Trapped by Television

Trapped by Television is a 1936 American comedy-drama crime film directed by Del Lord and starring Mary Astor, Lyle Talbot and Nat Pendleton. The film is also known as Caught by Television in the United Kingdom.

Trapped by Television
Trapped by Television FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byDel Lord
Screenplay byLee Loeb
Harold Buchman
Story bySherman L. Lowe
(as Sherman Lowe)
Al Martin
Produced byBen Pivar
(associate producer)
StarringMary Astor
Lyle Talbot
Nat Pendleton
CinematographyAllen G. Siegler
Edited byJames Sweeney
Color processBlack and white
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 15, 1936 (1936-06-15)
Running time
64 minutes
CountryUnited States


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 conditionEdit

Although the first reel is noticeably faded on most surviving prints, the film is now in the public domain and is available for general download.

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