The Kennel Murder Case
Release year: 1933
Director: Michael Curtiz
Screenwriter: S.S. Van Dine, Robert N. lee
Starring: William Powell, Mary Astor, Eugene Pallette, Ralph Morgan, Robert McWade, Helen Vinson, Arthur Hohl
While amateur detective Philo Vance (Powell) attends a dog show with his beloved dog a murder occurs, and Philo stays to help solve a case with several suspects.
This was the last time Powell (The Thin Man, 1934) played the fictional detective Philo Vance after playing him in three previous movies. It was a character fitting for the elegant stage trained actor with a sophisticated charm which made the arrogant Vance more likable. The story is a classic mystery set-up in the style of Agatha Christie, where the detective is introduced to several suspects where after we follow him as he starts unraveling the mystery. Everyone has a reason to kill the victim, but no one knows how they did it. The story keeps you guessing along trying the solve the mystery all the way through in the capable hands of the talents of Powell as well as namely Astor (The Maltese Falcon, 1941) and Pallette (Heaven Can Wait, 1943) in supporting roles. When it comes to detective movies, this is about as classic as it gets.
This was the first movie where Etienne Giradot played coroner Dr. Doremus in a Philo Vance movie. He also played him in The Dragon Murder Case (1934) and The Garden Murder case (1936).
A lot of the dialog and plot elements of the movie was later re-used in the 1940 movie Calling Philo Vance where Vance was played by James Stephenson.
The miniature buildings Vance uses to illustrate his theory are actual miniatures used earlier in the picture.