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Murder on a Bridle Path (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Mystery | 17 April 1936 (USA)
After Hildegarde proves that the accidental riding death on a Central Park bridle path is really murder, she's faced with a plethora of red herrings and a real killer.

Writers:

Dorothy Yost (screen play by), Thomas Lennon (screen play by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Gleason ... Police Insp. Oscar Piper
Helen Broderick ... Hildegarde Withers
Louise Latimer ... Barbara Foley
Owen Davis Jr. ... Edward 'Eddie' Fry
John Arledge ... Joey Thomas
John Carroll ... Latigo Wells
Leslie Fenton ... Don Gregg
Christian Rub ... Chris Thomas
Sheila Terry ... Violet Feverel
Willie Best ... 'High-Pockets'
John Miltern John Miltern ... Patrick 'Pat' Gregg
Spencer Charters ... Warden Sylvester Mahoney
James Donlan James Donlan ... Detective Kane
Gustav von Seyffertitz ... Doctor Bloom, Police Dept.
Frank Reicher ... Dr. Peters (Gregg's)
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Storyline

When the body of Violet Feverel is discovered on the Central Park bridle path, Inspector Oscar Piper is about to declare her death accidental from a thrown horse, until his friend and amateur detective Hildegarde Withers locates the horse and discovers blood on the horse. The coroner deems it a murder when the cause of death is shown to be by a blunt instrument on the victim's head. The suspects include Violet's ex-husband, Don Gregg, who she jailed for nonpayment of alimony, but who was just released by a forged court order; Latigo Wells, the manager of Violet's stables and who had an argument with her that morning; and Eddie Fry, who had quarreled with Violet over his seeing her sister, Barbara Foley, and who was about to elope with Barbara. At Don's Long Island home, Hildegarde and Oscar meet his sickly father, Patrick, the caretaker, Chris Thomas, and his crippled son, Joey. After Patrick is murdered, Hildegarde snoops around and discovers clues which pinpoint the murderer, who is... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two murders solved by an amateur! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 April 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Puzzle of the Briar Pipe See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mr. Jones, a key canine member of the cast in "Murder on a Honeymoon," appears briefly here but is not referred to by name. See more »

Quotes

Hildegarde Withers: How long have you worked around here?
'High-Pockets': About three months, Ma'am... not countin' the week I was in jail.
Hildegarde Withers: What were you doing in jail?
'High-Pockets': Shootin' craps.
Hildegarde Withers: No, I mean what did they put you in jail for?
'High-Pockets': Shootin' craps.
See more »

Connections

Follows Penguin Pool Murder (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

 
You'll like this one better if ...
1 May 2011 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

... you never saw its three predecessors in which Edna May Oliver played schoolteacher Hildegarde Withers, partner in sleuthing to police detective Oscar Piper (James Gleason). There was something very special about the chemistry between these two. However, Helen Broderick is a more than adequate stand-in who manages to get a few good zingers in at the expense of Piper, which was the trademark of Withers when Oliver played the part.

In this entry in the series, a pretty but difficult young woman makes enemies of everyone around her, although we're told about this more than we see it - the girl barely gets more than a scene before she is murdered while riding her horse one morning. Only the homicide investigation turns up the most likely suspect - a rich ex-husband who was a husband in the first place only because the murdered woman wanted a big payoff in the form of alimony. Piper thinks he's on to something until he learns that the man in question was in jail for non payment of alimony at the time, and that the man's only close living relative, his father, who also hates the girl for what she has done to his son, is an invalid incapable of traipsing around parks early in the morning. There are other numerous less likely suspects introduced just to keep you guessing.

As usual, Hildegarde out-sleuths Piper at several key junctures, but she also makes a key miscalculation that leads up to a big joke at her expense in the last scene, after the mystery is solved. The fact that this one word - applesauce - could ever have been considered a curse word of sorts may seem strange to modern audiences. Stranger still was that the production code was so sensitive at the time that the film had to make the retort to Hildegarde appear to have two meanings.

This one is an above average mystery and well acted, just don't expect the magic of the ones with both Gleason and Oliver starring.


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