On Saturday, March 6, Nancy Steele is Missing opened at the Rivoli in New York. To kick off the premier of Steele, four of the film’s principals appeared on the Hollywood Hotel radio program, which aired on Friday, March 5, in a “coast-to-coast” broadcast; with Peter Lorre, Walter Connolly, Victor McLaglen and June Lang voicing scenes from the film.
The actual grand-premiere run was on Wednesday, March 3, 1937 opening simultaneously at Lowe’s State Theater in downtown Los Angeles and Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The movie was originally set for a February 26, 1937, debut; this according to the Motion Picture Herald. That national release date was amended and announced as March 12, in the middle of February. A few cities did not have to wait until Friday the twelfth, beginning their runs on Thursday, March 11.
Two enterprising movie houses played the newspaper angle (see ad above) of the story of Nancy Steele is Missing, spotlighting the “missing” portion. The manager of the Strand Theater at 220 Main Street, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, used the classifieds as a mode of advertising, two days before the opening of the movie at his establishment. The ad read as follows:
NANCY STEELE is missing and the
undersigned desires information
concerning her disappearance:
16 years ago she was stolen from her
home in New York state and is said
to be grown and living in this vicinity.
Any information concerning an adopted child in
this city please phone 212 as this sensational case
is about to be solved.
In Kane, Pennsylvania, a similar stunt was pulled by the proprietors (Brown & Nelson) of the Temple Theater (112 Fraley) first with a classified and then with the following display ad:
Steele was a Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation release, Nunnally Johnson the associate producer, and Mr. Darryl F. Zanuck filled the shoes of executive producer. George Marshall (best known for The Blue Dahlia, 1946) directed the picture, Gene Fowler and Hal Long wrote the screenplay from the story “Ransom” by Charles Francis Coe, cinematography by Barney McGill (20,000 Years in Sing Sing, 1932), the music composed by David Buttolph (he was listed as musical director), Cyril J. Mockridge (both uncredited) and Walter Scharf supplied additional music which went uncredited. The film’s editing was by Jack Murray, the art direction handled by Hans Peters, the sets by Thomas Little, Gwen Wakeling designed the costumes, while the sound was managed by Roger Heman Sr., E. Clayton Ward and Joseph Mazzoletti (uncredited). Nancy Steele is Missing, starred Victor McLaglen as Dannie O’Neill, Walter Connolly played Michael Steele, Peter Lorre as Professor Sturm, June Lang portrayed Nancy Steele, Robert Kent was Jimmie Wilson, Shirley Deane appeared as the false Nancy Steele, John Carradine and Jane Darwell supported as Harry Wilkins and Mrs. Mary Flaherty.
Contemporary reviews were mixed, yet when positive, were glowing, such as from Beaver-Rochester, PA and Prescott, AZ. Nancy Steele is Missing is Available on DVD at Amazon.com. By the way included below are Steele stills and a Press Kit (from the William K Everson Archive, located at NYU) for the Fox thriller; enjoy!
By C. S. Williams
 Film Daily, March 1, 1937
Independent Exhibitors Film Bulletin, March 6, 1937
 Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) March 5, 1937
Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) March 5, 1937
 Van Nuys News (Van Nuys, California) March 1, 1937
 Motion Picture Herald, December 26, 1936
 Film Daily, February 15, 1937
 Evening Standard (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) March 11, 1937
Landmark (Statesville, North Carolina) March 11, 1937
Shamokin News-Dispatch (Shamokin, Pennsylvania) March 11, 1937
 Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) March 10, 1937
 The Daily Times, Beaver and Rochester, Thursday, April 1, 1937
Evening Courier, Prescott, AZ Wednesday, April 28, 1937