Add a Review

  • This time a murder takes place on a seaplane enroute to Catalina Island and all of the passengers become suspects. Needless to say, a few red herrings are thrown into the plot but it's all eventually solved after Hildegarde Withers (Edna May Oliver) calls in detective Piper (James Gleason) to assist her in solving the case.

    Another minor entry in the Hildegarde Withers series with Edna May giving her all to a plot-heavy number of names and suspects. Better just sit back and watch Oliver at work, stealing every scene with assurance and almost making us believe in the baffling proceedings. Leo G. Carroll does a nice job as a harried movie director. Lola Lane is a pleasant distraction but it's Edna May's movie all the way.
  • Edna May Oliver returns as the indomitable schoolteacher/sleuth Hildegarde Withers. Even while on vacation in California she has no trouble in finding murders to solve.

    Miss Edna May is again quite wonderful to watch. This was her third & final outing as Withers - she would soon be leaving RKO for MGM and other memorable roles there. James Gleason is back as her New York City detective boyfriend. Comic relief is provided by Willie Best.

    The movie is enhanced considerably by location filming at Avalon, on Santa Catalina Island. The huge Casino, which dominates the Avalon waterfront, provides a spooky scene or two.
  • Murder On A Honeymoon finds Edna May Oliver on holiday to Catalina Island where on the small plane she's traveling on, a witness in a mob case from New York is poisoned. The case piques the interest of Oliver's old friend Inspector James Gleason of the NYPD for him to come out and help the Catalina PD.

    In these three films Edna May is a virtual stand-in for Agatha Christie's Miss Jane Marple who is constantly making fools of the police wherever they may be. But she and Gleason have a really effective chemistry in the three films they did. Sad to say Edna May did not want to continue the series. She and Gleason would have been a great weekly series in the age of television.

    Murder On A Honeymoon may have been the best of the three films because based on the other two, I thought I had the perpetrator all picked out. But I was completely wrong and I think other viewers will fall in the same trap. Two other murders occur before Gleason and Oliver finally figure it out. By the way the clue here is in how the crime was committed. And a big red herring is also served up for the audience to convince you of the perpetrator's apparent innocence.

    Even on vacation it seems as though Edna May's Hildegarde Withers can't get away from murder.
  • Another fun Hildegarde Withers mystery starring the great Edna May Oliver. This is the third and final Withers film starring Oliver. She would be replaced by two other actresses in the other films. Those don't match up to the Oliver entries in the series but are watchable. The plot here is about Hildy flying on a plane when one of the passengers is mysteriously killed. When the plane lands Hildy wastes no time starting her investigation. She contacts Inspector Piper (James Gleason), who quickly comes to help. Oliver and Gleason are terrific, as always. Their banter and chemistry is the primary reason to watch these movies. Nice cast includes Leo G. Carroll and the lovely Lola Lane. Willie Best also appears in one of his stereotypical parts that will make some modern viewers uncomfortable.
  • Murder on a Honeymoon opens aboard a seaplane flying several passengers out to a vacation destination: it's a neat opening scene that sets the plot in motion with a murder and introduces us to all of the suspects as well. Among those passengers is Hildegarde Withers, played one more time by the great Edna May Oliver, who is a bit sick during the flight but recovers nicely when the plane lands and it is discovered that a fellow passenger is dead.

    James Gleason returns as Inspector Oscar Piper; it seems the murdered man was involved in a case his department is on, so he hops a flight himself and quickly joins his old collaborator Miss Withers. ("Hildegarde, you get screwier every day" is practically the first thing he says to her when they meet, thus quickly re-establishing their outwardly adversarial, genuinely affectionate personal relationship.)

    Good photography—both of island scenes and in some atmospheric shadowy night shots—adds sparkle to a script that neatly balances comic banter with murder. A solid supporting cast features Leo G. Carroll as a big shot movie director (who carries a flask with two compartments in it—one containing the good booze he drinks, one stocked with the cheap stuff he shares with others) and Lola Lane as an aspiring actress hoping to catch his eye.

    Overall, the suspense is a bit more taut, the solution more surprising than in the two previous Withers-Piper pictures; it's a top-notch B mystery.

    Oliver, especially, is at her very best, especially when dealing with those who underestimate her—for example, the local police chief and doctor, who are beginning the murder investigation while still in their bathing suits: "Don't try to be impressive in that rig, my man," Miss Withers snaps when one attempts brusqueness. "You can't frighten me until you've put on your trousers."
  • This, and Penguin Pool Murder, are just plain fun and pleasant. Both are well written, surprisingly well photographed and edited. As I get older, I like less drama and more mystery, and more characters. Not a bad format for a TV mystery, like a light-hearted Columbo.

