The Garden Murder Case (1936)

Genres - Crime, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller, Detective Film  |   Release Date - Feb 21, 1936 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 62 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Edmund Lowe made his only screen appearance as S. S. Van Dine's dilettante sleuth Philo Vance in The Garden Murder Case. The story wastes no time getting started, with Floyd Garden (Douglas Walton) being killed in the first reel from a fall in a steeplechase. It looks like an accident -- but then, so do the subsequent deaths of Lowe Hammle (Gene Lockhart) and Mrs. Fenwick-Ralston (Frieda Inescourt). The police are baffled, but Philo Vance (Lowe) deduces that the victims were done in by a very clever -- and very deadly -- hypnotist. The revelation of the killer's identity won't be surprising to longtime mystery buffs, but it proved quite a shock to audiences in 1936. The tense final scene, in which the murder attempts to mesmerize Vance into committing suicide, was effective enough to be "borrowed" for the 1946 Sherlock Holmes film The Woman in Green.

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bus, cunning, detective, hypnosis, investigation, killing, murder, private-detective, racetrack, suicide, tracking [following], victim, wife