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A Slight Case of Murder (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime | 5 March 1938 (USA)
Former bootlegger Remy Marco has a slight problem with forclosing bankers, a prospective son-in-law, and four hard-to-explain corpses.

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

Earl Baldwin (screen play), Joseph Schrank (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward G. Robinson ... Remy Marco
Jane Bryan ... Mary Marco
Allen Jenkins ... Mike
Ruth Donnelly ... Nora Marco
Willard Parker ... Dick Whitewood
John Litel ... Post
Edward Brophy ... Lefty
Harold Huber ... Guiseppe
Eric Stanley Eric Stanley ... Ritter
Paul Harvey ... Mr. Whitewood
Bobby Jordan ... Douglas Fairbanks Rosenbloom
Joe Downing Joe Downing ... Innocence
Margaret Hamilton ... Mrs. Cagle
George E. Stone ... Kirk
Bert Hanlon Bert Hanlon ... Sad Sam
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Storyline

Remy Marco, Prohibition beer baron, figures he'll do even better after repeal. Only trouble is, his beer tastes terrible. (He drinks no beer himself and nobody dares tell him). Four years later, when he's about bankrupt, he visits his summer home in Saratoga, complete with: 1) a dead-end-kid orphan; 2) his daughter's fiance...a state trooper!, 3) the bodies of four gangsters who planned to ambush Remy but had a shootout; 4) half a million in loot they hid in the house...just the amount Remy needs to get out of hock. The comic confusion mounts... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Riotous Satire on Racketeering! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 March 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bare et lite mord See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original theatrical trailer, Edward G. Robinson as himself, talks to Mark Hellinger about this, his forthcoming picture. See more »

Goofs

When Remy drinks from the glass of beer from which Whitewood drank, there is inexplicably more beer in the glass. See more »

Quotes

Lefty: [Helping carry out four dead bodies] That's just the kind of a dirty trick those guys would pull, leaving themselves in that kind of shape around your house.
Remy Marco: Yeah, you know, that Little Dutch never had no consideration for other people's feelings.
See more »

Connections

Version of Stop, You're Killing Me (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Like a Fish out of Water
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Played offscreen on piano at the party during and after Remy's talk with Nora
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Little Caesar Goes Legit
9 April 2010 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Ex-bootlegger Edward G. Robinson (as Remy Marko) celebrates the end of Prohibition by declaring to go legit, but wisecracking wife Ruth Donnelly (as Nora) wonders about his business sense. "If I can only be sure you ain't got a bug in your nut," she tells him. Sure enough, Mr. Robinson's "Gold Velvet" beer sales fall flat, shootings litter his suburban Saratoga home, and pretty daughter Jane Bryan (as Mary) reveals she is engaged to handsome and amusingly-named policeman Willard Parker (as Dick Whitewood).

Robinson and veteran director Lloyd Bacon make this an often brilliant and still refreshingly funny "spoof" of gangster pictures, based on a Damon Runyon play. Robinson gets great comic support from velvet-voiced Allen Jenkins (as Mike), Edward Brophy (as Lefty), Harold Huber (as Gip), and the usual suspects at Warner Bros. Watch for marvelous Margaret Hamilton as a reform school teacher, stuffy Paul Harvey as the copper's dad, and well-spoken "silent" star Betty Compson to make the most of a bit part.

Beer-swigging "bad boy" Bobby Jordan (as Douglas Fairbanks Rosenbloom), the aforementioned Ms. Donnelly, and star Robinson are amazing. Although not finally nominated, hopefully Donnelly was considered for a 1938 "Academy Award" as "Best Supporting Actress" and Mr. Jordan for a "Best Juvenile" performer of 1938 mini-statuette. "A Slight Case of Murder" was soundly listed in "Best Picture" territory, at #5, on "The New York Times" annual bests list. It seems like an entirely accurate placement.

******** A Slight Case of Murder (2/26/38) Lloyd Bacon ~ Edward G. Robinson, Ruth Donnelly, Bobby Jordan, Allen Jenkins


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