Comedy

The Kennel Murder Case (1933)

Philo Vance is on the case.
Philo Vance cancels his cruise (his cruise!) to solve a murder.

The credits may say that William Powell and Mary Astor are the stars of this film, but tain’t so. No no! The real star is Etienne Girardot.

Girardot plays the hapless doctor in this comedy-mystery, a man who cannot find any peace because super-sleuth Philo Vance (Powell) and his co-horts are forever finding murder victims.

The first such victim is found in a New York mansion early one morning, and the good doctor is summoned during his breakfast. “I was in the middle of cakes and sausage,” he scolds police as he arrives at the crime scene.

As luck would have it, a second body is discovered a few hours later. This time the doctor is dragged from his lunch of stew and apple pie. He examines the body, then begs Vance to not find another because he’s spending the afternoon at a baseball game.

But peace eludes our fellow as a third victim is found – a man who survives a stab wound. “You called me out of bed in the middle of the night,” snaps the doctor, “and this one isn’t even dead.”

This is a fun movie for Powell fans, and Astor is always worth it, but we guarantee you’ll be cheering for the harried doctor who is unable to finish a meal in peace.

Starring William Powell, Mary Astor and, of course, Etienne Girardot. Written by Robert N. Lee and Peter Milne. Directed by Michael Curtiz. Warner Brothers, 1933, 73 mins.

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