Cub reporter Dusty investigates the murder of the District Attorney and stumbles into a plot involving a kidnapping and a crooked election.



(continuity), (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview:
Dustin Hotchkiss
Constance Hall
Pearl Vaughan
M.H. Thomas
Robert Hall
'Speed' Hansen
Richard Tucker ...
District Attorney Martin Harrison
E. T. Scudder


Cub reporter Dusty investigates the murder of the District Attorney and stumbles into a plot involving a kidnapping and a crooked election.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

21 September 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dead Line  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


Boris Karloff was shooting this movie when James Whale, director of Frankenstein (1931), spotted him eating lunch in the Universal commissary. Whale saw Karloff's height and rather boxy head and decided to offer him a test for the role of the Monster in "Frankenstein," which became Karloff's star-making role. See more »


The first name of the district attorney changes several times during the film. He is Carter Harrison in the opening credits, Martin Harrison on the door to his office, Carter again in the newspaper headlines announcing his murder, Martin in the final scenes and Carter in the closing credits. See more »


Featured in The Universal Story (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Crusading Reporters
6 February 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Every Poverty Row producer's favorite lead actor, Regis Toomey, is the world's most clueless cub reporter in this comedy-action newspaper romp about the events around a crusading District Attorney killed by Boris Karloff, two days before the election on the orders of his corrupt machine boss -- although the laughs are few and weak, alas. Toomey, as always, is up to his role, plenty of energy. Female lead, Sue Carol, however, cannot manage much in the way of an emotional register.

This is the sort of movie that has been done better before and afterward, but director Christy Cabanne plays with some interesting traveling shots. They must have been expensive as anything to achieve in this poverty row second feature, but Christy was not giving up a moving camera just because it was difficult. Unfortunately, he was not much of a dialogue director at this point, and Sue Carol's performance suffers. Also, I was rather taken aback by a flight of stairs into a cabin on board a yacht -- no handrails and the stairs are open. I wouldn't want to be going belowdecks that way on a rough sea.

On net, this is not a movie to seek out unless you are a Karloff fan, a Regis Toomey fan -- there may be one or two of those around -- or so mad for Sue Carol that you don't care if she's in black and white. Her career didn't go much further -- a few years later, she became an agent, married Alan Ladd and promoted him into a major star.

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