While filming the closing scene of "The Death Kiss", leading man Myles Brent is actually killed. Having played around with, or been married to, most of the women connected with the movie ... See full summary »
While filming the closing scene of "The Death Kiss", leading man Myles Brent is actually killed. Having played around with, or been married to, most of the women connected with the movie studio, there are lots of suspects. When leading lady Marcia Lane is arrested for the killing, her suiter, a studio writer, starts to investigate the killing in order to prove her innocence. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film features much of the principle cast of the previous year's wildly profitable and successful film, Dracula (1931), including David Manners, Edward Van Sloan, and Bela Lugosi. The studio sought to emphasize this connection to Dracula, most notably by giving Lugosi top billing despite his small supporting role in the film. See more »
Solid Mystery With Good Atmosphere & An Interesting Cast
Despite its low-budget look, "The Death Kiss" is a solid mystery, and it does a good job of creating a believable movie studio atmosphere as the background to the main story. It's also interesting to see Bela Lugosi, Edward Van Sloan, and David Manners reunited in a setting so different from "Dracula". While some of its limitations are rather obvious, it's a pretty good effort for a low-budget feature from the early sound era.
The opening sequence might be the best part of the movie, as it cleverly sets up the mystery, introduces most of the characters, and illustrates the movie's themes. In the main part of the movie, it generally follows convention, with Manners as an eager amateur who is usually a step ahead of the police. The pace is also a little uneven at times, which was relatively common in the early 1930s, but there are always some interesting details and developments that keep it together.
Van Sloan, as a movie director, gets some pretty good opportunities. Lugosi is always a welcome addition to any suspense or mystery story, and he makes the most of a character who doesn't really get all that much to do. As the lead, Manners is likable, though often a bit bland. Adrienne Ames is adequate as the heroine, and the minor characters are given some occasional moments of their own.
The result is a decent mystery that keeps you guessing. It will probably be of interest mainly to those who are already fans of the era and genre, but with that in mind it's not bad.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?