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S.S. Van Dine
Willard Huntington Wright [1887-1939]

short profile

Philo Vance mystery novels
other works
movies & TV, other media

works about S.S. Van Dine

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         mystery author S.S. Van Dine (real name Willard Wright) in somebody's library


"This would be a cleaner, better world if mankind had been omitted from the scheme of things."
— S.S. Van Dine

"Philo Vance is probably the most asinine character in detective fiction."
Raymond Chandler [1888-1959]

          B I O
          t e x t
          h e r e
literary editor at the Los Angeles Times (1907-12)
literary editor at the New York Evening Mail (1917)
music critic at the San Francisco Bulletin (1918-19)
he was named 'honorary police chief' of Bradley Beach, New Jersey

S.S. Van Dine entry at Wikipedia
browse all books by S.S. Van Dine at Amazon

S.S. Van Dine credits [1929-2002] at Internet Movie Database
browse DVDs of Philo Vance movies at Amazon
browse DVDs of S.S. Van Dine at Amazon


Philo  Vance  mystery series
Philo Vance entry at Wikipedia
browse all books by S.S. Van Dine at Amazon

Philo Vance 12 Novels Bundle for Kindle by S.S. Van Dine  
"Philo Vance 12 Novels Complete Bundle" for Kindle [2009]
contains all 12 novels (1926-39) of the Philo Vance canon
Kindle Edition from Fortunecookie Press [6/2012] for $7.99
Kindle Edition from ForumSoftware [3/2009] for $9.99

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Benson Murder Case" [1926]
book entry at Wikipedia

"The Benson Murder Case" [Paramount April 1930] /tt0020679/

"El Cuerpo del Delito (The Body of The Crime)" based on 'The Benson Murder Case'
[Paramount May 1930] bilingual /tt0208880/

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Canary Murder Case" [1927 novel]
based on the real-life murder of showgirl Dot King, which was never solved
book entry at Wikipedia

"The Canary Murder Case" sound feature film [Paramount Feb 1929]
Completed in 1928 as a silent; the studio decided to rework the film by adding sound; based on the novel by S.S. Van Dine; starring
William Powell {as Philo Vance}, Jean Arthur, Louise Brooks {as Canary}, Margaret Livingston {voice} /tt0019745/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeHivLZsafM [1:16:55]

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Greene Murder Case" [1928]
book entry at Wikipedia

"The Greene Murder Case" [1929] /tt0019949/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTSY9WBUocE [1:06:52]

"Night of Mystery" [May 1937] based on "The Greene Murder Case" /tt0029312/

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Bishop Murder Case" [Grosset/Dunlap 1929]

"The Bishop Murder Case" [1930] /tt0020695/
book entry at Wikipedia

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Philo Vance Week-End omnibus book by S.S. Van Dine  "A Philo Vance Week-End" omnibus [1929]
three complete & unabridged novels: "The Canary Murder Case"
[1927], "The Greene Murder Case" [1928], and "The Bishop
Murder Case" [1928]
Grosset & Dunlap hardcover [1929] out of print/used
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Scarab Murder Case" [1930]

"The Scarab Murder Case" [1936] /tt0144592/ starring Wilfrid Hyde-White
book entry at Wikipedia

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Kennel Murder Case: A Philo Vance Mystery" [1933]
Kennel Murder Case mystery novel by S.S. Van Dine (Philo Vance)  The cops believe that the man found dead in a locked room was a suicide, but the coroner determines that the man was bludgeoned, stabbed and shot. Then evidence points to the victim's brother, who is found stabbed to death in a closet.
Scribner mass pb [8/84] out of print/used
Gregg Press hardcover [1980] out of print/used
book entry at Wikipedia
The Kennel Murder Case movie directed by Michael Curtiz, with William Powell as Philo Vance  "The Kennel Murder Case" [Warner Bros./Vitaphone Oct 1933]
Directed by Michael Curtiz; adapted from the book by S.S. Van Dine; starring William Powell {as Philo Vance}, Mary Astor, Eugene Pallette, Ralph Morgan, Robert McWade, Robert Barrat, Frank Conroy, Etienne Girardot, James Lee, Paul Cavanagh, Arthur Hohl, Helen Vinson & Jack La Rue
Alpha Video b&w DVD [7/2002] for $7.98
Alpha Video b&w VHS [7/2002] out of prodn/used
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipediawatch film online [1:15:09] at YouTube

