1931-1940Del LordDramaSci-FiUSA

Del Lord – Trapped by Television (1936)

This film tries to blend comedy with drama, and the result is an uneasy tossed salad rather than a smooth pudding. Lyle Talbot is so stalwart and large it is difficult to feature him as a TV inventor — but he more than makes up for this in the fight scene, where, with his usual technique, he just beats the dickens out of the other actors for five or ten minutes. Nat Pendelton is wonderful as the dim-witted bill collector turned science hobbyist. Mary Astor, playing closer to her “Thin Man” arch smile than to her “Maltese Falcon” dramatic style, is a scheming but lovable promoter of potato peelers who decides to back this newfangled thing called television. All in all, this makes a better comedy than a drama, but the direction pulls it both ways, and thus it fails to satisfy either audience altogether.

Kudos to the prop department for building the most amazingly art deco television camera and receiver in the history of film — complete with a flat screen monitor! Great stuff, that!

Anyway, it’s a fun film, won’t put you to sleep, and might give you a few laughs until Lyle Talbot swings into action and starts the fight scene that you knew was headed your way the minute you saw his name in the credits and his broad shoulders in that unconvincing scientist’s get-up.

728MB | 1h 03m | 640×480 | avi




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