Lightning Strikes Twice (1934)

64-66 mins | Comedy | 7 December 1934

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HISTORY

According to a DV news item, Polly Moran was cast in the film in an unspecified part, but refused to take the role, thus ending any contract hopes she may have had with RKO. HR production chart includes Gregory Ratoff in the cast, but the actor was not seen in the viewed print. According to modern sources, this film was made by RKO to fulfill its contractual agreements with Thelma Todd, Pert Kelton, "Skeets" Gallagher and Chick ... More Less

According to a DV news item, Polly Moran was cast in the film in an unspecified part, but refused to take the role, thus ending any contract hopes she may have had with RKO. HR production chart includes Gregory Ratoff in the cast, but the actor was not seen in the viewed print. According to modern sources, this film was made by RKO to fulfill its contractual agreements with Thelma Todd, Pert Kelton, "Skeets" Gallagher and Chick Chandler. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Sep 34
p. 1.
Daily Variety
22 Oct 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Feb 35
p. 4.
HF
22 Sep 34
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 34
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 34
p. 11.
Motion Picture Daily
24 Oct 34
p. 11.
Motion Picture Herald
6 Oct 34
p. 51.
Motion Picture Herald
2 Mar 35
p. 58.
Variety
1 May 35
p. 17.
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 December 1934
Production Date:
began 17 September 1934
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
7 December 1934
Copyright Number:
LP5164
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
64-66
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
352
SYNOPSIS

After policeman Casey hears a gunshot outside of Steve Brewster's lavish house, he telephones the station and announces that a murder has been committed. While reporting the crime, Casey hears another shot and drops from sight. When Lieutenant Foster then rushes to the scene, another shot is fired by a wild-eyed man, and the officer disappears, apparently murdered. The police question Martha, the Brewster's befuddled housekeeper, then leave the scene, unaware that both Casey and Foster have fallen in the sewer system. The next morning, Steve Brewster and his friend, Wally Richards, wake up to discover that, after they had left the previous night's drunken party, they were involved in a car accident with Fay and Gus, married vaudevillians, now sleeping in Steve's guest room. Concerned about how his fiancée, Judy Nelson, and her father, Captain Hobart Nelson, who are flying in to meet Steve's eccentric, globe-trotting aunt Jane, will react to Fay and Gus, Steve pleads with the performers to move to another room. Fay, a fan dancer, fakes a sprained ankle, and while Steve carries her across the balcony, he is spotted by Judy and her father, who denounce him as a philanderer and storm away to a hotel. After Steve leaves to make up with Judy, Martha and Wally find Phillips, the butler, missing and Steve's gun and coat in the servant's bedroom. Dim-witted Aunt Jane then arrives and mistakes Fay and Gus, who have dressed up in the Nelsons' clothes, for Judy and the captain. Unable to correct Jane's error, Steve rushes back to the hotel to prevent Judy and her father from meeting Jane, and while he is away, ... +


After policeman Casey hears a gunshot outside of Steve Brewster's lavish house, he telephones the station and announces that a murder has been committed. While reporting the crime, Casey hears another shot and drops from sight. When Lieutenant Foster then rushes to the scene, another shot is fired by a wild-eyed man, and the officer disappears, apparently murdered. The police question Martha, the Brewster's befuddled housekeeper, then leave the scene, unaware that both Casey and Foster have fallen in the sewer system. The next morning, Steve Brewster and his friend, Wally Richards, wake up to discover that, after they had left the previous night's drunken party, they were involved in a car accident with Fay and Gus, married vaudevillians, now sleeping in Steve's guest room. Concerned about how his fiancée, Judy Nelson, and her father, Captain Hobart Nelson, who are flying in to meet Steve's eccentric, globe-trotting aunt Jane, will react to Fay and Gus, Steve pleads with the performers to move to another room. Fay, a fan dancer, fakes a sprained ankle, and while Steve carries her across the balcony, he is spotted by Judy and her father, who denounce him as a philanderer and storm away to a hotel. After Steve leaves to make up with Judy, Martha and Wally find Phillips, the butler, missing and Steve's gun and coat in the servant's bedroom. Dim-witted Aunt Jane then arrives and mistakes Fay and Gus, who have dressed up in the Nelsons' clothes, for Judy and the captain. Unable to correct Jane's error, Steve rushes back to the hotel to prevent Judy and her father from meeting Jane, and while he is away, newspaper reporter Marty Hicks sees Martha disposing of Phillip's clothes and contacts Dugan, a police detective. As the wild-eyed man watches from his hiding place, Jane shows Gus the jewel-studded bracelet that she is going to give Fay as an engagement present. Excited by the prospect of stealing the bracelet, Fay and Gus play up their roles, oblivious to the arrival of Dugan, who impersonates a butler in order to discover the identity of the killer. Wally and Steve then pay Gus to "throw a fit" at dinner and convince Jane that insanity runs in the Nelson family. After the real Judy and Captain Nelson arrive and meet their imposters, the wild-eyed man comes out of hiding and terrifies Judy. As Steve confesses his deception to his fiancée, the wild-eyed man, in reality Phillips, reveals himself and explains to Dugan and the others that he had been trying to kill the family's black cat when Casey heard Steve's gun firing. Casey and Foster, who have been wandering in the sewer system, then are rescued and apprehend Fay and Gus before they flee with Jane's bracelet. With all mysteries solved, Steve embraces an understanding Judy and lets the vaudevillians go free. +

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.