Penguin Pool Murder (1932) - Rotten Tomatoes

Penguin Pool Murder1932

Penguin Pool Murder (1932)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Penguin Pool Murder Photos

Movie Info

Edna May Oliver makes the first of three appearances as Hildegarde Withers, the schoolteacher/sleuth created by mystery writer Stuart Palmer. While conducting her students on a tour of the Battery Park Aquarium, Hildegarde spots a dead body in the penguin pool. Police inspector Piper (James Gleason) believes it's an open-and-shut case when he collars the faithless wife (Mae Clarke) of the victim, but Hildegarde suspects there's more to the case than meets the eye. Detective and teacher mellow from antagonists to friends in the course of the investigation, the denouement of which isn't revealed until the suspect is put on trial, where she is defended by her attorney-lover (Robert Armstrong). The murderer's identity isn't too surprising, but Penguin Pool Murder takes several unexpected twists all the same, including a neat reversal on the old "reunited lovers" finale. At the end, Hildegarde and Piper are contemplating marriage, but in the subsequent Edna May Oliver/James Gleason "Hildegarde Withers" films (Murder on the Blackboard, Murder on a Honeymoon) they retain their single status.


Edna May Oliver
as Miss Hildegarde Martha Withers
James Gleason
as Police Inspector Oscar Piper
Rochelle Hudson
as Parker's Telephone Operator
Mae Clarke
as Gwen Parker
Robert Armstrong
as Barry Costello
Donald Cook
as Philip Seymour
Clarence Wilson
as Bertrand B. Hemingway
Mary Mason
as Secretary
Guy Usher
as Gerald Parker
Joe Hermano
as Chicago Lew
William LeMaire
as Macdonald
Gustav von Seyffertitz
as Von Donnen/Dr. Max Bloom
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Critic Reviews for Penguin Pool Murder

All Critics (2)

The mystery that follows is good enough without being particularly dazzling, but that's less the selling point than the clever characters, the unusual leads, and the bright dialogue.

October 2, 2013 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Most engaging crime detective narrative.

September 25, 2010 | Rating: A | Full Review…

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