Tag Archives: Edna May Oliver

Lowell Sherman – Ladies of the Jury (1932)

Edna May Oliver’s success in this film helped convince RKO to cast her in The Penguin Pool Murder as Hildegarde Withers, which led to a brief series.

Plot Synopsis:
Edna May Oliver portrays a society dowager called for jury duty on a murder trial wherein a pretty young woman is accused of killing her older husband. She takes her job quite seriously, and soon is playing both “prosecutor” and “DA” with judge and witnesses alike. In this unorthodox but highly entertaining fashion, Ms. Oliver gets to the truth and exposes the genuine murderer before the final fade-out. Incidentally, despite the title, there are gentlemen on the jury, but all eyes are on the formidable Ms. Oliver. Ladies of the Jury was remade in 1937 as We’re on the Jury, with Helen Broderick in the Edna May Oliver role. by Hal Erickson Read More »

George Archainbaud – Penguin Pool Murder (1932)

RKO Pictures launched what could have been one of the great detective series in 1932, when Edna May Oliver starred in “The Penguin Pool Murder”. As Stuart Palmer’s elderly schoolteacher turned sleuth Hildegarde Withers, Oliver was one of the screen’s most liberated women, defying Police Inspector Oscar Piper (James Gleason) to track down killers with little regard for his pride or her own safety. Although Oliver left the series after only two more installments, leading to a serious decline in quality for the films, her first two outings in particular were years ahead of their time, thanks to director George Archainbaud’s uniquely visual narrative skills and for the films’ depiction of an older, independent woman.
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