Friday, July 15, 2011

The Kennel Murder Case

1933, US, directed by Michael Curtiz

William Powell made three earlier appearances as Philo Vance for Paramount, but this fourth outing for Warners seems to have been a significant step up in terms of the man behind the camera; Frank Tuttle, who sat in the director's chair for the initial trio of films, seems to have been almost completely forgotten by film history. In addition to a modicum of his usual shadowplay, Michael Curtiz employs whip pans to signal movement both in time and space, a neat way to move the action forward and around in what's a typically crowded 1930s narrative (perhaps a touch overcrowded: the death of a dog remains somewhat mystifying, while a scene where Vance just happens to have detailed models of the murder scene is entirely unexplained), but his most striking touch is the use of a subjective camera to detail the murderer's exploits, a very early use of a technique that cropped up occasionally in the early sound years but which really came into its own after John Carpenter's Halloween.

No comments:


List of all movies

Most of the images here are either studio publicity stills or screen captures I've made myself; if I've taken your image without giving you credit, please let me know.

About Me

Boston, Massachusetts, United States