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Danger on the Air (1938)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  1 July 1938 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 65 users  
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Caesar Kluck, soft-drink magnate, is found dead in the office of a big radio-broadcasting company. Benjamin Franklin Butts, a sound engineer, discovers that Kluck met his death from ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nan Grey ...
Christina 'Steenie' MacCorkle
Donald Woods ...
Benjamin Franklin Butts
Jed Prouty ...
Harry Jones, Radio Company Boss
Berton Churchill ...
Caesar Kluck
William Lundigan ...
Dave Chapman, Radio Announcer
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ...
Finney Fish, Ad Company Man (as Skeets Gallagher)
Edward Van Sloan ...
Dr. Leonard Sylvester, Charlatan
George Meeker ...
Tuttle, Undercover FCC Man
Frank Milan ...
Alexander MacCorkle
...
Tony Lisotti
Johnny Arthur ...
Aiken (as John Arthur)
Peter Lind Hayes ...
Harry Lake, Call Boy and Aspiring Performer (as Lind Hayes)
Louise Stanley ...
Maria Lisotti
Eloise Rawitzer ...
Miss Bello
Joe Downing ...
Gangster Joe Carney (as Joseph Downing)
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Storyline

Caesar Kluck, soft-drink magnate, is found dead in the office of a big radio-broadcasting company. Benjamin Franklin Butts, a sound engineer, discovers that Kluck met his death from cyanogen gas, administered in some mysterious fashion. Harry Jones, head of the company, fires Butts for making the public. Kluck has made many enemies and there are numerous suspects, including Christina "Steenie" MacCorkle, who is in love with Butts; her brother Alexander; radio announcer Dave Chapman; Tony Lisotti, the janitor who had discovered that Kluck was making love to his daughter Maria' Kluck's physician, Doctor Leonard sylvester, and Joe Carney, a racketeer who had been doing Kluck's dirty work. Butts pursues his investigation and his only clue is a deflated toy-advertising balloon he has found next to Kluck's body. Later, Butts discovers Tony;s body in a broom closet and, nearby, finds another deflated balloon, a straw and a pin. He then calls all the suspects together...and solves the mystery. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll THRILL and CHILL over The NEW UNIVERSAL Picture (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Perigo pelo Rádio  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1937, Universal had entered into a deal with Crime Club, a prolific publisher of pulp whodunits, allowing it to produce up to 4 of it's novels annually. This was the 4th entry of 11 that were eventually produced, all as B-pictures. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Unctuous and Bloviating personality no one was going to miss
26 February 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

With a cast full of familiar faces who have experience in playing sinister and villainous roles it will be hard to pick who did the murder here. In fact during the course Danger On The Air another homicide is committed.

Berton Churchill is our victim and the setting is a radio studio. Churchill is once again an unctuous bloviating personality who thinks the world revolves around him and his product. He was killed during a broadcast of his program in a most unique manner which I won't reveal except to say a variation on the method was used in one of the Boris Karloff Mr. Wong movies.

The only member of the radio staff who actually stands up to Churchill is sound engineer Donald Woods and its Woods together Nan Grey who solve the mystery. Churchill was not the kind of guy anyone was going to mourn, but the other death is that of the station janitor Lee J. Cobb in an early role for him and it was simply a byproduct of the Churchill homicide.

Special attention should be paid to Peter Lind Hayes who plays a young usher at the station who treats us all to a series of imitations of various radio personalities of the day including Bing Crosby, Ben Bernie, and Rudy Vallee and many more.

The only hint I'll give you is the eventual killer is not one you would think capable.

A good B picture cast gave Universal a good programmer.


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