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The Death Kiss (1932)

Passed | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 8 January 1933 (USA)
Murder during film shoot sparks search for a killer.

Director:

Writers:

(book) (as Madelon St. Denis), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Alexander Carr ...
...
Harold Minjir ...
Howell
...
Script Girl
...
Assistant Director
Harold Waldridge ...
Charlie (as Harold Waldrige)
...
Sergeant Hilliker
...
Todd

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Storyline

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 <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Movie star MURDERED! KILLER on the loose!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 January 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bacio mortale  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Color:

| (hand-colored sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's earliest documented telecasts took place in New York City Tuesday 20 September 1949 on WPIX (Channel 11) and in Los Angeles Monday 31 October 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »

Goofs

About 12 minutes into the movie Franklyn Drew digs a bullet out of the wall and identifies it as a ".38 caliber center fire." It is impossible to tell from the bullet alone whether it was fired from a center fire or rim fire cartridge. Such a claim could lead to confusion in identifying the gun that fired the bullet. See more »

Quotes

Franklyn Drew: I've just come from Chalmers' place. He's dead.
Marcia Lane: Chalmers?
Franklyn Drew: Poisoned.
Marcia Lane: You mean murdered?
Franklyn Drew: If it isn't that, it's a good imitation of it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Boulevard (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An early self-reflexive film
8 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The emergence of self-reflexivity is always a sign that a certain final level has been reached in the development of thinking or art. Early literature is not self-reflexive: the love-songs of the minstrels are not personal, but following abstract schemes. The antique novels are not narrated in the first person. The individual is hiding behind an invented protagonist. Also early film did not thematize film itself. Perhaps at the basis of avoiding self-reflexivity is the fear to recognize oneself in the mirror. This had been extensively dealt with in the work of E.T.A. Hoffmann. The motives of losing one's mirror-image or one's shadow roots in this fear. In mathematics, iteration leads quickly leads to the well known paradoxes which cannot be solved in classical logic and which let whole system break together.

"The Death Kiss" (1932) is now in at least three ways an outstanding example of early talky film: First, it is the story of an actor who has to be killed for the shooting of a movie, but at this occasion gets actually shot to death. Second, the movie is a movie on a movie. And third: "The Death Kiss" is both the title of the movie and of the movie in the movie. Furthermore, a special effect is reached - if one wants: number four - by the fact that the actor who wrote the scenario for the movie in the movie (and also for the movie?), which is a criminal story, is also the one who will in the end solve the murder case and deliver the killer to the police which seems to be unable to go ahead without the author of the scenario. As number five, one could mention that Bela Lugosi, who just had played one year ago (1931) the main role in "Dracula", is naturally assumed by the audience to be the villain. But that is not all: As audience, we witness that the detective-author who "investigates" the case also seems to assume over almost the whole running time of the movie that the character Mr. Steiner, played by Lugosi, is in fact the killer. Only in the last couple of minutes we see with him that it is someone else. Herewith not only the expectation of the audience is cheated, but we are forced to follow the progress of the detective-author in our own considerations, i.e. we more or less get ourselves a part of the movie, so that the movie plays on three and not only on two levels: 1. The movie, 2. The movie in the movie, 3. In our perception of the movie and of the movie of the movie. This is an amazing and often overseen movie, and considering it early date quite outstanding.


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