Trapped by Television (June 15, 1936)
Released on June 15, 1936: (runnning time 63 minutes) Science flashes into action and thunders out of the laboratories with the underworld's newest foe - Television!
Directed by Del Lord
Written by Lee Loeb and Harold Buchman
The Actors: Mary Astor (Barbara 'Bobby' Blake), Lyle Talbot (Fred Dennis), Nat Pendleton (Rocky O'Neil), Joyce Compton (Mae Collins), Thurston Hall (John Curtis, Paragon radio network President), Henry Mollison (Thornton, mobster), Wyrley Birch (Paul Turner, kidnapped television engineer), Robert Strange (Standish, assistant to the radio network president), Mary Blake (Miss Walsh, Curtis' secretary), Wade Boteler (J.W. Greggs, collection agency manager), Harry C. Bradley (telephone man), Eddie Fetherston (heckler at football game), Robert Gordon (delivery boy), William Gould (member of Paragon Board of Director), Chuck Hamilton (policeman), Howard Hickman (G.P. Tucker, member of Paragon Board of Director), Russell Hicks (J.F. Hickman, member of Paragon Board of Director), Boyd Irwin (William S. Tully, member of Paragon Board of Director), Lillian Leighton (Mrs. Leary, landlady), Bruce Sidney (member of Paragon Board of Directors), Harry Stafford (member of Paragon Board of Directors), George Webb (member of Paragon Board of Directors), Lloyd Whitlock (member of Paragon Board of Directors), Ralph McCullough (truck salesman), Harry Tenbrook (policeman), Max Wagner (henchman Al)
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The Lady Promoter and the Electrical Engineer
Mary Astor is most remembered for her leading roll with Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, but she had been a Hollywood star since the days of silent motion pictures. A couple of weeks after this movie starring Mary Astor premiered, the big banner headline in the New York News read: MARY ASTOR SOBS ON STAND.
Three years earlier, after two years of rocky marriage to a Hollywood doctor, her habit of seeing other men combined with his hot temper was too much to bear. She went to New York City to get away from him and was soon having an affair with the most famous Broadway playwright of the day.
Mary kept a detailed diary of her romantic adventures. Some of her diary entries from her New York days were, “His first initial is G. and I fell like a ton of bricks, as only I can fall.” Another entry read, “I am still in a haze. It is beautiful, glorious, and I hope it is my last love – can’t top it with anything in my experience – nor do I want to.”
Another entry she penned was, “We went to 21, we drove through the park, we dined at the Colony, we saw Life Begins at 8:40. We went to Reuben’s. We shared our fourth climax at dawn.”
When she returned to Hollywood, she took four-year-old daughter Marylyn and left her husband and asked him for a divorce. Unfortunately, she forgot to take her diary with her.She agreed to let him have custody of their daughter, but two years later, as this movie was being released, she went to court asking for custody of their daughter. More unfortunately, her husband had found her diary. Her ex-husband gave one steamy page to the press and promised to release her entire diary to the public if she sued for custody.
After days of steamy testimony, with accusations flying back and forth, the judge in the Los Angeles Superior Court called a halt to the procedings and reprimanded both lawyers for their malicious attacks against each other as a waste of taxpayer money. He ordered them to come to a custody solution in three days, and they did just that, submitting a settlement that the judge had dictated to them. Marylyn would live with her mother during the school months, and with her father for weekends and vacation periods. The infamous diary disappeared as part of the agreement.
In this adventure Mary Astor is a businesswoman trying to make the big deal. She was unsuccessful in promoting a potato peeler that would replace a knife, because knives worked just fine for peeling potatoes. Who would ever pay for a gadget just for peeling potatoes? Then she meets a man who has successfully invented both a television receiver and a television transmitter, and they try to convince a radio station mogul to buy their invention. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Joyce Compton, Nat Pendleton
Joyce Compton, Nat Pendleton
Lyle Talbot, Mary Astor
Lyle Talbot, Robert Gordon
Mary Astor, Joyce Compton
Nat Pendleton, Lillian Leighton
Nat Pendleton, Lyle Talbot
Robert Strange, Thurston Hall
Thurston Hall, Robert Strange