'The Greene Murder Case' (1929 film)
- 'The Outlook,' September 11, 1929, "The Movies,"
by A. M. Sherwood, Jr.:
"THE EXPLOITS of the incredibly elegant Philo Vance have
always intrigued this department, albeit Mr. Vance's personal
habits of speech and demeanor have often caused us to froth
slightly at the mouth. We attended the all talking picturization
of 'The Greene Murder Case' beset by a mild preliminary
wonder as to how far Mr. William Powell would go in his
impersonation of this amazin' detective and fearing, let us
add, the worst.
"Conceive, then, our relief when Mr. Powell appeared on
the screen quietly and correctly garbed and proceeded
with his lines in similar fashion. Not once did Philo Vance
unlimber the frightful word 'amazin',' nor did he address
Sergeant Heath as 'Sergente Mio.' He did not once inform
his friend, District Attorney F. X. Markham, that he (Vance)
had been unable to give thought to the mystery in hand,
because of his attendance the previous evening at a
perfectly rippin' lecture on the Minor Poets of Cinquecento.
"The admirable restraint thus exhibited by Mr. Powell and
Bartlett Cormack, writer of the dialogue, provided just so
much velvet to this spectator and did much to counter-
balance the indubitable dullness of 'The Greene Murder
Case' as a detective movie.
"A detective movie should be equipped either with a
certain amount of thrill and suspense; with a clever
exposition of the crime-detection principles involved,
or with both. 'The Greene Murder Case' can be sat
through without active distaste, but it is decidedly
humdrum -- particularly when and if compared to the
gruesome novel from which it derives.
"But there is a competent cast and effective settings
and it can by no means be said that the picture lacks
touches of interest. If nothing more exciting is in a
way to interfere, such as a pulse-quickening bout at
anagrams, you may take this photoplay in, and no
Van Dine filmography: <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0886597/>
Original novel (1928):