5.9/10
70
5 user 1 critic

Below the Deadline (1936)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 8 June 1936 (USA)
After a good-natured Irish cop is framed for a diamond robbery and murder and presumed dead in a train wreck, he gets plastic surgery and returns to expose the real killers.

Director:

Charles Lamont

Writer:

Ewart Adamson (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cecilia Parker ... Molly Fitzgerald
Russell Hopton ... Terry Mulvaney
Theodore von Eltz ... Flash Ackroyd (as Theodor Von Eltz)
Thomas E. Jackson Thomas E. Jackson ... Pearson (as Thomas Jackson)
Warner Richmond ... Diamond Dutch
John St. Polis ... Mr. Abrams
Robert Frazer ... Detective Palmer
Charles Delaney ... Artie Nolan
Kathryn Sheldon Kathryn Sheldon ... Aunt Mary Tibbett
Robert Homans ... Police Captain Symonds
Jack Gardner Jack Gardner ... Henchman Spike
Al Thompson Al Thompson ... Sparring Partner Al
Sidney Payne ... Plastic Surgeon
Phyllis Crane Phyllis Crane ... Miss Jennings
Charles McAvoy Charles McAvoy ... Officer Rooney
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Storyline

Molly Fitzgerald, who works for Abrams and Co. Jewelers (although the company safe reads "Adams & Co. Jewelers"), is accosted on the street by a stranger who asks her for a date, but her fiancé, police officer Terry Mulvaney chases him away. Spike, the stranger, is interested in Molly other than for her pretty face; he is a member of a gang of jewel thieves who are planning to rob Abrams and want to use her to obtain information regarding the merchant's shipments of jewels. Through another ruse, gang member Flash Ackroyd gets the information and, through careful planning, frames Terry for the robbery. One of Abrams' assistants is killed and Terry is charged with robbery and murder. Terry escapes but Molly is fired as Abrams thinks she was in on the robbery. Molly gets a job in a nightclub ran by the gangsters. The train on which Terry is escaping is wrecked and he is transported to a hospital more dead than alive. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A DYNAMIC DRAMA OF THE DARK, LURKING SHADOWS JUST BEYOND THE BRILLANCE OF THE BROADWAY LIGHTS.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 June 1936 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film was first telecast on New York City's pioneer television station W2XBS 23 July 1940. Post WWII televiewers got their first look at in in Lowell MA (serving the Boston Area) Thursday 7 October 1948 on WBZ (Channel 4). See more »

Quotes

Pearson: Miss Jennings, if I thought I had any brains, I'd blow them out.
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User Reviews

Pretty Good Programmer. (Plus a warning)
31 March 2018 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

(Warning- To IMDB streaming viewers. There are two contrasting films with the same name, "Below The Deadline". One is from 1946, the other 1936. In misleading fashion, IMDB's Watch List for viewer streaming places the older film under the description of the newer. Thus, I thought I was cueing up 1946 and instead I got the wholly different 1936. So be aware of that possibility if you're considering the IMDB viewer stream.)

The '36 flick is a decent if unexceptional crime story. A policeman and his girl plan to marry, but instead get mixed up in a diamond robbery for which the patrolman is blamed. Now he's got to clear himself, but how.

I can see why MGM had plans for Parker (on loan here). She's a charmingly engaging ingénue who carries the film. Leading man Hopton is an unknown, to me at least, and an apparent suicide victim (1945). As another reviewer points out, he's a bit of a miscast in terms of age and charm. He does, however, have a convincing Irish brogue. The settings are pretty well done for a poverty row production, along with smooth direction from Lamont. The story wobbles, but has a few twists that hold interest. All in all, it's a pretty good little time passer for old movie buffs, thanks mainly to Parker.


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