THE BISHOP MURDER CASE (1930)
Article #1018 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-28-2003
Posting Date: 5-26-2004
Directed by Nick Grinde
Featuring Basil Rathbone, Lella Hyams, Roland Young
Philo Vance is called onto a case where a man is discovered on a professor’s lawn with an arrow through his chest.
Several years before Rathbone became the most famous Sherlock Holmes of them all, he played Philo Vance in this early talkie, and it’s kind of interesting to watch on that level; he is referred to as Holmes at least once during the course of the movie, and even goes into a Holmesian what-you-did-last-night type of monologue that is just like the sort of thing Holmes would do in the stories. This movie is in itself quite interesting, with some well-staged murders (including one that involves a house of cards) and a clever story, but it suffers a little from being slow as molasses at times, and many of the lesser actors were still working in the overdone silent acting style that was quickly becoming out of date during the talkie era. It’s worth catching for Rathbone and Roland Young fans who like a good mystery.