Monday, October 22, 2018

Trapped by Television (1936)

Early television appears to have held a fascination for the movie makers, in this film television (which was still a few months from the first public broadcast by the BBC) was portrayed a bit more realistically than in Murder by Television.

Lyle Talbot is Fred, a struggling inventor of a revolutionary television system. Debt collector Rocky (Nat Pendleton) comes calling but instead of putting the heavy on Fred joins him in trying to complete his invention. Also getting involved is investor Barbara (Mary Astor) who ends up falling for the invention and Fred.

Barbara's plan is to sell the television to Paragon Broadcasting however Paragon's own system has been put on ice after their inventor was snatched (then put on ice) by the mob and who are then trying to sell Paragon their own invention back to them. Unbeknown to everyone one of Paragon's own board is behind the scam and is now out to stop Fred from spoiling their plans at all costs...

Although the plot is nothing out the ordinary and could really have used any kind of invention it is a very enjoyable film. For a start the film looks very good, the television is a rather fabulous looking Art Deco prop. The film has a somewhat unusual mix of humour and drama, maybe sometimes it is a bit confusing exactly what kind of film it is. However never mind that as the film sparkles. A good cast with some good lines, especially from Pendleton.