A Slight Case of Murder
A Slight Case of Murder is a 1938 comedy film directed by Lloyd Bacon. The film is based on a play by Damon Runyon and Howard Lindsay. The offbeat comedy stars Edward G. Robinson spoofing his own gangster image as Remy Marco.
|A Slight Case of Murder|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lloyd Bacon|
|Produced by||Samuel Bischoff|
|Written by||Earl Baldwin|
|Based on||the 1935 play A Slight Case of Murder|
by Damon Runyon and Howard Lindsay
|Starring||Edward G. Robinson|
|Music by||Heinz Roemheld (uncredited)|
|Edited by||James Gibbon|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|February 26, 1938|
With the end of Prohibition, bootlegger Remy Marco ("Marko" in a sequence of the film) becomes a legitimate brewer; but he slowly goes broke because the beer he makes tastes terrible, and everyone is afraid to tell him so. After four years, with bank officers preparing to foreclose on the brewery, he retreats to his Saratoga summer home, only to find four dead mobsters who meant to ambush him, but were killed by their confederate whom they meant to betray. More and more problems begin to pop up in the life of the former bootlegger, as he has taken in a bratty orphan, and his daughter comes home with a fiancé that turns out to be a state cop.
|Edward G. Robinson||Remy Marco|
|Jane Bryan||Mary Marco|
|Ruth Donnelly||Nora Marco|
|Willard Parker||Dick Whitewood|
|John Litel||Mr. Post, banker|
|Harold Huber||Giuseppe 'Gip' ("Guiseppe" in the film credits)|
|Eric Stanley||Mr. Ritter, banker|
|Paul Harvey||Mr. Whitewood|
|Bobby Jordan||Douglas Fairbanks Rosenbloom|
The film continues to receive positive reviews. A Classic Film Guide review calls it "a satisfying comedy, which is enhanced by some great character work by veteran supporting players": Allen Jenkins, Edward Brophy, and Harold Huber as members of Remy's former gang gone legitimate; Margaret Hamilton as Mrs. Cagie, director of the orphanage where Marco grew up; and Paul Harvey as Marco's daughter's prospective father-in-law.
On April 8, 1945, Old Gold Comedy Theatre presented an adaptation of the film on NBC radio. The 30-minute program starred Edward G. Robinson and Allen Jenkins.
Although not an adaptation, Sylvester Stallone's "Oscar" bears more than a slight resemblance plotwise (minus the corpses) and all three films can trace their ancestry beyond the Runyon stage play to Moliere's "The Bourgeoise Gentleman."
- "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest. 43 (4): 33. Autumn 2017.