The Preview Murder Mystery (1936)

60, 62 or 65 mins | Mystery | 28 February 1936

Director:

Robert Florey

Producer:

Harold Hurley

Cinematographer:

Karl Struss

Editor:

James Smith

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Earl Hedrick

Production Company:

Paramount Productions, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The pre-release title was Preview . A pre-release news item in HR indicates William Frawley was cast in the film, but was moved to F-Man instead. Also, HR production charts give co-writer credits to Jane Storm for the story and Max Marcin for the screenplay, and lists Sam Ash in the cast. According to a modern source, John Gilbert was originally considered for the ... More Less

The pre-release title was Preview . A pre-release news item in HR indicates William Frawley was cast in the film, but was moved to F-Man instead. Also, HR production charts give co-writer credits to Jane Storm for the story and Max Marcin for the screenplay, and lists Sam Ash in the cast. According to a modern source, John Gilbert was originally considered for the lead. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Dec 35
p. 4.
Daily Variety
6 Feb 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
21 Mar 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Nov 1935.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 1935.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
7 Feb 36
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
28 Dec 35
p. 49.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Feb 36
p. 42.
New York Times
21 Mar 36
p. 13.
Variety
25 Mar 36
p. 15.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Contr to scr const
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Preview
Release Date:
28 February 1936
Production Date:
began 4 December 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 February 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6203
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60, 62 or 65
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1889
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Neil Du Beck, the star of a remake of Song of the Toreador , receives his sixth death threat note on the last day of the picture's filming. Neil attends the preview with his co-star Claire Woodward, who is also married to their director, E. Gordon Smith. When the film ends, Claire discovers that Neil is dead in his seat, and it is later revealed that he died of poisoning. During the filming of another picture starring Claire, an actor shoots at her with a gun supposedly filled with blanks. Fortunately his aim is off, for the gun is actually loaded with real bullets. In the box of blanks, Detective McKane discovers another death threat note. McKane has the entire studio closed, allowing no one in or out until he catches the murderer. Meanwhile, Johnny Morgan, head of publicity, tries to figure out who the murderer is with his secretary, Peggy Madison, an astrology buff to whom he constantly proposes. One night he rigs a camera in his office to discover if a mouse is chewing his cigars. While they are asleep in different parts of the office, Peggy is awakened when someone sneaks in and sets off the camera. When developed, the picture shows Edwin Strange, the star of the original version of Song of the Toreador ; but Strange has been dead for eight years. Before his death, Strange was married to Claire, and it is rumored that Smith was jealous, just as he may have been jealous of Neil. Johnny and McKane suspect Smith, but he is later found hanging, with a note saying that by midnight ... +


Neil Du Beck, the star of a remake of Song of the Toreador , receives his sixth death threat note on the last day of the picture's filming. Neil attends the preview with his co-star Claire Woodward, who is also married to their director, E. Gordon Smith. When the film ends, Claire discovers that Neil is dead in his seat, and it is later revealed that he died of poisoning. During the filming of another picture starring Claire, an actor shoots at her with a gun supposedly filled with blanks. Fortunately his aim is off, for the gun is actually loaded with real bullets. In the box of blanks, Detective McKane discovers another death threat note. McKane has the entire studio closed, allowing no one in or out until he catches the murderer. Meanwhile, Johnny Morgan, head of publicity, tries to figure out who the murderer is with his secretary, Peggy Madison, an astrology buff to whom he constantly proposes. One night he rigs a camera in his office to discover if a mouse is chewing his cigars. While they are asleep in different parts of the office, Peggy is awakened when someone sneaks in and sets off the camera. When developed, the picture shows Edwin Strange, the star of the original version of Song of the Toreador ; but Strange has been dead for eight years. Before his death, Strange was married to Claire, and it is rumored that Smith was jealous, just as he may have been jealous of Neil. Johnny and McKane suspect Smith, but he is later found hanging, with a note saying that by midnight there will be no more studio. Johnny realizes that all the props used in the murders were from the set of Song of the Toreador , and goes to Stage 13 to investigate. With the help of producer Jerome Hewitt, McKane listens in on the activities of each stage. Johnny is startled by the appearance of Strange, who confesses that after his face was damaged in a fire scene that Smith had directed, he exchanged identities with a man hit by a car, then went to live in Mexico. He resurfaced because he felt the remake would rob him of his fame. Overhearing this conversation, McKane sends detectives onto the set, and after a chase onto the roof, Strange is shot and falls to his death. The studio returns to normal and Johnny and Peggy decide to marry. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.