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The Dragon Murder Case (1934)
Topic Started: Sep 11 2017, 05:21 PM (306 Views)
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The Dragon Murder Case (1934) Dir. H. Bruce Humberstone
An M-G-M Production
68 min. / B&W / 1.37:1
DVD: Warner Archive's "Philo Vance Murder Case Collection"

Our favorite Criminologist to the Rich and Famous is back; seems a guy jumped into a colossal, enormous swimming pool at a millionaire's home and never came up. A batty old lady swears the monster dragon that lives in the pool is responsible, and sure enough, when the pool is emptied and the corpse is found, he's been clawed up pretty darn well. And get this: there's no water in his lungs! Hmmmm.

I don't recall if I liked The Bishop Murder Case with Basil Rathbone, the film that kicks off this set, and I know I liked The Kennel Murder Case with William Powell, the second Vance here, but I really loved this film, a mixture of monster and mystery and the oh-so-rich, with a wonderful supporting cast, including Margaret Lindsay, Lyle Talbot, Eugene Pallette, Helen Lowell, Dorothy Tree, and George E. Stone as various suspects, victims, or cops.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Bored tropical fish watcher at a rich lady's party: "Surely we can find something more amusing than watching the death throes of a fish!"

There are three more Philo Vance films in the boxed set with three different Philo Vances; I hope they're as good as this one. An underrated gem.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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Frank Hale
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That would be a First National production.

You can review your earlier thoughts on "Bishop" on this thread:

http://s13.zetaboards.com/In_The_Balcony/topic/7017516/1/

I'm getting a little dim on the series, but I think I found Dragon pretty contrived. That is not a particularly illuminating comment, however, since Philo in either book or film form was never anything if not contrived.

I donít think there's any doubt that Kennel was the best of the series, and Mr. Powell the closest to the book Philo.

Otherwise "Calling" would be the one I would revisit, because it's the slickest, and I like James Stephenson.

The way Philo jumped around from studio to studio, and actor to actor, I have to think that Hollywood never really knew what to do with him. Too pedantic / erudite for general audiences or something, and he didnít have a good Watson.
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Thank you! I watched the trailer for the next one in the series when I finished this one and saw the MGM production and made a grievous error. Shoulda known better, what with Warren William in it.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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