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Trapped By Television 1936


Not to be confused with "Murder By Television" starring Bela Lugosi. This film is about a young inventor trying to get his television system financed. A gang of crooks are out to stop him. This film is considered science fiction by many because the concept of television was still on the drawing boards in the 30's, but it's also a comedy. Stars Lyle Talbot, Mary Astor, Nat Pendleton, and Joyce Compton. Whether you would consider this scifi or not, you should find it entertaining anyway.

Trapped by Television is a 1936 American film directed by Del Lord. The film is also known as Caught by Television in the United Kingdom.

Plot summary

An inventor is working on his latest creation, a new form of television monitor and camera, but is struggling to complete his invention due to lack of funds. His monetary problems are compounded by an aggressive bill collector looking for payments and competition from a rival scientist. When organized crime figures are added to the mix, the desperation level rises for our intrepid inventor.


Although televisions were being made from the late 1920s, they weren't commercially available until after 1936. The model shown in the movie was designed for the production using a back-lit projection of a moving image onto the screen. The screen was notable for its large size when actual television screens of the period were smaller. The BBC Broadcasting Service began in November 1936; four months after this movie's release.

Current Condition

Although the first reel is noticeably faded on most surviving prints, this movie is now in the Public Domain and is available for general download.


  • Mary Astor as Barbara "Bobby" Blake
  • Lyle Talbot as Fred Dennis
  • Nat Pendleton as Rocky O'Neil
  • Joyce Compton as Mae Collins
  • Thurston Hall as John Curtis
  • Henry Mollison as Thornton
  • Wyrley Birch as Paul Turner
  • Robert Strange (actor) as Standish

Category:1936 films
Category:American films
Category:English-language films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:1930s romantic drama films
Category:Pre-1950 science fiction films


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