The Dynamic Frame: Camera Movement in Classical Hollywood

2.x19 The Kennel Murder Case

Detective Philo Vance explains his theory of the murder, even though he has not yet identified the specific suspect. While Vance’s explanation plays on the soundtrack, the camera represents the murderer’s point of view, stalking through the house and looking for the victim. Cinematographer William Rees sells the trick by casting the man’s shadow on a nearby wall. Notice that the primary purpose of the shot is to block identification. We do not know whose point of view is being represented, and the shot serves to conceal the murderer’s identity.

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