Nancy Steele is Missing! Happy Anniversary, premiered, March 12, 1937



On Saturday, March 6, Nancy Steele is Missing opened at the Rivoli in New York.[1] 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.[2]

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, March 5, 1937

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, March 5, 1937


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.[3] The movie was originally set for a February 26, 1937, debut; this according to the Motion Picture Herald.[4] That national release date was amended and announced as March 12, in the middle of February.[5] A few cities did not have to wait until Friday the twelfth, beginning their runs on Thursday, March 11.[6]

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:

Information Wanted

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.[7]


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:

The_Kane_Republican_ Kane, Pennsylvania Thu__Mar_11__1937_

Kane Republican, Kane, Pennsylvania, March 11, 1937


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.

Victor McLaglenWalter ConnollyPeter LorreJune Lang Robert Kent  Shirley Deane  John CarradineJane Darwell


Contemporary reviews were mixed, yet when positive, were glowing, such as from Beaver-Rochester, PA and Prescott, AZ.[8] Nancy Steele is Missing is Available on DVD at 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!


steele$(KGrHqJ,!rYFI0lEVfBLBSUYHhNol!~~60_35steele12116 - Nancy Steele is Missing

Steele is Missingsteelemri7pGLDFRKrfyosHeUwz9w Steele is MissingsteelemUhu90YmIlsqVMXama7Uu1g steelemUlaKdFBpSBVPDOjLN8d5Og steelemxpzwZh2oKq0CWA_GOEm9HgsteelemDPEIjVggV_cU3lLladmq8Q

Nancy Steele is Missing Press Kit from the William K Everson Archive NYUnancysteele_hopeschuyler2nancysteele_hopeschuyler3



By C. S. Williams

[1] Film Daily, March 1, 1937

Independent Exhibitors Film Bulletin, March 6, 1937

[2] Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) March 5, 1937

Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) March 5, 1937

[3] Van Nuys News (Van Nuys, California) March 1, 1937

[4] Motion Picture Herald, December 26, 1936

[5] Film Daily, February 15, 1937

[6] Evening Standard (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) March 11, 1937

Landmark (Statesville, North Carolina) March 11, 1937

Shamokin News-Dispatch (Shamokin, Pennsylvania) March 11, 1937

[7] Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) March 10, 1937

[8] The Daily Times, Beaver and Rochester, Thursday, April 1, 1937

Evening Courier, Prescott, AZ Wednesday, April 28, 1937


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