Friday, November 9, 2018

Danger on the Air (1938)

A bright and breezy murder mystery set in a radio studio. Prime sponsor Kluck (Berton Churchill) is found dead during a radio broadcast, unfortunately there are plenty of people who might have motive especially young lady Steenie (Nan Grey) who Kluck was last seen making a pass at. Later incriminating evidence is found in her purse.

Radio Engineer Benjamin Butts (Donald Woods) doesn't believe Steenie has anything to do with it and investigates the murder himself. There are plenty of suspects including the father (Lee J. Cobb) of another girl Kluck was all over like a cheap suit, the radio company owner (Jed Prouty), a gangster (Joe Downing) and a desperate young man (Peter Lind Hayes) who wants to get on-air at all costs.

An enjoyable crime drama with an air of farce. Although a B-movie its very well made with some good performances especially from Grey and Woods who make a nice couple and have some snappy dialogue to play with. The most interesting aspect of the film is the look at how radio was produced in the 1930s. One criticism is that the final unveil of the perpetrator is a bit left field, a character that barely featured in the film. Though the murder method is innovative.