"If this is the ground-breaking 30's detective movie they say it is, the DVD deserves more care as to quality control. (Please note that the distributor is not the studio that originally produced the film.) That said, the mystery is entertaining; and the acting is solid. However, the DVD picture quality is poor and is a major distraction. UCLA needs to get to work on this one, fast! The sound is surprisingly strong for most of the film, except in a couple of places where it cuts in and out. I will keep this DVD in my collection, but I cannot recommend it to any one to buy."
GREAT DETECTIVE - MARGINAL PRINT
Mountain Lover | 02/19/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Great story with a great actor. Too bad Alpha didn't care enough to find a good print... sound is okay. I would not buy from them again."
William Powell as Philo Vance gives a fluid performance.
Thomas Vance | Georgetown, Ky USA | 12/22/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those who enjoy the Thin Man movies, this remake of the earlier silent version is worth watching. Although, not totally faithful to the book, this script captures the spirit of Philo Vance and William Powell gives a fluid performance. The supporting cast is made up of character actors familiar to any one who has viewed movies from the 30's. For Van Dine devotees this may be a bit of a disappointment, but for most this will prove a very viewable adaptation."
Wonderful classic whodunnit-lousy copy
WhoDunnit Buff | Minnesota | 08/09/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I was looking forward to a sharp, clear DVD of one of my favorite whodunnits but instead I wasted my money with Alpha Video on something that looks like a poor copy of a VHS! Do yourself a favor and look for a good, remastered version of this movie from someone else and enjoy! The story and plot are well worth it!"
THIS IS A GOOD OLD FASHIONED WHO DONE IT
Elaine J. Campbell | Rancho Mirage, CA United States | 12/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"from the 30s. William Powell is his usual sophisticated self, and in this film he, as Philo Vance, has an extraordinary talent for sleuthing. So much so that he makes the head detective of the police department (played adroitly by Eugene Palette) look like a dunderhead. But Palette's character doesn't mind and, in fact, depends on Powell's gift to solve the case and take the credit (and Powell doesn't mind in the least) for it. So all is amicable.
Several reviewers have mentioned the poor quality of the DVD. I only experienced near the end of the film two or three moments when the sound/picture seemed to slightly skip. Other than that, all ran smoothly.
Mary Astor is in this film, suave and gorgeous and looking so young one hardly recognizes her. Also legendary character actor Jack LaRue playing an Italian. And then there is Frank Morgan, et al. And one meets a couple of terrific dogs: one a scotty, the other a doberman. Their performances are up to par.
I personally couldn't guess who the murderer was unti it was ultimately revealed due to Vance's brilliancy. In fact, I had the wrong man in mind. I like a who done it where the villian's identity turns out to be a surprise. And the motive was one I couldn't imagine.