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I Liked Philo’s Dog

This week I offer Mystery Movie Monday. I would prefer Monster Movie Monday, but I didn’t have a monster movie to hand. Instead, I asked Steven to make a selection from his DVD set of 50 Mystery Classics. He chose The Kennel Murders (1933), a Philo Vance mystery.

Spoiler Alert! I probably won’t give away the solution, because I didn’t properly understand it, but I will certainly give away some major plot points.

I was a little concerned to see the word “kennel” in the title, knowing Hollywood’s history of NOT being kind to animals (perhaps you read my blog post about it). I did not want to watch a movie where dogs die.

Sure enough, a dog gets murdered. Philo does not seem too exercised about that murder, although the dog’s owner threatens to kill whoever did it. I was not clear on who did do it, and I couldn’t figure out how it fit in with the rest of the plot. Then again, as regular readers know, I don’t always pay a whole lot of attention to these things. Another dog gets hit on the head with a poker, which does figure in, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The movie opens on a dog show. There is Philo Vance with an extremely cute Scotty dog. His dog does not win, but Philo loves him. So there’s one reason to like Philo Vance, at any rate.

Next we meet a beautiful heiress (is there another kind?) who can’t seem to get any of her own money from her unpleasant trustee or guardian or whatever he is to her besides unpleasant. It’s pretty clear who the victim is going to be and there will be no shortage of suspects.

It is a bit of a surprise later on when one of the suspects who was starting to look really good (as a suspect, I mean) ends up dead. I guess I should have seen that coming. After all, it’s “murders” plural in the tile, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t count the dog.

The dog that gets hit on the head seems to make a full recovery and I guess helps solve the mystery. Or helps Philo prove he has correctly solved the mystery. Like I said, the solution kind of mystified me. As is often the case, the “proof” would never hold up in a court of law. For that matter, the medical evidence was pretty spurious, too. But these are mere quibbles. One must take movie mysteries at their own estimation or not at all.

Philo’s dog has a pretty good scene where he shows Philo something important. I just love a cute little dog.

In retrospect, I’m thinking it might have been a good idea if I had paid more attention to the movie, maybe made a few notes, before I tried to write about it. Then again, it’s Monday.

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