"Calling Philo Vance" [Feb 1940] based on "The Kennel Murder Case" /tt0032299/

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Dragon Murder Case" [1933]
The Dragon Murder Case mystery novel by S.S. Van Dine (Philo Vance)   First serialized in Pictorial Review with illustrations, June-Nov 1933; book published by Scribners Oct 1933; during a weekend at an estate just outside New York City, a man jumps into the swimming pool & disappears; Philo Vance & D.A. Markham & Sgt. Heath are puzzled
Kindle Edition from Fortunecookie Press [4/2012] for $2.99
Macmillan mass pb [4/85] out of print/used
Otto Penzler Books 7¾x5½ facsimile edition hardcover [7/96] out of print/used
Scribners 9x6 hardcover [1933] out of print/used
book entry at Wikipedia

"The Dragon Murder Case" [Warner Bros. Aug 1934] /tt0025069/ starring Warren William

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Casino Murder Case" [1934]

"The Casino Murder Case" (March 1935) /tt0026187/ starring Paul Lukas
book entry at Wikipedia

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Garden Murder Case" [1935]

"The Garden Murder Case" [1936] /tt0027656/ starring Edmund Lowe
book entry at Wikipedia

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Kidnap Murder Case" [1936]
book entry at Wikipedia

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"Philo Vance Investigates" omnibus [1936]

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Gracie Allen Murder Case" [1938] aka "The Smell of Murder"
Gracie Allen Murder Case / The Smell of Murder mystery novel by S.S. Van Dine (Philo Vance)  Rather experimental story, written as a film vehicle for Wright's real-life friend
Gracie Allen; Vance is secondary, Gracie keeps calling him 'Fido'

Kindle Edition from Fortunecookie Press [4/2012] for $2.99
Otto Penzler Books mass pb [3/94] out of print/many used
Scribners hardcover [6/1938] out of print/many used
book entry at Wikipedia

"The Gracie Allen Murder Case" [Paramount June 1939] /tt0031389/
Directed by Alfred E. Green; starring Warren William, Gracie Allen, Ellen Drew & Kent Taylor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=658fHZLgyoQ

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Winter Murder Case" [1939]
the last Philo Vance novel: includes no-nonsense afterword "20 Rules For Writing Detective Stories"
published posthumously; novelette-length story that was intended as a film vehicle for Sonja Henie
book entry at Wikipedia

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"Philo Vance Omnibus, Volume 1" []
includes "The Benson Murder Case" [1926], "The Canary Murder Case" [1927], "The Greene Murder Case" [1928],
"The Bishop Murder Case" [1928], "The Scarab Murder Case" [1930], and "The Kennel Murder Case" [1933]

"Philo Vance Omnibus, Volume 2" []
includes "The Dragon Murder Case" [1933], "The Casino Murder Case" [1934], "The Garden Murder Case" [1935],
"The Kidnap Murder Case" [1936], "The Gracie Allen Murder Case" [1938], and "The Winter Murder Case" [1939]

