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The Death Kiss (1932)

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

Director:

Edwin L. Marin

Writers:

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

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 Harold Minjir ... Howell
Barbara Bedford ... Script Girl
Al Hill ... Assistant Director
Harold Waldridge ... Charlie (as Harold Waldrige)
Wade Boteler ... Sergeant Hilliker
Lee Moran ... Todd
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

IT'S FULL OF MYSTERY! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 January 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bacio mortale See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

K.B.S. Productions Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Color:

Black and White | Color (hand-colored sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of George O'Hanlon. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Franklyn Drew: I've just come from Chalmers' place. He's dead.
Marcia Lane: Chalmers?
Franklyn Drew: Poisoned.
Marcia Lane: You mean murdered?
Franklyn Drew: If it isn't that, it's a good imitation of it.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

Solid Mystery With Good Atmosphere & An Interesting Cast
13 July 2005 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

Despite its low-budget look, "The Death Kiss" is a solid mystery, and it does a good job of creating a believable movie studio atmosphere as the background to the main story. It's also interesting to see Bela Lugosi, Edward Van Sloan, and David Manners reunited in a setting so different from "Dracula". While some of its limitations are rather obvious, it's a pretty good effort for a low-budget feature from the early sound era.

The opening sequence might be the best part of the movie, as it cleverly sets up the mystery, introduces most of the characters, and illustrates the movie's themes. In the main part of the movie, it generally follows convention, with Manners as an eager amateur who is usually a step ahead of the police. The pace is also a little uneven at times, which was relatively common in the early 1930s, but there are always some interesting details and developments that keep it together.

Van Sloan, as a movie director, gets some pretty good opportunities. Lugosi is always a welcome addition to any suspense or mystery story, and he makes the most of a character who doesn't really get all that much to do. As the lead, Manners is likable, though often a bit bland. Adrienne Ames is adequate as the heroine, and the minor characters are given some occasional moments of their own.

The result is a decent mystery that keeps you guessing. It will probably be of interest mainly to those who are already fans of the era and genre, but with that in mind it's not bad.


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