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Trapped by Television (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 15 June 1936 (USA)
An inventor looking for backing for his television invention gets involved with a crooked businessman and gangsters who try to steal his invention.

Director:

Del Lord

Writers:

Lee Loeb (screenplay), Harold Buchman (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Mary Astor ... Barbara 'Bobby' Blake
Lyle Talbot ... Fred Dennis
Nat Pendleton ... Rocky O'Neil
Joyce Compton ... Mae Collins
Thurston Hall ... John Curtis
Henry Mollison ... Thornton
Wyrley Birch ... Paul Turner
Robert Strange ... Standish
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Storyline

An inventor looking for backing for his television invention gets involved with a crooked businessman and gangsters who try to steal his invention. Written by <Brian@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

AS STARTLING AS ITS TITLE (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 June 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Caught by Television See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Quotes

J.W. Greggs - Collection Agency Manager: [on the telephone] It ain't the policy of the Acme to threaten people. But if you don't kick in with that dough fast, I'm coming up there myself and smack you right on the button!
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User Reviews

Foreshadowing the Future
6 October 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

I tuned in because of the intriguing title. I didn't even know the TV idea was around in the 1930's, so the plot came as a revelation. The movie itself, except for the TV premise, is fairly standard gangster boilerplate. A pseudo-respectable businessman uses his gangster underlings to sabotage inventor Dennis's new-fangled TV camera. Instead, he wants a collaborator's technology to get the expected market.

Columbia produced, so production values are respectable, especially the elaborate TV camera. All in all, the narrative is lively if not exactly gripping. But then the acting is better than the boilerplate, especially Astor in her pre-Maltese Falcon (1941) days. Also, scrawny Marc Lawrence is convincing as heck as the lead gangster, and might have stolen the film with more screen time. Talbot may not seem the inventor type, but he does show why he became a professional nice guy on TV's Ozzie & Harriet, and Bob Cummings Show, while muscle-man Pendleton ingratiates as comedic relief. From what I see here, I'm guessing that except for a disruptive WWII, TV would have gotten an earlier start as a mass medium. Apparently the technology was pretty much in place. Be that as it may, the movie's definitely a worthwhile curiosity and okay as entertainment.


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