Murder at the Vanities (1934)

Passed   |    |  Musical, Mystery, Romance


Murder at the Vanities (1934) Poster

A homicide detective with an eye for the ladies investigating a murder in Earl Carroll's Vanities allows the music review to continue during the investigation.


6.7/10
534

Photos

  • Laurie Shevlin in Murder at the Vanities (1934)
  • Murder at the Vanities (1934)
  • Carl Brisson and Kitty Carlisle in Murder at the Vanities (1934)
  • Kitty Carlisle in Murder at the Vanities (1934)
  • Murder at the Vanities (1934)
  • Lucille Ball, Ernestine Anderson, Lona Andre, Marion Callahan, Nancy Caswell, Virginia Davis, Dorothy Dawes, Barbara Fritchie, Nora Gale, Toby Wing, Juanita Clay, and Helen Curtis in Murder at the Vanities (1934)

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User Reviews


10 April 2009 | aadamtx
8
| Tons of fun, with a great cast
I just viewed MURDER AT THE VANITIES in the newly-released Universal Pre-Code set, and I was amazed at how much I enjoyed the vehicle end to end. Most of the other commentators have covered the story, a murder mystery within a musical, but I wanted to add a few additional notes. Brisson and Carlisle are relatively bland, compared to even most of the minor players, and neither one really seems to have the proper voice for what they're singing (Carlisle being a trained opera singer, Brisson a bit wobbly on some of his high and low notes). The great Victor McLaglen and Jack Oakie play well off each other, with an excellent sense of timing that keeps the ball rolling between musical numbers. Yes, Lucille Ball and Ann Sheridan are Vanities girls, but let's not forget the splendid jazz singer Ernestine Anderson in the "Ebony Rhapsody" number. Gail Patrick makes one of her early appearances, sounding a bit like Eve Arden; Patrick would go on to become the executive producer of the Perry Mason TV series. Then there's Jessie Ralph as the wardrobe mistress--you'll spot her also in David COPPERFIELD (as Aunt Peggoty) and THE BANK DICK. The music is very good--Brisson introducing the standard "Cocktails for Two" in two different scenes; "Sweet Marihuana" with barely clad peyote button girls in the background (blood dripping on one chorine's white skin was wonderfully chilling); the "Ebony Rhapsody," with Duke Ellington's Orchestra and a bevy of beautiful dancers, both black and white, mixing it up. And I believe this is one of the only early musicals to feature such a mix--and the costumes leave nothing to the imagination.

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