Murder at the Vanities (1934)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This murder mystery, set backstage during a musical revue, concerns the efforts of a detective to solve a series of killings. After a fellow private eye is killed before the show, he begins to investigate the growing murder spree and must solve the case before the show ends.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Earl Carroll, Joseph Gollomb, Sam Hellman, Carey Wilson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 5, 1987
MCA Universal Home Video



as Eric Lander

as Police Lt. Bill Murd...

as Jack Ellery

as Norma Watson

as Rita Ross

as Mrs. Helen Smith

as Homer Boothby

as Sadie Evans

as Dr. Saunders

as Nancy

as Lona

as Stage Manager

as Miss Bernstein

as Call Boy

as Fat Charwoman

as Earl Carroll Girl

as Earl Carroll Girl

as Earl Carroll Girl

as Earl Carroll Girl

as Earl Carroll Girl

as Earl Carroll Girl

as Earl Carroll Girl

as Earl Carroll Girl

as Earl Carroll Girl

as Earl Carroll Girl

as Chorus Boy

as Anne Ware
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Murder at the Vanities

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

One of the unsung gems of pre-Code film.

Full Review… | August 14, 2013
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The nutty tessitura of this "investigation set to music" encompasses everything from Toby Wing's giggly squeal to an astonishing blend of classicism and hot jazz

Full Review… | April 8, 2012

Audience Reviews for Murder at the Vanities


Murder mystery with a musical backdrop shows its age but has some interesting numbers in particular Duke Ellington's orchestra's production and the now infamous Marijuana number with discreetly covered but unquestionably topless showgirls. Lost in amongst the hundreds of hopeful showgirls and chorus boys are Lucille Ball, Ann Sheridan and Alan Ladd all still years away from any kind of fame and hard to spot. The acting is okay but this is more of a curio as a good example of some of the things that were common before the code, implied or actual nudity, drug references and occasional swearing that would disappear for almost 3 decades when the Hayes code took full effect within a very short time after this film premiered.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

the murder mystery is a flimsy excuse to put on a musical within a musical and show case the singers & dancers paramount had under contract this pic is perhaps best known 'cos it faetures the 'marijuana song" sund infront of a giant prickly cactus!

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