The opening of The Picture House Murders sees Clara watching a showing of The Canary Murder Case in a Covent Garden theatre. The Canary Murder Case was one of the first ‘talkies’ to be shown in Britain, and audiences were so amazed at the voices on screen that they applauded the very first time the actors opened their mouths to speak.
You can view the film on YouTube at the link below.
The film, starring William Powell as the gentleman detective Philo Vance, was directed by Malcolm St Clair, and was an adaptation of the 1927 novel of the same name by SS Van Dine (the pseudonym for Willard Huntington Wright). Wright wrote the screenplay.
The film also stars the beautiful Louise Brooks as the Canary. In The Picture House Murders friends tell Clara she looks a little like Louise Brooks and her hairdresser convinces her to get her hair cut the same way. This is the style her mother considers ‘boyish’ in chapter 1.