    I did not have an appreciation of James Gleason until viewing these two. He is often a minor character actor as is Edna May Oliver (sometimes Mae). Both fare very well as lead actors. It was fun to see a younger Leo G Carroll.

    These old movies give one a glimpse of early 1930's America, although perhaps an inaccurate one (it was Depression time). Murder on a Honeymoon shows Catalina Island offshore of Los Angeles in 1935 and of travel/commute by seaplane. It hasn't changed much except that the seaplanes are gone.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***SPOIERS*** Best of the trio of movies involving school teacher detective Hildegarde Wither that happens when she's on vacation at California's Catalina island. It's when vacationer Roswell Forrset is found dead on the plane carrying Hildegarde and a number of other vacationers to Catalina that foul; play is suspected by her. The other passengers on the plane newlyweds Marvin & Kay Deving together with old rummy Capt. Beegle aspiring actress Phyllis La Font and movie director Joseph Tate, as well as Hildegarde, are all suspected in Forrest's murder! Since they were the last persons with him at the time of his death!

    What makes Forrest's sudden death even more mysterious is that he was supposed to be a witness back in New York City against the Mob who have put out a $10,000.00 reward on his head for anyone who knocks him off! This has New York Police inspector Oscar Piper fly to Catalina to help in finding Forrest's murderer. As you would expect Piper makes thing worse then they already are in him mostly suspecting the wrong persons who were involved in Forrest's murder.

    It's Hildegarde who by risking her life who uncovers the real reason why Forrest was killed and the person or persons who murdered him. This after Hildegarde uncovered a secret post office box containing $10,000.00 that was to be paid to Forrest's killer! Of course with Hildegarde getting her hands on the payoff money before Forrest's killer did it lead to both him and the person who was to pay him off ending up dead in thinking each double crossed each other.

    ***SPOILERS*** It was in Hildegarde finding the murder weapon a pack of poison cigarettes in Forrest's murder that broke the case wide open. Sliping the death joint on whom she suspected is the killer had him, or her, completely lose it. Pulling out the gun that was used in murdering the payoff man more then sealed the killers fate. As well as a straight right to the kisser by by inspector Piper who got there just in time to save Hildegarde as well as himself from becoming the killers next victims!
  • tedg4 August 2006
    This was — I believe — the third of the series and the last with this woman. I like these because James Gleason does a ratatat detective, cigar-chomping, who always gets things wrong. The original idea was that a schoolmarm bests him, but her position as a teacher seems to have been forgotten after the first two.

    In the first one, they actually fall in love. In the second, she establishes a new pattern as the pushy friend who seems to muddle through before the officials do. It was Gleason that makes these work. He's something of a genius.

    In this one, two things are changed. The mystery goes from a pre-noir template to an Agatha Christie one: murder on a small airplane. That means you have only so many suspects and we have seen them all moving about and bumping each other, each doing something suspicious. So its mildly more engaging as a mystery than any of the others.

    But something else changes here. There's much, much more physical humor. She tumbles about ungracefully as if that were a hoot. Gleason's inspector gets whacked by every door he gets close to.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Murder On A Honeymoon" is the last of the three film appearances of Edna May Oliver as schoolteacher and amateur sleuth Hildegarde Withers, and is in my opinion the best of the three films, mainly for the following reasons:

    a) Slightly improved production values, with the Catalina island providing a nice change of scenery

    b) A more intricate plot, with several surprising plot developments (not just limited to "who-done-it")

    c) Two terrific supporting performances, by Dorothy Libaire (who, if IMDb is correct, is still with us at the astonishing age of 107!) and Lola Lane (whose character forms a rare bond of friendship with Miss Withers - usually, Inspector Oscar Piper is Miss Withers' only "buddy").

    And of course, Edna May Oliver and James Gleason put on their usual good show.

    I give this one **1/2 out of 4.
  • The always-delightful Edna May Oliver stars as old maid schoolteacher Hildegarde Withers in Murder on a Honeymoon, also starring James Gleason, Leo G. Carroll, and Lola Lane.

    In this series entry, Hildegarde is on a seaplane en route to Catalina when there's a murder. Naturally all of the passengers are suspect.

    It's kind of convoluted, but no one cares. Oliver (who is only 52 at the time of this filming) is her usual scene-stealing self as she tries to solve the mystery and trades some snappy dialogue with Detective Piper (James Gleason).

