The Death Kiss (1933)

71 or 74-75 mins | Mystery | 8 January 1933

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HISTORY

The onscreen credits misspelled the surname of author Madelon St. Dennis as "St. Denis." The Death Kiss was produced at the California Tiffany Studios. It was previewed in San Bernadino on 5 Dec 1932. This was Edwin L. Marin's first film as a director. According to a FD news item, Adrienne Ames was borrowed from Paramount. According to HR news items, the film was originally to be released nationally on 25 Dec 1932, but its release was held up so that some tinted sequences could be added. Modern sources list the following additional credits: Mus dir Val Burton; Cast : Wilson Benge ( Doorman ), Eddy Chandler ( Mechanic ), Harry Strang ( Gaffer ), Eddie Boland ( Bill ), Frank O'Connor ( Cop ), Forest Taylor , Paul ... More Less

The onscreen credits misspelled the surname of author Madelon St. Dennis as "St. Denis." The Death Kiss was produced at the California Tiffany Studios. It was previewed in San Bernadino on 5 Dec 1932. This was Edwin L. Marin's first film as a director. According to a FD news item, Adrienne Ames was borrowed from Paramount. According to HR news items, the film was originally to be released nationally on 25 Dec 1932, but its release was held up so that some tinted sequences could be added. Modern sources list the following additional credits: Mus dir Val Burton; Cast : Wilson Benge ( Doorman ), Eddy Chandler ( Mechanic ), Harry Strang ( Gaffer ), Eddie Boland ( Bill ), Frank O'Connor ( Cop ), Forest Taylor , Paul Porcasi. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
4 Nov 32
p. 8.
Film Daily
17 Jan 33
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Jan 33
p. 15.
Harrison's Reports
4 Feb 33
p. 18.
HF
5 Nov 32
p. 16.
HF
19 Nov 32
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 32
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Dec 32
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Dec 32
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald
24 Dec 32
p. 22.
New York Times
5 Feb 33
IX, p. 5.
Variety
31 Jan 33
p. 12.
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 January 1933
Production Date:
ended 17 November 1932 at California Tiffany Studios
Copyright Claimant:
K.B.S. Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 January 1933
Copyright Number:
LP3967
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black & white with color sequences
b&w with tinted seq
Duration(in mins):
71 or 74-75
Length(in feet):
6,772
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

During the filming of a scene in Tonart Studio's production of The Death Kiss , actress Marcia Lane identifies a fictional character to be shot by kissing him. After actor Myles Brent is actually shot, Leon A. Grossmith, the studio head who mildly mangles the English language, worries about the financial impact of the murder, and studio manager Joseph Steiner is concerned about publicity, while the common feeling on the set is that Brent should have been murdered long ago. Detective Lieutenant Sheehan and Sergeant Hilliker begin to investigate, while scenario writer Franklyn Drew, who loves Marcia and likes murder mysteries, irritates Sheehan when, with the assistance of Officer Gulliver, the bumbling chief of studio police, he discovers evidence that refutes Sheehan's conclusions. Suspicion is first raised about Chalmers, an alcoholic ex-head gaffer whom Brent had fired. After Chalmers' apparent suicide, which Frank proves is murder, Marcia is arrested due to circumstantial evidence, and Frank finds a love letter in Brent's pocket from Steiner's wife and a key from an inn up the coast. He investigates and learns of a fight the previous night between Brent and the man whose wife Brent took there. After Frank finds the man's scribblings and matches them to those found during a meeting attended by Grossmith, Steiner and director Tom Avery, he learns of a clue from Bill, the property man, which identifies the murderer. As the murder scene is being recreated, Bill is about to reveal the man's name, when the murderer, hearing the conversation through the sound man's earphones, shuts off the lights and climbs to the catwalks. After a chase he falls to his ... +


During the filming of a scene in Tonart Studio's production of The Death Kiss , actress Marcia Lane identifies a fictional character to be shot by kissing him. After actor Myles Brent is actually shot, Leon A. Grossmith, the studio head who mildly mangles the English language, worries about the financial impact of the murder, and studio manager Joseph Steiner is concerned about publicity, while the common feeling on the set is that Brent should have been murdered long ago. Detective Lieutenant Sheehan and Sergeant Hilliker begin to investigate, while scenario writer Franklyn Drew, who loves Marcia and likes murder mysteries, irritates Sheehan when, with the assistance of Officer Gulliver, the bumbling chief of studio police, he discovers evidence that refutes Sheehan's conclusions. Suspicion is first raised about Chalmers, an alcoholic ex-head gaffer whom Brent had fired. After Chalmers' apparent suicide, which Frank proves is murder, Marcia is arrested due to circumstantial evidence, and Frank finds a love letter in Brent's pocket from Steiner's wife and a key from an inn up the coast. He investigates and learns of a fight the previous night between Brent and the man whose wife Brent took there. After Frank finds the man's scribblings and matches them to those found during a meeting attended by Grossmith, Steiner and director Tom Avery, he learns of a clue from Bill, the property man, which identifies the murderer. As the murder scene is being recreated, Bill is about to reveal the man's name, when the murderer, hearing the conversation through the sound man's earphones, shuts off the lights and climbs to the catwalks. After a chase he falls to his death, and when the lights are turned on, the company sees that Avery is the murderer. His wife sees the body and says she's glad he's dead. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.