Philo Vance Four Complete Novels omnibus book by S.S. Van Dine  "Philo Vance: Four Complete Novels" [1984]
includes "The Benson Murder Case" [1926], "The Canary Murder Case" [1927],
"The Bishop Murder Case" [1928], and "The Scarab Murder Case" [1930]
Avenel Books 9x6 hardcover [3/84] out of print/many used
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The Philo Vance Murder Cases" six-volume set [2010]
Philo Vance Murder Cases six-volume set by S.S. Van Dine - volume 4  
Philo Vance Murder Cases six-volume set by S.S. Van Dine - volume 6  
Volume 1: "The Benson Murder Case" [1926] & "The 'Canary' Murder Case" [1927]
Leonaur 8½x5½ pb [11/2010] for $23.99
Leonaur 8½x5½ hardcover [11/2010] for $34.99
Volume 2: "The Greene Murder Case" [1928] & "The Bishop Murder Case" [1929]
Leonaur 8½x5½ pb [11/2010] for $23.99
Leonaur 8½x5½ hardcover [11/2010] for $33.88
Volume 3: "The Scarab Murder Case" [1930] & "The Kennel Murder Case" [1933]
Leonaur 8½x5½ pb [11/2010] for $21.99
Leonaur 8½x5½ hardcover [11/2010] for $31.77
Volume 4: "The Dragon Murder Case" [1933] & "The Casino Murder Case" 1934]
Leonaur 8½x5½ pb [11/2010] for $20.99
Leonaur 8½x5½ hardcover [11/2010] for $31.36
Volume 5: "The Garden Murder Case" [1935] & "The Kidnap Murder Case" [1936]
Leonaur 8½x5½ pb [11/2010] for $31.25
Leonaur 8½x5½ hardcover [11/2010] for $31.99
Volume 6: "The Gracie Allen Murder Case" 1938] & "The Winter Murder Case" [1939]
Leonaur 8½x5½ pb [11/2010] for $16.99
Leonaur 8½x5½ hardcover [11/2010] for $27.99


Other  Works  by  S.S. Van Dine
&  Willard Huntington Wright

'cruel but priceless' essay "Los Angeles, The Chemically Pure" in "The Smart Set", March 1913

"Songs of Youth" [1913 poetry] by Willard Huntington Wright

"Richard Hovey and His Friends" [1914] by Willard Huntington Wright

Europe After 8:15 book by H.L. Mencken, George Jean Nathan & Willard Huntington Wright  "Europe After 8:15" [John Lane Co. 1914] by H.L. Mencken [1880-1956],
George Jean Nathan & Willard Huntington Wright, 'with decorations by'
Thomas Hart Benton

Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [undated] for FREE {sic}
Univ California Libraries 8x5 pb [1914 facsimile edition] for $17.99
Dodo Press 9x6 pb [6/2007] for $12.99
available as free online etext at Project Gutenberg
larger view of Thomas Hart Benton 'Berlin' drawing at left {in new window}

Modern Painting book by Willard Huntington Wright  "Modern Painting: Its Tendency & Meaning" [John Lane 1915]
by Willard Huntington Wright

Univ California Libraries 9x5 pb [1922 edition] for $27.99
Nabu Press 9¾x7½ pb [8/2010] for $28.72
Univ Michigan Library 8½x5½ hardcover [1915 edition] for $28.99
Dodd, Mead hardcover [1922] out of print/used
available as free online etext at Project Gutenberg
What Nietzsche Taught book by Willard Huntington Wright  "What Nietzsche Taught" [B.W. Huebsch 1915]
by Willard Huntington Wright (S.S. Van Dine)

RareBooksClub.com 9¾x7½ pb [5/2012] for $19.99
Kessinger Publng 9x6 hardcover [9/2010] for $33.12

more on the Friedrich Nietzsche [1844-1900] Page at Maison d'Être Bookstore

The Man of Promise novel by Willard Huntington Wright  "The Man of Promise" [John Lane 1916, Scribner's 1930]
novel by Willard Huntington Wright (S.S. Van Dine)

BiblioBazaar 10x7¼ pb [11/2009] for $24.99
BiblioBazaar 8¾x5¾ pb [11/2009] for $23.99
Scribner's 9x6 hardcover [11/2009] for $32.99
Scribner's hardcover [1930] out of print/used
Creative Will / Æsthetics book by Willard Huntington Wright  "The Creative Will: Studies In The Philosophy and The
Syntax of Æsthetics" [John Lane 1916]
by Willard Huntington Wright (S.S. Van Dine)

Nabu Press 9¾x7½ pb [3/2012] for $21.85
Kessinger Publng 9x6 hardcover [9/2010] for $31.77
Great Modern French Stories 1917 anthology by S.S. Van Dine  "The Great Modern French Stories: A Chronological Anthology"
[1917] Edited by S.S. Van Dine

