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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:
...
Det. Lt. Ted Mallory
...
Kay Palmer
...
Jim Gray (as George Marion Sr.)
Lee Kohlmar ...
Prof. Ernst Einfeld
...
Prof. Trowbridge
Lew Kelly ...
Det. Regan
...
District Attorney (as Capt. E.H. Calvert)
...
Langsdale, aka George Fremont
...
Morgan (as Robert Frazier)
Cornelius Keefe ...
Clay Gorman
...
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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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

A planetarium mystery that's a bit nebulous
10 August 2011 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Death from a Distance features a murder at a planetarium. As most of the film's action takes place in the one large room, it's probably a good thing that the room contains a large telescope and a ceiling painted with stars, a setting unique enough to remain somewhat viewable for 70 minutes. The lead characters are not as unique—Russell Hopton is the police detective investigating, Lola Lane the girl reporter getting in his way. Hopton and Lane do their best to put some life into their roles, but the bits of witty banter they are given are somewhat few and far between.

The other characters fare little better. Most lively is Lee Kohlmar as Professor Einfeld, who is supposedly one of the three greatest scientists in the world and is therefore rather unkempt and absent-minded but ultimately sharp enough to aid in solving the mystery. There are, of course, also a dumb assistant detective, a couple of scientists with shady pasts, and a curator. (By the way, Einfeld also speaks in a European accent and has a messy shock of hair. Ein-what?)

The murder device is cleverly conceived, I have to say. However, the detective work and the uncovering of clues are all somewhat hazy. Ultimately, Death from a Distance lacks snap, but the mystery is at least deep enough to keep us watching until the end.


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