A Slight Case of Murder

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A Slight Case of Murder
A Slight Case of Murder movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lloyd Bacon
Produced by Samuel Bischoff
Written by Earl Baldwin
Joseph Schrank
Based on the 1935 play A Slight Case of Murder
by Damon Runyon and Howard Lindsay
Starring Edward G. Robinson
Jane Bryan
Allen Jenkins
Ruth Donnelly
Cinematography Sidney Hickox
Edited by James Gibbon
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
February 26, 1938
Running time
85 minutes
Language English

A Slight Case of Murder is a 1938 comedy film directed by Lloyd Bacon. The film is based on a play by Damon Runyon and Howard Lindsay. The offbeat comedy stars Edward G. Robinson spoofing his own gangster image as Remy Marco.


With the end of Prohibition, bootlegger Remy Marco becomes a legitimate brewer; but he slowly goes broke because the beer he makes tastes terrible, and everyone is afraid to tell him so. After four years, with bank officers preparing to foreclose on the brewery, he retreats to his Saratoga summer home, only to find four dead mobsters who meant to ambush him, but were killed by their confederate whom they meant to betray. More and more problems begin to pop up in the life of the former bootlegger, as he has taken in a bratty orphan, and his daughter comes home with a fiancé that turns out to be a state cop.

Featured cast[edit]

Actor Role
Edward G. Robinson Remy Marco
Jane Bryan Mary Marco
Allen Jenkins Mike
Ruth Donnelly Nora Marco
Willard Parker Dick Whitewood
John Litel Mr. Post, banker
Edward Brophy Lefty
Harold Huber Giuseppe 'Gip'
Eric Stanley Mr. Ritter, banker
Paul Harvey Mr. Whitewood
Bobby Jordan Douglas Fairbanks Rosenbloom

Critical reaction[edit]

The film continues to receive positive reviews. A Classic Film Guide review calls it "a satisfying comedy, which is enhanced by some great character work by veteran supporting players": Allen Jenkins, Edward Brophy, and Harold Huber as members of Remy's former gang gone legitimate; Margaret Hamilton as Mrs. Cagie, director of the orphanage where Marco grew up; and Paul Harvey as Marco's daughter's prospective father-in-law.[1]


The story was remade as Stop, You're Killing Me (1952) with Broderick Crawford and Claire Trevor.

On April 8, 1945, Old Gold Comedy Theatre presented an adaptation of the film on NBC radio. The 30-minute program starred Edward G. Robinson and Allen Jenkins.[2]

Although not an adaptation, Sylvester Stallone's "Oscar" bears more than a slight resemblance plotwise (minus the corpses) and all three films can trace their ancestry beyond the Runyon stage play to Moliere's "The Bourgeoise Gentleman."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110516145918/http://classicfilmguide.com/index26b3.html
  2. ^ "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest. 43 (4): 33. Autumn 2017. 

External links[edit]