The Firebird (1934 film)

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The Firebird
Directed byWilliam Dieterle
Screenplay byCharles Kenyon
Jeffrey Dell (adaptation)
Based onTűzmadár
1932 play
by Lajos Zilahy
Produced byGilbert Miller
StarringVerree Teasdale
Ricardo Cortez
Lionel Atwill
Anita Louise
CinematographyErnest Haller
Edited byRalph Dawson
Music byLeo F. Forbstein
Distributed byWarner Bros. / The Vitaphone Corp.
Release date
  • November 3, 1934 (1934-11-03)
Running time
74-75 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Firebird is a 1934 American murder mystery film starring Verree Teasdale, Ricardo Cortez, Lionel Atwill and Anita Louise, directed by William Dieterle and produced and released by Warner Bros. It takes its title from the Firebird suite by Igor Stravinsky, which is heard occasionally during the film.


In Vienna, smarmy matinee idol Brandt moves into an upscale apartment building whose principal tenants are the elite Pointer family: John, Carola and daughter Mariette, who's just turned 18. One day, Brandt encounters Carola on the stairwell and insists she come up to his apartment that night, telling her if she doesn't, he'll tell her husband they had the affair anyway. Outraged, she files a formal complaint with the building's owners, demanding he be kicked out. But before that can happen, he is found dead from a gunshot wound. Naturally suspicion falls on a variety of suspects, most obviously John, and it's up to police inspector Miller to figure out which of them did it.[1]



The New York Times reviewer, Andre Sennwald, dismissed it as "an ordinary mystery melodrama." "Among the definite failings of this smoothly filmed edition of Lajos Zilahy's play is the circumstance that, like the original, it conceals the actual murderer from the audience for such an extended period that the motivation for the homicide never becomes completely real."[1]

See also[edit]

  • Cette nuit-là (1933), French film based on the play Muvesz Szinhaz
  • The Open Door (1957), Spanish film based on the play Muvesz Szinhaz


  1. ^ a b Andre Sennwald (November 15, 1934). "The Firebird (1934): The Screen; Murder of a Disagreeable Actor in 'The Firebird,' the New Photoplay at the Strand". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.

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