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Slight Case of Murder
     

A Slight Case of Murder

Director: Lloyd Bacon

Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Jane Bryan, Allen Jenkins

 
Slight Case of Murder is a breakneck-paced comedy starring Edward G. Robinson as a tough but good-hearted bootlegger. When Prohibition is repealed, Robinson faces a financial crisis: His beer tastes so awful that no one wants to drink it legally. As an additional headache, Robinson is under scrutiny from the Law, which is

Overview

Slight Case of Murder is a breakneck-paced comedy starring Edward G. Robinson as a tough but good-hearted bootlegger. When Prohibition is repealed, Robinson faces a financial crisis: His beer tastes so awful that no one wants to drink it legally. As an additional headache, Robinson is under scrutiny from the Law, which is waiting to slip the cuffs on him for the slightest infraction. He arrives at his rented Saratoga mansion with his wife (Ruth Donnelly), daughter (Jane Bryan) and adopted son (Bobby Jordan), only to discover that a killer has left four corpses in his bedroom. Robinson and his stooges are forced to hide the bodies before his future son-in-law (Willard Parker), who happens to be a cop, tumbles to the dilemma. Based on a stage play by Howard Lindsay and Damon Runyon, A Slight Case of Murder a just as entertaining in the 1990s as it was fifty years ago (please ignore a tepid 1953 musical remake titled Stop, You're Killing Me). Surprisingly, this film was not a favorite of star Edward G. Robinson, who felt that director Lloyd Bacon rushed through the material without taking full advantage of its comic potential.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A Slight Case of Murder is a non-stop laugh riot and a brilliant parody of the classic Hollywood gangster film. Blessed with a screenplay that is not only flawlessly constructed but also drop-dead funny, Murder also benefits from a peculiar, quirky and, at times, surreal sensibility that makes it stand out from many other studio comedies of the period. The hand of Damon Runyon is clearly evident in much of the dialogue, but the trio of writers who collaborated with him on the screenplay have kept many of Runyon's bad habits -- such as an occasional willingness to go for cheap sentiment -- in check. Director Lloyd Bacon is operating in top form, almost as if he were competing with Howard Hawks to keep things moving in the most crackling manner possible. In the demanding lead role, Edward G. Robinson is delightful, a presumed tough guy who can't help but be a cuddly softie; no one handles the fish-out-of-water routines in quite the same way, and his offhanded way with a punch line is delicious. Ruth Donnelly is a stitch as his wife and Bert Hanlon has an amusing turn as Sad Sam the bookie. Unlike Robinson's cheap, bootleg booze, Murder just gets better with age.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/18/2006
UPC:
0012569679511
Original Release:
1938
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:25:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Warner Night at the Movies 1938 Short Subjects Gallery:; Vintage newsreel; Oscar®-nominated drama short Declaration of Independence; Classic cartoon the Night Watchman; Trailers of a Slight Case of Murder and 1938's the Dawn Patrol; New featurette Prohibition Opens the Floodgates; Commentary by film historian Robert Sklar; Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Edward G. Robinson Remy Marco
Jane Bryan Mary Marco
Allen Jenkins Mike
Ruth Donnelly Nora Marco
Willard Parker Dick Whitewood
John Litel Post
Edward S. Brophy Lefty
Harold Huber Guiseppe
Eric Stanley Ritter
Paul Harvey Mr. Whitewood
Bobby Jordan Douglas Fairbanks Rosenbloom
Joe Downing Innocence
Margaret Hamilton Mrs. Cagie
George E. Stone Ex-Jockey Kirk
Bert Hanlon Sad Sam
Jean Benedict Remy's Secretary
Harry Seymour The Singer
Betty Compson Loretta
George Lloyd Little Dutch
Duke York Champ
Pat Daly Pete Ryan
Harry Tenbrook A Stranger
Joe Caits No Nose Cohen
Loia Cheaney Nurse
John Harmon Blackhat Gallagher
Wade Boteler 3rd Policeman
Harry Cody Pessimistic Patron
Ralph Dunn 2nd Policeman
Ben Hendricks 1st Policeman
John Hiestand Radio Commentator
Carole Landis Actor
Bert Roach Speakeasy Proprietor
Myrtle Stedman Nurse

Technical Credits
Lloyd Bacon Director
Earl W. Baldwin Screenwriter
Sam Bischoff Producer
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
James Gibbon Editor
Sidney Hickox Cinematographer
M. K. Jerome Songwriter
M.K. Jerome Score Composer
Howard Lindsay Screenwriter
Max Parker Art Director
Damon Runyon Screenwriter
Jack Scholl Score Composer,Songwriter
Joseph Schrank Screenwriter
Hal B. Wallis Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- A Slight Case of Murder
1. Credits [:45]
2. Strictly Legitimate [6:15]
3. Homecoming [4:10]
4. Facing Foreclosure [3:03]
5. Remy's Alma Mater [3:20]
6. Douglas Fairbanks Rosenbloom [3:15]
7. Murder at Marco's [4:03]
8. From Bad to Verse [5:08]
9. Undesirable Guests [3:57]
10. Body Assisgnments [2:57]
11. Dislike of Uniforms [4:38]
12. Copper in the Family [5:18]
13. Halo Around His Around [3:20]
14. Join the Party [5:20]
15. Illegitimate Again [:55]
16. Not to Whitewood's Taste [5:26]
17. Not to Anyone's Taste [4:27]
18. Douglas' Stash [3:02]
19. Putting the Law on Remy [3:06]
20. Conspiracy or Something? [3:37]
21. Son-in-Law's Big Chance [3:27]
22. Make Room for Marco [3:08]
23. Cast List [1:48]

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