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'Trapped by Television': an intriguing title that sounds as though the film might feature people being accidentally sucked into the fictional realm of TV.
In 1936, television was very much in its infancy and the mere idea of broadcasting images was still fantastical enough to be the subject of a whole movie. This fun romantic drama/thriller sees Lyle Talbot as inventor Fred Dennis, who finally perfects his television camera and receiver set with support from opportunistic promoter Barbara 'Bobby' Blake (Mary Astor), her secretary Mae Collins (Joyce Compton) and well-meaning bill collector Rocky O'Neil (Nat Pendleton). Paragon Broadcasting CEO John Curtis (Thurston Hall) shows interest in the invention, and success for Dennis and pals looks assured, but a corrupt Paragon employee has other plans and sets out to sabotage their demonstration.
A light-hearted romp that proves all the more interesting from a historical angle, 'Trapped by Television' is a surprisingly entertaining piece of fluff, with decent performances from its likable leads, some reasonable scenes of tension, and the coolest looking television camera you're ever likely to seean incredible hunk of art-deco metal and glass that is equal parts machine and objet d'art.
No-one has to battle their way out of a cathode-ray-tube world of make believe, but the film is worth seeing nonetheless.
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