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The Penguin Pool Murder

The Penguin Pool Murder

The Penguin Pool Murder is a 1932 American pre-Code comedy/mystery film starring Edna May Oliver as Hildegarde Withers, a witness in a murder case at the New York Aquarium, with James Gleason as the police inspector in charge of the case, who investigates with her unwanted help, and Robert Armstrong as an attorney representing Mae Clarke, the wife of the victim. Oliver's appearance was the first film appearance of the character of Hildegarde Withers, the schoolteacher and sleuth based on the character from the 1931 novel The Penguin Pool Murder by Stuart Palmer. It is the first in a trilogy including Murder on the Blackboard, and Murder on a Honeymoon, in which Oliver and Gleason team up for the lead roles.

Plot

Gwen Parker (Clarke) meets her former boyfriend Philip Seymour (Donald Cook) at the local aquarium, and asks him for some money so she can leave her husband, stockbroker Gerald Parker, but Mr. Parker receives an anonymous telephone call tipping him off to the rendezvous. When he confronts the pair, Seymour knocks him out with a punch. As no witnesses see the altercation, he hides the unconscious man in the room behind an exhibit.