Murder at the Vanities (1934) - Rotten Tomatoes

Murder at the Vanities (1934)

Murder at the Vanities (1934)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Murder at the Vanities Photos

Movie Info

+The Earl Carroll Vanities, a popular Broadway revue of the 1930s and '40s, is the setting for this murder mystery interspersed with an assortment of variety acts, including Duke Ellington performing "Ebony Rhapsody" and a novelty number called "Marijuana." Victor McLaglen stars as Bill Murdock, a detective investigating a series of murders during the opening night of a new edition of the +Vanities. When private detective Sadie Evans (Gail Patrick) is found murdered, Murdock must investigate between musical numbers to find the killer. When Rita Rose (Gertrude Michael) next turns up dead, Murdock concludes young ingenue Ann Ware (Kitty Carlisle) is the next person marked for death. Murdock has to find the murderer before the ending of the show or else he or she could disappear in the departing crowd of theatergoers.

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Cast

Carl Brisson
as Eric Lander
Victor McLaglen
as Police Lt. Bill Murdock
Jack Oakie
as Jack Ellery
Dorothy Stickney
as Norma Watson
Jessie Ralph
as Mrs. Helen Smith
Charles B. Middleton
as Homer Boothby
Gail Patrick
as Sadie Evans
Donald Meek
as Dr. Saunders
Toby Wing
as Nancy
Colin Tapley
as Stage Manager
William Arnold
as Treasurer
Cecil Weston
as Miss Bernstein
Hal Greene
as Call Boy
Betty Bethune
as Fat Charwoman
Ernestine Anderson
as Earl Carroll Girl
Marion Callahan
as Earl Carroll Girl
Dorothy Dawes
as Earl Carroll Girl
Ruth Hilliard
as Earl Carroll Girl
Constance Jordan
as Earl Carroll Girl
Evelyn Kelly
as Earl Carroll Girl
Leda Necova
as Earl Carroll Girl
Wanda Perry
as Earl Carroll Girl
Laurie Shevlin
as Earl Carroll Girl
Anya Taranda
as Earl Carroll Girl
Dave O'Brian
as Chorus Boy
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Critic Reviews for Murder at the Vanities

All Critics (6)

One of the unsung gems of pre-Code film.

August 14, 2013 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

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

April 8, 2012 | Full Review…

... fast-moving, fast-talking, sexy little entertainment...

April 9, 2009 | Full Review…

'Murder of the Musical' would be a better name.

October 8, 2003 | Rating: 0/5

Audience Reviews for Murder at the Vanities

½

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
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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