    I love seeing the planes in these old films.
  • GManfred17 February 2014
    Interesting casting; a dowdy British matron teams up with a wisecracking New York City detective to solve a mystery. Turns out it was a great idea, and you wish they could have made a whole series, like the Charlie Chans, instead of just three of them. And that is our loss.

    Edna May Oliver is entertaining in anything she appeared in and the same goes for James Gleason. Together they are great fun and play well off each other, with neither giving any ground and holding their own as verbal sparring partners. "Murder On A Honeymoon" was even co-scripted by Robert Benchley and directed by Lloyd Corrigan - not too shabby on the credits.

    The plot is a good one and you will be hard-put to guess the murderer. There is some plot contrivance toward the end of the picture, but if you're like me you'll just go with it. It's like that with many good movies that hold your interest throughout, a trademark of the way Hollywood used to make movies.
  • Murder on a Honeymoon is directed by Lloyd Corrigan and adapted to screenplay by Robert Benchley and Seton I. Miller from the novel The Puzzle of the Pepper Tree written by Stuart Palmer. It stars Edna May Oliver, James Gleason, Lola Lane and George Meeker. Music is by Alberto Colombo and cinematography by Nick Musuraca.

    During a flight to Catalina Island a passenger falls sick and dies. Hildegard Withers (Oliver) smells a rat but has trouble convincing the authorities that murder is evident. Help is on the way, though, in the shape of Hildegard's side-kick, Inspector Oscar Piper (Gleason).

    The third and last outing for Oliver as fun crime solver Hildegard Withers, Murder on a Honeymoon gets in and does a grand job for entertainment purpose. The by-play between Oliver and Gleason is very precious, harking back to a cinematic time when actors attacked their roles with brio, and here the actors are helped by having humourist Benchley at the writing table. The mystery element is strong, and this even though we only have a small group of suspects, while the big reveal is a genuine surprise as the plot twists into crafty avenues.

    Phsyical froth meets murder mystery shenanigans. Nice. 7/10
  • In the 1930s, Edna May Oliver made three Hildegarde Withers mysteries. The first two ("Penguin Pool Murder" and "Murder on the Blackboard") were terrific--great B-movie examples of how to do a murder mystery right! In particular, Oliver created a terrific character. Sadly, after making "Murder on a Honeymoon", the studio replaced her with two other actresses and they just didn't have Oliver's great screen presence.

    This film begins on a seaplane. Hildegarde hates flying though soon she seems to forget and begins socializing with the other passengers. When they land, however, one of the passengers is found dead--and he appears to have been murdered. Naturally, Hildegarde investigates and soon her friend, Inspector Piper (James Gleason) arrives to lend his support. Now here's the weird part--the body soon disappears and for much of the film they're just trying to find it--not just who did it. What it's all about and who's responsible you'll have to find out for yourself--but I liked seeing Gleason deck the murderer! This is another excellent Hildegarde Withers film. Great characters, a decent mystery and fun--all the necessary ingredients for a good time.

    At the 25 minute mark, there is a scene with a heel with the letter K in it. IMDb says this is a goof and it was the wrong direction. I specifically looked for this and the letter appeared to be the correct direction--and there is no mistake.

    By the way, Willie Best (as his alter-ego 'Sleep 'n Eat') plays his usual VERY stereotypical black character that is bound to offend modern sensibilities. It's a shame, but this sort of character was very popular back in the 1930s.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    NOTES: Third of the "Hildegarde Withers" series of six films, all produced by RKO and all based on works by the character's creator, Stuart Palmer. The first three films starred Edna May Oliver. On completing this assignment (for which she received rave notices), Miss Oliver accepted a tempting offer to sign with MGM. RKO, unwilling to pay MGM's price for Miss Oliver's continued service, teamed James Gleason with Helen Broderick in film number four, and with ZaSu Pitts in films five and six. To quiet public outrage at these substitutions, RKO put it out that Miss Oliver was "too ill" to continue with the role. This lie fooled no-one except, it seems, present-day critics who still repeat this canard from time to time in various books and reviews.

