Screenplay by Joseph O’Donnell
Directed by Clifford Sanforth
Plot: James Houghland has invented a device in which a signal can be sent to televisions anywhere in the world but he refuses to sell the rights to the invention. On the night he unveils his creation, he is murdered. The tale becomes a whodunit with suspects at every turn, including his assistant Dr. Perry, who was mysteriously absent at the time of Houghland’s death.
Personal Thoughts: The see-saw ride of good to bad to good with Lugosi continues. Today, we’re on the downhill slide with Murder by Television. Clocking in at less than 55 minutes, this film is quite forgettable. The overall concept of television in 1935 was interesting, especially from a historical point of view. Unfortunately, the story is dull and Lugosi simply turns in a paint-by-number performance (even in a dual role) without anyone else exciting enough to help with the landscape. Put this one low on your to watch list.
- The film is in the public domain.
- The early television device shown was actually worth $75,000, more than the $35,000 budget of the film itself.