Death at a Broadcast (1934)

  |  Mystery


Death at a Broadcast (1934) Poster

When an actor is murdered at the BBC Inspector Gregory finds he has many suspects to choose from.

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6/10
132

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  • Peter Haddon in Death at a Broadcast (1934)
  • Donald Wolfit in Death at a Broadcast (1934)
  • Vincent Holman and Ian Hunter in Death at a Broadcast (1934)
  • Elisabeth Welch in Death at a Broadcast (1934)
  • Ivor Barnard in Death at a Broadcast (1934)
  • Ivor Barnard in Death at a Broadcast (1934)

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Director:

Reginald Denham

Writers:

Basil Mason (adapted by), Val Gielgud (novel), Eric Maschwitz (novel)

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4 December 2018 | kidboots
8
| "Murder Immaculate"
"Please!!....can't you put more feeling into your death scene"!! - and unfortunately for Parsons, he puts too much feeling into it, he is murdered!!

A pristine print makes this an enjoyable view - not only is there a murder but it must have been an interesting peek for audiences at the workings etc of the BBC - there's even a variety show with a bevy of beautiful, talented chorus girls (going through their routine in a professional way). The lovely Eve Becke shows she had a way with a song but the highlight for me is the beautiful Elisabeth Welch singing the sultry "Lazy Lady" with all the muscians thoroughly enjoying the performance.

The murder investigation plays out among the beautiful Art Deco settings of Broadcasting House, led by a very believable performance from Ian Hunter as Det. Insp. Gregory (Hunter was so good in British movies, it's only when he went to Hollywood, he turned stodgy and boring). The rest of the cast lived up to the way audiences of the time probably felt they spoke and behaved - very toffy, elocution lesson stuff. Val Gielgud, writer of the original book and screen play, gave himself a plum role as Julian Caird, the play's ("Murder Immaculate") producer and his performance shows why he spent many years as BBC's Head of Sound and Drama but didn't venture in front of the camera too often.

The victim, Parsons, was a professional blackmailer and an interesting plot twist was having the leading man, Leopold Dryden as being very unlikable and slipping out of the recording studio at around the time of the murder. Played fittingly by Austin Trevor who was the first actor to portray Hercule Poirot on film. Rounding out the cast was Peter Haddon who excelled in "silly ass" types and provided the movie with it's supposed humour as a top hatted gent looking for an alibi!! Jack Hawkins at the beginning of his career, he's Bert Evans, in a sizable part one of the actors and someone who has a crush on the leading lady and Henry Kendall as the playwright, with wit as dry as crisp toast and also with a very healthy yen for Mrs. Dryden (a pretty and dewy eyed Mary Newland). And then there's Mrs. Dryden - has she anything to hide in her past? Just why is she so upset when Gregory finds an old playbill!!

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