23 FEBRUARY 1934, Page 15

"The Kennel Murder Case." At the Regal

In its original form as a detective novel this was not one of the best of the Van Dine series. Its solution depended too much on an obscure piece of medical knowledge. In a film such objections are less important, for there is no time anyway for solving logical puzzles. As screen entertainment the story is rather complicated and not very strong in human interest, but it has been efficiently directed by Michael Curtiz and is on the whole well acted, though William Powell hardly suggests to me the learned and loquacious Philo Vance. A more deliberately artificial manner, touched with dilettante elegance, is needed here.

The film has one unusual merit. Its swift imagery and staccato cutting are remarkably successful in putting the whole process of American police inquiry tersely on to the screen.