I was 1200 words into my essay on the best supporting actress of 1932-33 when I changed my mind. It happens. I know you think I have this all mapped out in advance, but I really don't—I only think I do.
So what that means is my post won't be ready today as originally planned.
In the meantime, how about passing the time with William Powell in a detective movie? This street-legal copy of The Kennel Murder Case comes courtesy of the Internet Movie Database and features Powell in his recurring role as Philo Vance, a high society dandy who solves murder mysteries in his spare time. This is pre-Thin Man, so no booze or wisecracks, but if you know Powell's work in The Thin Man series, this gives you a chance to see where he polished his chops.
Typically, actors in those days toiled for years before they got a shot at stardom, but when they got their break, they knew what to do with it. Powell was no exception. This was his fifty-sixth movie and you can see that he knows how to command the screen. All he needed at this point was Myrna Loy and a wire-haired terrier to make the leap to stardom.
No slapdash B-picture, this. Directed by Michael Curtiz, who would later win an Oscar for directing Casablanca, it co-stars Mary Astor and one of my favorite character actors, Eugene Pallette.
Apocalypse Now and Then
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