9 user 6 critic

Moonlight Murder (1936)

An escaped lunatic, a mysterious swami, and various lovers all have designs on a famous opera singer.


Edwin L. Marin


Florence Ryerson (screen play), Edgar Allan Woolf (screen play) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Chester Morris ... Steve Farrell
Madge Evans ... Toni Adams
Leo Carrillo ... Gino D'Acosta
Frank McHugh ... William
Benita Hume ... Diana
Grant Mitchell ... Dr. Adams
Katharine Alexander ... Louisa Chiltern (as Katherine Alexander)
J. Carrol Naish ... Bejac
H.B. Warner ... Godfrey Chiltern
Duncan Renaldo ... Pedro
Leonard Ceeley Leonard Ceeley ... Ivan Bosloff
Robert McWade ... Police Chief Quinlan
Pedro de Cordoba ... Swami
Charles Trowbridge ... Stage Manager


Opera star Gino D'Acosta (Leo Carrillo), due to perform in the open air of the Hollywood Bowl, is warned by a Swami (Pedro de Cordoba)that he will die if he sings. That warning comes to pass and his death proves to be murder. Police detective Steve Farrell (Chester Morris) works backstage to sort out the clues pointing to the identity of the killer. Suspects include a primma donna, her conductor husband, an insane composer, an ambitious singer and a dancer and her husband partner. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

singer | opera | lunatic | clue | dancer | See All (48) »


Crime | Music | Mystery


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Release Date:

27 March 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hollywood Bowl See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Duncan Renaldo (Cisco) and Leo Carrillo (Pancho) would team up in 1950 in TV's The Cisco Kid (1950). See more »

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User Reviews

Murder at the Hollywood Bowl
23 March 2014 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

1936's "Moonlight Murder" may be from MGM, but its 'B' status is assured by starring Chester Morris, whose 'A' status had passed, but his solid pedigree remained for second features such as RKO's "Five Came Back," plus all 14 features in Columbia's 'Boston Blackie' series. Leo Carrillo is cast against type as opera crooner/lothario Gino D'Acosta, who has more than a few interested females, an escaped maniac (J. Carrol Naish) determined to do away with him, and a mysterious swami (Pedro de Cordoba) predicting his imminent demise if he performs his next opera. There's plenty of opera, predating "Charlie Chan at the Opera" by at least five months, and it does tend to slow things to a crawl, particularly after the murder, when we're itching for some mystery relief to take charge. Another commentator took note of the method of murder popping up in a 'Mr. Wong' feature, but there also were two Monogram Charlie Chans, plus Universal's 1939 "The House of Fear" as well. Director Edwin L. Marin never seemed to escape the 'B' tag (even at MGM), his best remembered features including his debut "The Death Kiss," "A Study in Scarlet," "Bombay Mail," "The Crosby Case," "The Casino Murder Case," "The Garden Murder Case," "A Christmas Carol," "Invisible Agent," "Tall in the Saddle," and "Nocturne."

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