The Murder in the Museum (1934)

By Buster Crabbe | Classic Film Reviews | 29 Jul 2020

Starring: John Harron, Phyllis Barrington, Henry B. Walthall

Director: Melville Shyer (US)

Genre: Mystery, Comedy

Availability: YouTube


Watch Quality   B

The picture is a bit fuzzy and washed out, but it does not really interfere with the viewing experience.  The audio is mostly clear.


Plot Summary

When a murder happens in front of a large crowd at a sleazy freakshow, the police can't understand how it was done.  To prove her relative's innocence, Lois joins forces with a snarky newspaper reporter to solve the case.


Star Power   C+

Herron, known for his role in White Zombie (1932), Barrington, and Walthall were all popular in the early days of cinema.  They do a capable job in this picture, though they do not rise to star level.


Chill Factor   C+

This is an entertaining romp, though some parts of the plot are a bit hard to follow.  There is some suggestive fun at the beginning as the viewer follows the crowd through the freak show.  The sparks fizzle out from there.


Mental Health Check   B

The film breaks up the violent scenes with comic elements, and on the whole it induces more puzzlement than anxiety.  The ending is a bit tragic, but overall it's an easy watch.


Overall Grade   C

It's interesting to see the freak show of the time period and the mystery is fun to follow.  However, the characters do not really develop and the ending seems out of sync with the comedic tone of the film.

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Buster Crabbe
Buster Crabbe

As a classic film enthusiast, I'm here to bring you all the content you've been waiting for since the 1920s. My favorites are 1950s science fiction, 1940s horror, and 1930s comedies. Old-time cinema lives on!

Classic Film Reviews
Classic Film Reviews

Join me in my love of classic cinema, focusing on the 1930s through 1960s.

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