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The Sunset Murder Case

The Sunset Murder Case(1941)

Also Known As: Murder on Sunset Boulevard | The Sunset Strip Case |

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Brief Synopsis

First of all this film was produced and distributed in 1938, and is not a 1941 production. The exhibitors and various censor boards objected to the original title, "The Sunset Strip Case" (because of the double meaning that implied a strip on Sunset rather than the name of the street, which is exactly what the producer had in mind when he hired fan-dancer Sally Rand, the hit of the Chicago Exposition and the later Texas Centennial), and Boston promptly banned the film, as Boston was often subject to do with far less reason than they had with this film. The film was tied up in law suits across the country brought against the various blue-nose boards who also blocked its showing, and all this was going on during the collapse of Grand National with GN president E. W. Hammons being hauled to court by exhibitors and creditors, including the production unit headed by this film's producer George A. Hirliman. The latter produced it for Grand National distribution, but Grand National had no distribution left when Hirliman finally got it cleared for showing in New York in 1941 under the title of "The Sunset Murder Case"...and it was distribued through indie exchanges in 1941 as Grand National had long folded its tent. It still carried the Grand National logo, which evidently has fooled the source that keeps calling this a 1941 production, and showing it as being distributed by an entity that no longer existed. The cast order shown on the 1941 prints is no way reflective of the cast order shown on original release. Excuse the use of Plot Summary to explain why this is not a 1941 film, but that is beginning to appear to be the only way to get this film into its proper decade. The plot summary, albeit skimpy,already on site will suffice for the plot. Be advised that Sally Rand was slower with her fans and showed more flesh in a later-Soundies short film than she does here. This one ran into trouble in 1938 because of her name, and not what she actually showed, although she showed more than was custom in 1938...or 1948 or 1958 for that matter.

Cast & Crew

Louis Gasnier Director
Sally Rand Kathy O'Connor [also known as Valerie]
Henry King Master of ceremonies and His Orchestra
Esther Muir Lora Stephani
Lona Andre Nita [Madera]
Vince Barnett [Eddy] Martin
Sugar Kane Penny [Nickels]
Dennis Moore Lou [Fleming]
Reed Hadley [Oliver] Halton
Paul Sutton Bapti [Stephani]
Stanley Price Luigi [Barney]
Frank O'Connor Tom O'Connor

Additional Details

MPAA Ratings:  Premiere Info:  New York opening: 30 Aug 1941
Release Date:  1941 Production Date:  USCX; revised 10/93
Commercial tape bought by Pat
Color/B&W:  Black and White Distributions Co: 
Sound:  Mono Production Co:  Grand National Pictures, Inc.
Duration(mins):  57, 59 or 62 Country:  United States
Duration(feet):  not available    
Duration(reels):  7    

Leonard Maltin Ratings & Review



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  • Sunset Murder Case

    Kicks 2013-01-11

    This film is worth seeing for the legendary Sally Rand. In addition to the dance sequences she has a charming on screen presence. While the plot is fairly... MORE>