Death from a Distance (1936)

Article #497 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-25-2002
Posting Date: 12-18-2002

A murder is committed in a planetarium, and a possible witness to the crime is named in the papers.

Planetariums must have been a very rare commodity in 1936; a comment is made during the movie that only three of them existed at the time. It does make for an interesting setting for a murder, but the movie is more than a tad creaky, and the opening lecture is almost guaranteed to put you in a slumber; fortunately, the murder happens just in time and we get to meet a fairly interesting array of characters before it’s all sorted out. Despite being considered a forgotten horror, there’s precious little horror here; there is, however, a smidgen of science fiction which once again I can’t give away as it plays into the final revelations. Not bad, but it does help to be prepared for its creakiness when you go into it. And the title does end up being very accurate indeed.


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