Mystery Liner (March 15, 1934)
Released on March 15, 1934: Spies, murder and a top secret remote control vacuum tube aboard a steamship combine with a scotch drinking granny in this first class whodunit.
Directed by William Nigh
Written by Wellyn Totman from the novel "The Ghost of John Holling" by Edgar Wallace.
The Actors: Noah Beery (Captain John Holling), Astrid Allwyn (Lila Kane), Edwin Maxwell (Major Pope), Gustav von Seyffertitz (Inspector Von Kessling), Ralph Lewis (Professor Grimson), Cornelius Keefe (First Officer Cliff Rogers), Zeffie Tilbury (Granny Plimpton), Boothe Howard (Captain Downey), Howard C. Hickman (Doctor Howard), Jerry Stewart (Edgar Morton), George 'Gabby' Hayes (Joe, watchman), George Cleveland (Simms, steward), John M. Sullivan (Watson), Raymond Brown (spy chief), Gordon De Main (Commander Bryson), Olaf Hytten (Grimson's aide), George Nash (waiter), Harry Schultz (aide), Slim Whitaker (crewman).
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Remote Control Adventure
One day in the mid 1960's while my family was living in Meadville, Pennsylvania our television set went on the blink. It was broken, and dad would try to fix it himself. He unplugged it and removed the back cover and peered inside. He carefully unplugged all of the various sized vacuum tubes and marked which tube came from which spot. Then he carefully placed them in a small cardboard box and asked if I would like to go to the drug store with him. Of course I wanted to tag along . . . I was fascinated by the mysteries of television. Inside the drug store there was a large machine with a panel that contained many different plug configurations that vacuum tubes could be plugged into. One by one dad plugged each tube into the machine, and it would tell us if the tube was good or burned out. When he discovered which tube was burned out he went to the counter and purchased a replacement tube of the same kind. Returning home with the replacement vacuum tube he carefully plugged in all of the tubes in their proper spot, replaced the back cover and plugged in the television set. I held my breath as he turned on the set and we watched it come back to life. Wow! Dad was just about the smartest man alive in that moment . . . he could fix a television set!
This 1934 ship board murder mystery revolves around a secret vacuum tube named the 'S505' . . . this vacuum tube was so special that when plugged into a wall of electrical machinery it could navigate a large steamship by remote control from the shore many miles away. Now, to make this adventure more exciting, they will test it on a regular voyage with a ship full of unknowing passengers. Of course we need some bad guys, so evil enemy spies are trying to mess up the test, and we discover that the foreign spies have planted two spies among the people on board the ship. Add in a wonderful old granny who loves to flirt with old men almost as much as she loves her scotch whiskey and we have a deliciously complicated but fun spy adventure. Soon the murders pile up and we start to suspect everyone, even a phantom insane ship's captain who may have secretly come aboard. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled on top and enjoy the show!
Astrid Allwyn and Cornelius Keefe
Astrid Allwyn as nurse Lila Kane
Boothe Howard and Cornelius Keefe
Boothe Howard and Edwin Maxwell
Boothe Howard as Captain Downey
Boothe Howard in Mystery Liner
Cornelius Keef as First Officer Cliff Rogers
Edwin Maxwell as Major Pope
Edwin Maxwell in Mystery Liner
George Cleveland and Boothe Howard
George Cleveland as Simms, ships Steward
Gordon De Main as Commander Bryson
Gustav von Seyffertitz and Zeffie Tilbury
Gustav von Seyffertitz as Inspector Von Kessling
Howard C. Hickman and Astrid Allwyn
Howard C. Hickman as Ship's Doctor Howard
Jerry Stewart and Astrid Allwyn
Noah Beery as Captain John Holling
Ralph Lewis and Edwin Maxwell
Ralph Lewis as Professor Grimson
Raymond Brown as the spy chief
Zeffie Tilbury and Gustav von Seyffertitz
Zeffie Tilbury and Jerry Stewart
Zeffie Tilbury as Granny Plimpton
Zeffie Tilbury in Mystery Liner