Death at a Broadcast

1934

Mystery

147
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 162

Synopsis


Downloaded times
October 28, 2020

Cast

Jack Hawkins as Herbert Evans
Lewis Gilbert as Autograph hunter
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
660.9 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
71 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.2 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
71 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Spondonman 7 / 10 / 10

Satisfying and worthwhile

This is pretty fascinating stuff on a number of levels: the then visualisation of radio broadcasting for cinema audiences, the then limitations of radio and cinema technology, a frank and snappy dialogue, some wonderful art deco furniture and sets, the great Elizabeth Welch singing, and an all too brief song from Eve Becke and whichever band Percival Mackay was leading at the time. And the BBC for once apparently received no complaints after twenty five million people had listened to a live radio strangulation. Probably Lord Reith would have at least apologised. A radio actor is murdered during a live broadcast, the cast and crew are therefore suspect – and the hunt by Detective Inspector Ian Hunter is soon on for the culprit in a short and swift film. The perceived interiors of Broadcasting House looked flimsier than the acting but the unmasking of the dastard involved a cast-iron alibi being broken. It's one thing knowing that back then BBC radio newsreaders were booted and suited or in full evening gowns with no one to see them but another to have scantily-clad showgirls performing mainly for the edification of the microphones. Maybe it's a BBC trait! There's a young heavily eye-shadowed Jack Hawkins in here, Henry Kendall was as urbane as ever, and Donald Wolfit had a small - but vital - part in one of his first films. Many iconic poses were struck with many nice scenes. What a pity all BBC broadcasts weren't preserved on steel tape, never mind about for the Empire but for the broadcastless future generations - over the years many BBC radio shows survived only on transcription discs meant for foreign consumption. If I wanted to be awkward I could add that I personally think genuine talent and honest morality have both been strangled to death at the obese Broadcasting House over the last eighty years too and because of this no one has therefore logically seen fit to make a movie about it. But I'm glad this was made - it's still a refreshing atmospheric whodunit and something to make you think!

Reviewed by editor-269 6 / 10 / 10

A Sherlock Holmes style whodunit with not enough information for the viewer to guess the culprit. Hugely enjoyable though.

This is really two stories in one. The first is the underlying plot of a murder during a live radio broadcast of a play so that the actual death by strangling of Donald Wolfit (before he became famous), is the real thing. Having been previously castigated by producer Val Gielgud (who actually wrote the film storyline as well) for not gasping properly, he is summoned to be congratulated on his improved performance only to be found stretched out on the floor, dead. There are several plausible suspects who all had the opportunity and motive to commit the crime but the actual culprit seemingly has a cast iron alibi. His unmasking therefore comes as a genuine surprise with the final chase through Broadcasting House bringing about his demise when he enters a door without realising it is a live electricity station. The second story is that of the daily routine in Broadcasting House where we are treated to two top stars of the day, Elisabeth Welch and Eve Becke, delightfully singing to the accompaniment of Ord Hamilton at the piano and Percival Mackey's dance orchestra respectively. Interweaved and connecting both stories is a gormless intruder who goes all over the building in search of the Variety studio, upsetting everyone in the process and also becoming a prime murder suspect. Other people come and go, mischievously signing autographs outside the front door. A gripping film, the only disappointment being that the police inspector never reveals his evidence until right at the end, thus depriving the viewer of accurately guessing whodunit.

Reviewed by jonfrum2000 6 / 10 / 10

Not great, but not bad

I always give early-1930s movies the benefit of the doubt, and I'm doing so here. An actor working alone in a radio studio room is murdered while reading his lines (in which his character is murdered). Someone in the studio building at the time killed him, but whom? There are only a few possible culprits, and most aren't very well defined characters. A few years later, this probably could have been a very good movie, but it's barely passable here. I suspect much of the appeal of this film when it was released came from the behind-the-scenes look at a working radio studio, with actors in multiple rooms, and orchestra in another, and crew in still others. You even get a song and a dance number, although the appeal of a dance number on radio, including dancers in full costume, escapes me. If you enjoy 1930s crime/mysteries, then this is worth a watch. The detective doesn't define himself particularly well, but the genre plays out reasonably true to form. I gave it a 6 for slightly better than average.

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