55 user 32 critic

The Death Kiss (1932)

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


Edwin L. Marin


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




Complete credited cast:
David Manners ... Franklyn Drew
Adrienne Ames ... Marcia Lane
Bela Lugosi ... Joseph Steiner
John Wray ... Detective Lieut. Sheehan
Vince Barnett ... Officer Gulliver
Alexander Carr Alexander Carr ... Leon A. Grossmith
Edward Van Sloan ... Tom Avery
Harold Minjir ... Howell
Barbara Bedford ... Script Girl
Al Hill ... Assistant Director
Harold Waldridge ... Charlie (as Harold Waldrige)
Wade Boteler ... Sergeant Hilliker
Lee Moran ... Todd


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


LOVE was her only alibi! The evidence was all against her- A Hollywood story that tells you more than the headlines! A ROMANCE OF MYSTERY AND LOVE IN THE "MOVIES"! (Print Ad- Kyle News, ((Kyle, Texas)) 10 February 1933) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecasts took place in New York City Tuesday 20 September 1949 on WPIX (Channel 11), in Los Angeles Monday 31 October 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5), and in Cincinnati Thursday 15 December 1949 on WKRC (Channel 11). See more »


In early scenes while dictating in his office and talking to police, Leon A. Grossmith, the head of the studio, has a "humorous" accent with some inverted word placement. "Murder? Oye!" "A calamity Ve got, ach!" Later, towards the end of the film, he makes "advances" toward Marcia Lane in her dressing room. His accent is gone, he speaks Standard American or General American . See more »


Officer Gulliver: Mr. Drew, I've been thinking.
Franklyn Drew: No!
Officer Gulliver: Yeah. The first thing I ask myself when I investigates a murder is 'who done it'.
Franklyn Drew: Well that sounds logical.
Officer Gulliver: And the next thing I ask myself is 'who could do it.'
Franklyn Drew: And then?
Officer Gulliver: Then I ask myself again 'who wanted to do it.'
Franklyn Drew: And how do you answer yourself?
Officer Gulliver: Well... I ain't come to that yet.
See more »


Featured in Lugosi: Hollywood's Dracula (1997) See more »

User Reviews

Write the Movie
10 May 2007 | by tedgSee all my reviews

Here's another important early detective movie. It is important because it is early in the life of talkies (just two years after, really); it is a mystery (which was just being invented cinematically); and it is "folded."

That last means that it is a movie. And it is about a movie. All the characters except the hapless police detective are part of the movie within, which is also called "The Death Kiss." That designated detective is our usual surrogate: in the outer film trying to suss out the inner.

The murder in question is a murder in the movie within that is "real," meaning it is also in the outer movie. The real detective turns out to be the writer of the inner movie. I am not sure if this is the first appearance of this particular device. I would appreciate hearing if it is not. If it is, this film is of enormous importance. If not, it is still important, though for enjoyment purposes, well its pretty far down the list.

I'm tentatively making this a "worth watching," but if I confirm that it is the first talking with a movie with written by the same guy that writes the outer movie, I'll elevate it to a four.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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Release Date:

8 January 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Death Kiss See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(copyright length) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)


Black and White | Color (hand-colored sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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