World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Kennel Murder Case (film)

Article Id: WHEBN0024051596
Reproduction Date:

Title: The Kennel Murder Case (film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Helen Vinson, Michael Curtiz filmography, Conchita Montenegro, The Thin Man (film), Michael Curtiz
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

The Kennel Murder Case (film)

The Kennel Murder Case
Theatrical Film Poster
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Produced by Robert Presnell (producer)
Screenplay by Robert N. Lee
& Peter Milne
Based on novel by S.S. Van Dine
Starring William Powell
Mary Astor
Cinematography William Rees
Edited by Harold McLernon
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • October 28, 1933 (1933-10-28)
Running time
73 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Kennel Murder Case is a 1933 American Pre-Code mystery film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring William Powell as Philo Vance, reprising the role for Warner Brothers after appearing as Vance in three films for Paramount.

Plot

Philo Vance's dog does not make it into the final of the Long Island Kennel Club's dog show. Fellow competitor Archer Coe (Robert Barrat) is disappointed, having hoped to savor a victory over Vance. Coe is found dead the next morning in his bedroom, locked from the inside. District Attorney Markham (Robert McWade) and Police Sergeant Heath (Eugene Pallette) assume it was suicide, because he was shot through the head and was found holding a pistol. Vance is not convinced. He soon finds evidence that Coe was murdered. Coroner Dr. Doremus (Etienne Girardot) determines the victim died of a stab wound.

There is no shortage of suspects; Coe was very much disliked. His niece Hilda Lake (Helen Vinson) had been cheating on him with Eduardo Grassi (Jack La Rue). When Coe found out, he canceled a contract to sell his collection of Chinese artworks to the Milan museum for which Grassi worked. Liang (James Lee), the cook, had worked long, hard and illegally to help Coe amass his collection. He warned his employer against the proposed sale and was fired as a result. Even Coe's own brother Brisbane (Frank Conroy) despised Coe. Finally Gamble (Arthur Hohl), the head servant, had concealed his criminal past.

Brisbane Coe becomes Vance's prime suspect. His alibi of taking a train at the time of the murder is disproved. When he is found dead in a closet, Vance is both puzzled and enlightened. Among Brisbane's effects, Vance finds a book titled Unsolved Murders; a bookmarked page details a method of using string to lock a door through the keyhole without leaving a trace. Part of the mystery is solved.

Later, an attempt is made on the life of Sir Thomas using the same dagger used to kill Coe. Finally, a Doberman Pinscher belonging to Miss Delafield is found seriously injured, apparently struck with a fireside poker. From these and other clues, Vance finally solves the crime.

It turns out that two men sought Coe's life that night. The successful murderer struggled with Coe and stabbed him, leaving him for dead. Coe awakened soon after. Too dazed to recall the fight or notice that he was mortally wounded, he went upstairs to his bedroom and opened his window before dying. Brisbane entered the chamber, saw his brother apparently asleep in his chair. He shot the corpse and arranged the scene to look like a suicide. Downstairs he ran into the actual killer, who had seen that Archer Coe was still alive and came back to finish the job. In the darkness, he mistook Brisbane for Archer and killed the wrong man. Delafield's dog then wandered in, attracted by the commotion, and attacked the murderer.

While sure of the killer's identity, Vance has no proof. He therefore arranges for Sir Thomas and Wrede to quarrel over Hilda Lake. When Wrede instinctively reaches for the poker to strike his rival, the Doberman recognizes its attacker and leaps on him. Wrede confesses he became enraged when Coe refused to assist his courtship of Miss Lake, precipitating the stabbing.

Cast

Reception

Many film historians (including William K. Everson, who pronounced it a "masterpiece" in the August 1984 issue of Films in Review) consider it one of the greatest screen adaptations of a Golden Age mystery novel, and rank it with the 1946 film Green for Danger.

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.