Spotswoode, a young society boy Margaret was attempting to blackmail into marriage. Jimmy is arrested, and Philo Vance, a whimsical society man and amateur detective who is a close friend of Jimmy's father, is called in on the case. Vance proves the murderer to have been the elder Spotswoode.

 

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