Univ Michigan Library 7x5 pb [1917 edition] for $30.99

Misinforming A Nation 1917 book by S.S. Van Dine  "Misinforming A Nation" [B.W. Huebsch 1917]
by Willard Huntington Wright as S.S. Van Dine

Controversial and way ahead of his time, Wright/Van Dine wrote this energetic and spleen-filled polemic against the Encyclo-pedia Britannica 11th edition [1911] and expressed his concerns about the E.B.'s promotion of colonialism, racism, and other systemic issues, as well as their broad treatment of the United States as an inferior society. Chapter titles include: 1. Colonizing America; 2. The Novel; 3. The Drama; 4. Poetry; 5. British Painting; 6. Non-British Painting; 7. Music; 8. Science; 9. Inven-tions, Photography, Æsthetics; 10. Philosophy; 11. Religion; and 12. Two Hundred Omissions
Kindle Edition from Oak Grove [2/2011] for 99¢ {sic}
Lammers Press 8½x5½ pb [10/2008] for $7.95
Univ Toronto Libraries 8x5 pb [2/2011] for $17.99
HardPress Publng 9x6 pb [1/2012] for $21.95
BiblioLife 9x6 hardcover [11/2009] for $28.99
available as free online etext at Internet Archive and at Wikisource

"Informing A Nation" [1917] by Willard Huntington Wright
Nabu Press 9¾x7½ pb [9/2011] for $18.53

"The Future of Painting" [1923] by Willard Huntington Wright
B.W. Huebsch hardcover [1923] out of print/scarce

"Modern Literature" [1926] by Willard Huntington Wright

"The Great Detective Stories: An Anthology" [1927]
Compiled and edited by Willard Huntington Wright
Scribner's hardcover [1927] out of print/scarce

S.S. Van Dine Detective Library 6-volume set 1928  "The S.S. Van Dine Detective Library" in six volumes [1928]
Charles Scribner's Sons hardcover set [1928] out of print/scarce
"The Sign of Four" [1890] by Arthur Conan Doyle
and "The Big Bow Mystery" [1895] by Israel Zangwill

Scribner's hardcover [1928] out of print/used
"The Mystery of The Yellow Room" [1908] by Gaston Leroux
Scribner's hardcover [1928] out of print/used
"The Eye of Osiris" [1911] by R. Austin Freeman
Scribner's hardcover [1928] out of print/used
"The Cask" [1920] by Freeman Wills Crofts
Scribner's hardcover [1928] out of print/used
"The Rasp" [1924] by Philip MacDonald
Scribner's hardcover [1928] out of print/used
"The House of The Arrow" [1924] by A.E.W. Mason
Scribner's hardcover [1928] out of print/used

World's Greatest Detective Stories anthology compiled & edited by S.S. Van Dine  "The World's Great Detective Stories: A Chronological Anthology" [1931]
Compiled & edited & with Introduction by S.S. Van Dine

Authors include editor Wright/Van Dine ("The Detective Story" essay), Wilkie Collins ("The Biter Bit"), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ("The Boscombe Valley Mystery"), Anna Katharine Green, Arthur Morrison, Edgar Allan Poe ("The Murders In The Rue Morgue") — and many others
Blue Ribbon Books 8x5¾ hardcover [1927] out of print/used
Blue Ribbon Books 8x5¾ hardcover [1931] out of print/scarce

"Principles of Æsthetic Form & Organization" [?] by Willard Huntington Wright

"Vandeveer: A Novel" [?] by Willard Huntington Wright = proposed & not publd?

"The Mother: A Novel" [?] by Willard Huntington Wright = proposed & not publd?

