5.4/10
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13 user 2 critic

Death from a Distance (1935)

While a distinguished astronomer is giving a lecture in a planetarium, a shot rings out and one of the audience members is found dead. A tough detective and a brassy female reporter lock horns as they both try to break the case.

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(story and screenplay) (as John W. Kraft)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Russell Hopton ...
Det. Lt. Ted Mallory
...
Kay Palmer
George F. Marion ...
Jim Gray (as George Marion Sr.)
Lee Kohlmar ...
Prof. Ernst Einfeld
John St. Polis ...
Prof. Trowbridge
Lew Kelly ...
Det. Regan
E.H. Calvert ...
District Attorney (as Capt. E.H. Calvert)
Wheeler Oakman ...
Langsdale, aka George Fremont
Robert Frazer ...
Morgan (as Robert Frazier)
Cornelius Keefe ...
Clay Gorman
John Davidson ...
Ahmad Haidru
...
Newspaper Editor McConnell
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Storyline

While a distinguished astronomer is giving a lecture in a planetarium, a shot rings out and one of the audience members is found dead. A tough detective and a brassy female reporter lock horns as they both try to break the case.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

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Release Date:

30 December 1935 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Morte a Distância  »

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 »
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Used props from The Invisible Ray (1936). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amusingly Good Period Piece from Invincible Films

Marred on a DVD transfer by a poor soundtrack that makes some dialogue unintelligible, "Death from a Distance" is a 1935 B crime story that has some good acting along with the inevitable cliches that reflect the times.

A doctor is shot to death during a planetarium lecture. The killer is in the room and the audience is there when the cops arrive, a wisecracking homicide lieutenant in charge. A pretty gal reporter tangles with the cop and her investigative skills are equal to her blatant flirting.

In 71 minutes the story moves by small leaps and not great bounds to a clever uncovering of the killer. Some potted astronomical theory is central to solving the case.

Every stereotype from that era is present: smart detective and dumb as dishwater detective, hardboiled city room editor and ambitious female reporter, gentle Viennese scientist and the "Hindu," a man with a past. And there's more.

This movie won't make either the AMC or TCM channels, not in a century of retrospectives. It's available for as little as $5.99 and as a glance backwards into the time when the Hollywood studio giants co-existed with producers of second-rate features, "Death from a Distance" is a minor treat. But it's a treat nonetheless.

6/10 (for its genre and period).


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