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The Dragon Murder Case (film)

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The Dragon Murder Case
Poster of The Dragon Murder Case
Directed byH. Bruce Humberstone
Written byF. Hugh Herbert
Robert N. Lee
Rian James (adaptation)
Based onthe novel The Dragon Murder Case
by S. S. Van Dine
StarringWarren William
Margaret Lindsay
Lyle Talbot
Distributed bya Warner Bros.-First National Picture
Release date
  • August 25, 1934 (1934-08-25)
Running time
65-68 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Dragon Murder Case is a 1934 mystery film adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. S. Van Dine, starring Warren William as private detective Philo Vance.


The movie features a large dragon illustration behind the opening and closing credits. Monty Montague disappears after diving into a natural pool of water on an estate. Several people dive in, but there is no trace of him. Philo Vance and the District Attorney come to investigate and decide to drain the pool. They are told that there are potholes near the pool, and Montague's body is found at the bottom of a very deep pothole. His body has claw marks on it, consistent with the superstition that a dragon inhabits the pool.



In his The New York Times review, Mordaunt Hall found that the "denouement is scarcely satisfactory, for it is not quite clear how Mr. Vance reaches his conclusions." Also, in his opinion, "Mr. William, while he does fair work, is not as easy and smooth in the rôle as was Mr. [William] Powell."[1]


  1. ^ Mordaunt Hall (August 23, 1934). "The Dragon Murder Case (1934) / THE SCREEN; Warren William, Margaret Lindsay and Eugene Pallette in a New Van Dine Murder Mystery". The New York Times.

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The Dragon Murder Case (film)
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