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 »


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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Opera mystery features intrigue, songs, murder
14 October 2014 | by csteidlerSee all my reviews

It's opera night at the Hollywood Bowl and tenor Gino D'Acosta (Leo Carillo) has everyone mad at him: his understudy, the conductor, two women he's been leading on, an aspiring composer upset because Gino won't read his opera….It seems only a matter of time before somebody knocks Gino off. A fortune teller has already told him: "If you sing tomorrow night, you will die."

The story's not real unique but it's performed with panache by a solid and colorful cast. Chester Morris is a fast talking police detective who strikes up a romance with cute scientist Madge Evans. Grant Mitchell is earnest as the tenor's doctor friend. Frank McHugh has some good moments as the singer's secretary who keeps belting out bits of opera, much to the annoyance of maestro H.B. Warner.

The setup of various characters' motives is rather involved and there is a fair amount of music, as well, so the story itself moves somewhat deliberately. The complicated plot eventually arrives at a surprising (and unlikely) resolution.

It's certainly not the best B mystery ever made, but MGM's production values, the somewhat unusual setting, and a fun cast make it very watchable.

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