During the filming of a death scene of The Death Kiss, leading man Myles Brent is really shot and killed. Tonart Studios manager Joseph Steiner (Lugosi) is assigned to handle the situation. The studio wants to pass it off as a simple accident, but screenwriter Franklyn Drew (Manners) digs a bullet out of a wall and tells Homicide Detective Lieutenant Sheehan that it is a .38 caliber, while the guns used in the film are all .45s.
Sheehan finds a letter in the dead man’s pocket, in which Brent wrote to his lawyer that Marcia Lane (Ames), his co-star and ex-wife, would not sign a release as beneficiary of his $200,000 life insurance policy. Chalmers, an alcoholic extra with a self-admitted grudge against Brent for getting him fired as head gaffer (electrician), is spotted trying to dispose of a loaded .38, but Drew points out that the gun has not been fired.
Drew suggests they view the footage of the fatal scene for clues, but somebody knocks out the projectionist and burns the print using a cigarette with rouge on it. It is a special rouge normally used by only two women. One was away on location, making Lane the prime suspect. Before another print can be made, the negative is destroyed with acid.
While snooping around on the set, Drew finds a derringer mounted inside a lamp and electrically wired to be fired remotely, but he is knocked out and the gun taken. He goes to question Chalmers, but finds him dead beside a glass of poison and a written confession. However, Drew finds several clues that make him suspicious. Through more detective work, he discovers that the new battery of Lane’s car is dry, and battery fluid is poisonous. Meanwhile, Goldsmith comes to see Lane; she rejects his advances once again.
In Brent’s dressing room, Drew finds a letter from a love-stricken married woman named “Agnes” and a hotel room key. Later, in Steiner’s office, Sheehan takes Lane into custody; Drew spots a photo of a woman on the desk; the inscription reveals that Steiner’s wife is named Agnes. When Drew goes to the hotel, he finds out from a bellhop that Brent had been there with a woman; her husband was waiting, and the two men got into a fight.
The studio decides to finish the film (only the last, fatal scene needs to be shot), using a double for Brent and arranging for Lane’s temporary release. Drew finds out from the prop man that the guns were originally supposed to be .38s, but he made an unauthorized substitution. Drew takes him to Sheehan. Just as he is about to reveal who ordered the guns, the lights go out. (The murderer had overheard the conversation through a studio microphone.) After a gunfight and chase, the killer falls to his death. It is Avery, the director.
Rendezte: Edwin L. Marin
Producer: E. W. Hammons
Írta: Gordon Kahn, Barry Barrigan és Madelon St. Dennis
Megjelenes ideje: 1932 december 5 (a Wikipedia szerint) 1933 januar 8 (az IMDb szerint)
- David Manners as Franklyn Drew
- Adrienne Ames as Marcia Lane
- Bela Lugosi as Joseph Steiner
- John Wray as Detective Lieut. Sheehan
- Vince Barnett as Officer Gulliver (chief of the studio police)
- Alexander Carr as Leon A. Grossmith (“president of this concern [studio]”)
- Edward Van Sloan as Tom Avery (the director)
- Harold Minjir as Howell
- Barbara Bedford as Script Girl
- Al Hill as Assistant Director
- Harold Waldridge as Charlie (bellhop)
- Wade Boteler as Sergeant Hilliker
- Lee Moran as Todd (publicist)
- Edmund Burns as Miles Brent (uncredited)
- Mona Maris as Mrs. Agnes Avert (uncredited)
A ‘The Death Kiss’ mufajat tekintve egy thriller. Edwin L. Marin rendezo elso filmje, amihez a Tiffany Pictures az egy evvel korabban nagy sikerrel vetitett ‘Dracula’ harom fo szereplojet is szerzodtette (Lugosi, Manners es Edward Van Sloan.) Eddie Martinrol itt olvashato egy erdekes kis iras:
1932 novemberenek elso feleben kezdodtek el a film forgatasi munkalata a Tiffany Pictures Sunset Bulevard-i (Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA) studiojaban. A filmbeli ‘Tonart Studios’ a valosagban egyebkent szinten a Tiffany Pictures studioja volt.
A film elozetes bemutatojan -1932 December 5-en- a vetitett kopia szamos Gustav Brock altal kezzel szinezett jelenetet tartalmazott. Mas forrasok szerint (pl. IMDb) a december 5-i bemutaton meg nem voltak szinezett jelenetek es azok csak a december 25-i eloadasra keszultek el. A film jelenleg ‘public domain’ statuszban van, mivel az szerzoi jogok eredeti tulajdonosa nem ujjitotta meg a licenszet (ezert van oly sok gyatra minosegu es az ertelmetlensegig megvagott kopia ma forgalomban) George O’Hanlon elso filmje.
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). (forras: IMDb)