"20 Rules For Writing Detective Stories" [1928]
first appeared in "The American Magazine" in 1928; included in the "Philo Vance Investigates" omnibus
[1936] and at the back of the final Philo Vance novel "The Winter Murder Case" [1939]
free online text at Mt. Royal University in Canada


Stageplays,  Movies & TV,  Other Media
S.S. Van Dine credits [1929-2002] at Internet Movie Database
browse DVDs of Philo Vance at Amazon
browse DVDs of S.S. Van Dine at Amazon


Warner Bros. produced a dozen two-reel Vitaphone sound short mystery films in 1931 & 1932
with S.S. Van Dine credited for providing characters, script writers not known;
starring Donald Meek as Doctor Crabtree & John Hamilton as N.Y.P.D. Inspector Carr

"The Clyde Mystery" two-reel short #1 [W.B./Vitaphone Oct 1931] /tt0165691/
"The Wall Street Mystery" two-reel short #2 [W.B./Vitaphone Nov 1931] /tt0021530/
"The Week End Mystery" two-reel short #3 [W.B./Vitaphone Dec 1931] /tt0166017/
"The Symphony Murder Mystery" two-reel short #4 [W.B./Vitaphone Jan 1932] /tt0165968/
"The Studio Murder Mystery" two-reel short #5 [W.B./Vitaphone Feb 1932] /tt0021424/
"The Skull Murder Mystery" two-reel short #6 [W.B./Vitaphone March 1932] /tt0021387/
"The Cole Case" two-reel short #7 [W.B./Vitaphone April 1932] /tt0165694/
"Murder In The Pullman" two-reel short #8 [W.B./Vitaphone May 1932] /tt0165887/
"The Side Show Mystery" two-reel short #9 [W.B./Vitaphone June 1932] /tt0165943/
"The Crane Poison Case" two-reel short #10 [W.B./Vitaphone July 1932] /tt0165699/
"The Campus Mystery" two-reel short #11 [W.B./Vitaphone July 1932] /tt0165661/
starring John Hamilton & Harriet Hilliard
"The Trans-Atlantic Mystery" two-reel short #12 [W.B./Vitaphone Aug 1932] /tt0165993/


"The President's Mystery" [Republic Pictures Sept 1936]
The President's Mystery 1936 movie starring Henry Wilcoxon  During a White House luncheon, F.D.R. wondered how a wealthy man could disappear yet take his wealth along. One of the guests, editor Fulton Oursler, enlisted several writers in answering that question, and the resulting book, though uneven, was a bestseller. The movie was B-budget, and the tale of the cartel lawyer who falls in love and decides to fight the cartel may sound hackneyed, but reviewers on IMDb opine that the plot moves right along and that the settings provide an accurate view of 1930s reality. • Directed by Phil Rosen; story concept by Franklin D. Roosevelt; adapted by Rupert Hughes, Fulton Oursler, S.S. Van Dine, Nathanael West & others; starring Henry Wilcoxon, Betty Furness, Sidney Blackmer, Evelyn Brent, Barnett Parker, Mel Ruick & Wade Boteler
Alpha Home Ent. b&w DVD [9/2006] for $7.72
Synergy Ent. b&w DVD [1/2011] for $9.99
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia
Farrar & Rinehart hardcover [1935] out of print/scarce

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Philo Vance's Gamble 1947 movie  "Philo Vance's Gamble" [Producers Releasing Corp. April 1947]
After a valuable emerald is smuggled into the U.S, the gem disappears and two people are murdered.
Directed by Basil Wrangell; starring Alan Curtis, Vivian Austin, Frank Jenks, Tala Birell, Gavin Gordon, Cliff Clark, James Burke & Toni Todd
Hellfire Video b&w DVD [undated] out of prodn/scarce
full credits at IMDb
Philo Vance Returns 1947 movie  "Philo Vance Returns" aka "Infamous Crimes" [Producers Releasing Corp. April 1947]
A wealthy playboy introduces his new fiancee to his grandmother; the girl is killed that very night; the playboy calls his friend Philo Vance for help, and Vance hears the man being killed while on the telephone. Directed by William Beaudine; original script by Robert E. Kent; starring William Wright, Vivian Austin, Leon Belasco, Clara Blandick, Ramsay Ames, Damian O'Flynn, Frank Wilcox, Iris Adrian & Ann Staunton
DVD/Blu-ray not available • full credits at IMDb
Philo Vance's Secret Mission 1947 movie  "Philo Vance's Secret Mission" [Producers Releasing Corp. Aug 1947]
"Secret Murder - Sinister Mission" A publisher of crime story pulp magazines hires Philo Vance as a technical advisor; he also reveals that he has solved the seven-years-past murder of his partner; when the secretary delivers Vance to the publisher's home, they hear two gunshots; searching for the man, they find nothing until they open the trunk of Vance's car. Directed by Reginald Le Borg; written by Lawrence Taylor; starring Alan Curtis, Sheila Ryan, Tala Birell, Frank Jenks, James Bell, Frank Fenton, Paul Maxey, Kenneth Farrell & Toni Todd
Hellfire Video b&w VHS [undated] out of prodn/scarce
full credits at IMDb
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"Philo Vance" radio program starring Jackson Beck, circa 1950; based on stories by S.S. Van Dine