    COMMENT: By common consensus, this one has always been regarded as the best of the series. Directed by Lloyd Corrigan, the actor/writer, who whipped out around a dozen films in the 1930s before resuming his acting career, Murder on a Honeymoon boasts some very fine performances, both comic and dramatic, which help to bolster an already intriguing script. Seton I. Miller supplied the drama, Robert Benchley the comedy and both blend perfectly together. Atmospheric photography also helps. However, not everyone will agree that Edna May Oliver outshines the rest of the cast. Some might even go so far as to suggest that her highly mannered portrayal seems both old-fashioned and out of place. Certainly the rest of the players are far more realistic in their approach, be it with comedy (Spencer Charters, Willie Best, Arthur Hoyt) or suspense (Lola Lane, Leo G. Carroll, DeWitt Jennings). However, as far as I'm concerned, the player who walks away with the acting honors is the little-known Dorothy Libaire, with equally unknown Harry Ellerbe not far behind. I also enjoyed seeing Robert Homans without his customary patrolman's cap, and sitting behind a desk for once! As with the first two entries, production values are high. Plane connoisseurs and nostalgia buffs will both revel in the flight to Catalina Island.
  • This second follow-up to THE PENGUIN POOL MURDER sees amateur sleuth Hildegarde Withers tackling a poisoning on a small plane where any one of the travellers could be the murderer. It's a short and snappy affair, notably more comedic than mysterious, and adding in plenty of unexpected slapstick comedy into the mix. Miss Withers is knocked about, kidnapped and undergoes all manner of hair-raising adventures as she attempts to solve the crime.

    These films work on the strength of the characters and Miss Withers is as delightful as she was previously. Edna May Oliver has a great chemistry with James Gleason, who plays the bumbling Inspector Piper, and watching the two sharing screen time is great fun. The mystery plot is fairly predictable in an Agatha Christie way, with lots of suspects and hidden motivations which come to the fore. Look out for Leo G. Carroll, actually looking young here which is a rarity in itself.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is definitely a B movie...but it's a fun B movie. And the fun comes in the acting of one of my favorite character actresses -- Edna May Oliver. Oliver was a wonderful supporting actress in a number of films such as "Drums Along The Mohawk". It's nice to see her here as the star of a film (she did several in the genre), albeit one with a story line that's sometimes a bit shaky in terms of the writing. Oliver makes up for that with her classic almost comedic timing and facial expressions.

    It's unfortunate that the plot is so weak. It's almost as if they were writing the script as they went along, and clues seem to be thrown in as needed, rather than thought out in advance. Most of the characters are not very well developed.

    However, the two lead characters -- Oliver and character actor James Gleason -- are great and have real chemistry. There are two other films in the series, and others beyond that with different actors.

    Another interesting factor in the film is that it was produced on the island of Catalina.

    Hey, if you ever want to just sit and enjoy an hour or so without thinking too much, this is a great film to watch. If you don't Oliver yet, watch this and you won't forget her.
  • Murder on a Honeymoon (1935)

    *** (out of 4)

    Third film in the series has Edna May Oliver returning as Hildegarde Withers, the school teacher who once again finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. While on vacation Withers and Inspector Piper (James Gleason) investigate the murder of a man on an airplane who at first just got violently sick but then ended up dying. There's no question that this third film is a step down from PENGUIN POOL MURDER and MURDER ON THE BLACKBOARD but thanks to the leads its still worth watching. Once again we get Oliver and Gleason working perfectly together and coming up with some terrific comic timing as well as that wonderful chemistry that only they could deliver. The screenplay gives both of them plenty of banter towards the other but it also has them working even better together as the majority of the laughs take a backseat to the actual mystery being unfolded. I think the story here is a fairly good one but the biggest problem with the screenplay is that it really doesn't come up with very many good supporting characters. WE have the idiot cop on the island who can't do a thing right. We have an uptight director, a couple on their honeymoon and we even have one woman who will stop at nothing to become an actress. None of these characters really stood out, although I will admit that Lola Lane was extremely easy on the eyes as the actress. Gleason once again steals the film as the cigar-chomping Inspector who is always almost right but always needs that added help to get anything done. Corrigan's direction gets things done well enough but it doesn't contain that ultimate punch to keep things moving as well as they should and I do think he should have done a little more visually. With that said, this entry is still a good one and fans of these types of pictures should find themselves entertained. This is, of course, due in large part to Oliver and Gleason.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Edna May Oliver and James Gleason were perpetual supporting players teamed as leads in a series of mysteries. Oliver is wonderful as a vinegary schoolteacher with a nose for murder, and her banter with detective Gleason is terrific.

    The problem with this film is that it's two strong leads and some good dialogue in a story that makes less and less sense.

    The beginning is solid, as a man is murdered on an airplane, resulting in a small pool of murder suspects. Oliver looks for clues and makes deductions while Gleason pretty much arbitrarily suspects people and then is embarrassed when proof comes he was on the wrong track.

    Unfortunately Gleason's random suspect shtick gets wearying, and the solution to the crime is convoluted and unlikely, with some notable loose ends.

    It's still worth watching just for Oliver, but it's not really a very good movie overall.