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Television Spy

Television Spy(1939)

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This film was originally titled The World on Parade. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, portions of this film were shot on location in Chatsworth, CA in mid-June 1939. It is unclear from the film whether "Llewellyn" was faking his paralysis, or experienced a miraculous recovery. Canadian-born Edward Dmytryk, who had been an editor at Paramount prior to directing this film, refers to Television Spy as his "first picture," although he directed the independent film The Hawk in 1935 and filled in as director for Million Dollar Legs in April 1939. In June 1939, he signed a new contract with Paramount and became a U.S. citizen. Dmytryk recounts that while on location at a ranch in the San Fernando Valley, Paramount contract director Louis King had been assigned to remain on location in case Dmytryk needed assistance. After the first day's dailies were approved by Harold Hurley, referred to by Dmytryk as "Paramount's top B-picture executive," King left the production. The Variety review states, "Under Edward Dmytryk's direction, the screenplay May move slowly, but it avoids the absurdity that goes along with the average film crack at television." The review also says that the film's "best field will be male audiences, predominantly the younger lads, because gadgets, electrons and megacycles, etc., are useless as ingredients for femme entertainment." The Hollywood Reporter review states, "Edward Dmytryk makes his bow as director...and shows great promise." The review also states that the film's writers "have taken advantage of the fact that the technicalities of Television are Greek to audiences..." According to a Hollywood Reporter news item on June 10, 1939, Maxwell Smith, a television expert from the California Institute of Technology, was hired as technical advisor on this film. Variety, commenting on the "wireless romancing" of "Douglas" and "Gwen," states, "Henry never gets closer to Miss Barrett than 3,000 miles....That rates as a new one in closeups, even for Hollywood." Hollywood Reporter states, "Boy meets girl, but only by airwaves, and they fall in love via same route."