"Philo Vance by Jackson Beck" audio CD [Radio Spirits Sep 2004] 6 episodes on 3 disks for $9.98
http://www.amazon.com/Philo-Vance-Jason-Beck/dp/1570195544/

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"Philo Vance" TV mini-series [Italy Sept 1974]
Giorgio Albertazzi starring as Philo Vance in the Italian TV mini-series  Three stories in six hour-long parts for Italian TV network R.A.I.; based on the first three of Van Dine's original novels. "La Strana Morte del Signor Benson" [1974] { IMDb }; "La Canarina Assassinata" [1974]
{ IMDb }; and "La Fine dei Greene" [1974] { IMDb } • Directed by Marco Leto; adapted by Biagio Proietti & Belisario L. Randone; starring Giorgio Albertazzi, Silvio Anselmo, Sergio Rossi, Varo Soleri, Gianfranco Barra & Gino Nelinti
Region 1 VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available • series credits at IMDb
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Philo Vance Missing Wife Case audio book on DVD-R by Michael Paulson  "Philo Vance: The Missing Wife Case" [2009]
be clear that this product is a novel as audio book on DVD-R;
no plot details on Amazon; self-publish website is shut down;
author lived in Texas, has moved to Waverly, Minnesota
MiMar Publng audio book on DVD-R [6/2009] for $10.99


Works  About  S.S. Van Dine

Life & Times of S.S. Van Dine biography by Jon Tuska  
"Philo Vance: The Life & Times of S.S. Van Dine" [1971]
by Jon Tuska

Bowling Green Univ Press pb [1971] out of print/used
Alias S.S. Van Dine biography by John Loughery  "Alias S.S. Van Dine: The Man Who Created Philo Vance"
[1992 biography] by John Loughery

Somewhat negative approach to the life of Willard Wright, with the
emphasis on Wright's non-mystery careers, his domestic troubles, his
artist brother Stanton, and the immorality of 1930s Hollywood.

Scribner 9½x6¼ hardcover [5/92] out of print/many used
Making the Detective Story American book by J.K. Van Dover  "Making The Detective Story American: Biggers, Van Dine, and
Hammett and The Turning Point of The Genre, 1925-1930" [2010]
by J.K. Van Dover

Kindle Edition from McFarland & Co. [4/2010] for $14.74
McFarland & Co. 9x6 pb [4/2010] for $35.00

see also the pages about Earl Derr Biggers [1884-1933],
and Dashiell Hammett [1894-1961]


Friends  &  Family

brother artist Stanton MacDonald-Wright [1890-1973]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanton_Macdonald-Wright
"Color, Myth, and Music: Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Synchronism" [] ISBN 0-88259-985-2


L i n k s
S.S. Van Dine entry at Wikipedia
browse all books by S.S. Van Dine at Amazon

S.S. Van Dine credits [1929-2002] at Internet Movie Database
browse DVDs of Philo Vance movies at Amazon
browse DVDs by S.S. Van Dine at Amazon

http://gadetection.pbworks.com/w/page/7932402/Van%20Dine,%20SS



here on the S.S. Van Dine [1887-1939] Page at BlackHat Mystery Bookstore

top of page • • short profile • • Philo Vance mystery novels • • other works • • movies & TV, other media • •

works about S.S. Van Dine • • friends & family • • links

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