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Lightning Strikes Twice (1934)

Three apparent murders and a pair of imposters disrupt the lives of an engaged couple.


Ben Holmes


Marion Dix (story), Joseph Fields (screenplay) (as Joseph A. Fields) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Ben Lyon ... Steven 'Steve' Brewster
Thelma Todd ... Judith 'Judy' Nelson
Pert Kelton ... Fay, the Fan Dancer
Laura Hope Crews ... Aunt Jane Madison
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Wally Richards (as 'Skeets' Gallagher)
Chick Chandler ... Marty Hicks
Walter Catlett ... Gus
Jonathan Hale ... Capt. Hobart Nelson (as John Hale)
Margaret Armstrong ... Martha, the Housekeeper
John Davidson ... Phillips, the Butler
Fred Kelsey ... Detective Dugan
Edgar Dearing ... Police Lt. Foster
Roger Gray Roger Gray ... Officer Casey


A crazed gunman fires a shot. As officer Casey reports the assumed murder to headquarters another shot is fired causing Casey to fall. Police rush to the scene, led by Lieutenant Foster, who backs into a hole in the street. Both missing policemen are assumed murdered, but actually, they fell into a sewer system unharmed and can't get out. Next morning, housekeeper Martha discovers the butler missing and blood-stained sheets on his bed, and assumes he's been murdered. When her employer and his friend awaken, they (Steve Brewster and Wally Richards) discover that in their drunken stupor the night before, they crashed the car into the garage, and two injured passengers are in an upstairs bedroom. The two are fan dancer Fay and her husband Gus, both performing at the nightclub Steve and Wally attended, and are faking injury now to see what they can get out of it. Since the room was being prepared for Steve's fiancée and her father (Judy and naval Captain Hobart Nelson), who are expected ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Mystery







Release Date:

7 December 1934 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Judith 'Judy' Nelson: I wanted a husband with the virtues of a lover, not a lover with the vices of a husband.
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User Reviews

An unfunny comedy because of a poor script and a miscast Ben Lyon.
13 November 1998 | by Arthur HausnerSee all my reviews

I found myself hardly laughing at this unfunny comedy that must read funnier than it plays. With a mistaken identity plot, a crazed gunman running loose, two policemen thought murdered and trapped in the sewer system, an inept detective impersonating a butler to get at the murderer and a fan dancer and her husband pretending to be Lyon's fiancée and her father, this had the makings of a really funny movie. If it weren't for Walter Catlett and Pert Kelton, however, the movie would have been a total waste. It's unfortunate that such a fine actor as Ben Lyon took this role, because he seems to have no flair for comedy. He and friend 'Skeets' Gallagher should have had better lines to play against one another, although I'm not sure Lyon could have pulled it off. Thelma Todd, as his fiancée, is very beautiful, but can't act very well. Her father, Jonathan Hale, gives his usual competent performance, although he often looks as if he can't wait to go home. And Laura Hope Crews, as the rich dim-witted aunt who mistakes Kelton for her future niece, tries hard, but can't rise above the material. The problem may have been related to the fact that Todd, Kelton, Gallagher and Chick Chandler had one film to be made to fulfill their contracts with RKO, and this was it.

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