The Canary Murder Case (1929)
Thin Man Mondays presents William Powell at his sleuthing best in films based on popular mystery novels on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. throughout February and March 2010 in the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
The Canary Murder Case (1929) on March 15. William Powell stars in the first Philo Vance mystery produced for the big screen. The action revolves around the murder of a nightclub singer, played by Louise Brooks. Initially shot as a silent film, the cast and crew were quickly reassembled to re-shoot the film with sound technology – with the exception of Brooks, who left Hollywood immediately after filming. Based on the S.S. Van Dine novel. Not rated (82 min.)
William Powell evolved from silent film villain into a character actor – in the 1930s becoming a leading man (and a bankable star) with his depiction of Nick Charles in films based on stories by novelist Dashiell Hammett. Audiences were so enamored by his performances that they mistakenly identified the ever-trim Powell as the Thin Man, when the name referred to a murder victim, but no one cared to correct the misapprehension. Though best known for his role as Nick Charles, Powell also portrayed other crime solvers during his career, including the S.S. Van Dine character Philo Vance.
This series complements the 2010 Adult Winter Reading Program.
Other films in the series include:
The Kennel Murder Case (1933) on March 22. William Powell makes his fourth screen appearance as bon vivant crime solver Philo Vance as he sets out to solve a murder that the police have ruled a suicide. With Mary Astor. Based on the S.S. Van Dine novel. Not rated. (73 min.)
Evelyn Prentice (1934) on March 29. A workaholic attorney (Powell) may be having an affair with his latest client, leading his wife (Myrna Loy) to pursue a relationship that ends in blackmail and murder. With Rosalind Russell in her screen debut. Based on the novel by W.E. Woodward. Not rated. (79 min.)