Third Dimensional Murder

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Third Dimensional Murder
"Third Dimensional Murder" (1941).jpg
Directed by George Sidney
Produced by Pete Smith
Written by Jerry Hoffman
Starring Pete Smith
Ed Payson
Narrated by Pete Smith
Music by David Snell (uncredited)
Cinematography Walter Lundin (director of photography)
B.C. Parker (camera operator)
Edited by Phillip W. Anderson
Distributed by Loew's Inc.
Release date
  • March 1, 1941 (1941-03-01)
Running time
8 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Third Dimensional Murder (1941), also known as Murder in 3-D, is a 3D short comedy film produced and narrated by Pete Smith and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. This is the last of the Audioscopiks 3D short film series, after Audioscopiks (1936) and The New Audioscopiks (1938).


Our narrator, Pete Smith, gets a phone call asking for help at an old castle. Smith arrives and is attacked by a witch, a skeleton, an Indian warrior, an archer, and the Frankenstein monster (Ed Payson). The latter character was specifically modeled after Boris Karloff in Son of Frankenstein.


The third and last in the Pete Smith Audioscopiks 3D series of shorts, this film used footage shot specifically for it, unlike the previous two shorts which utilized test footage shot by Jacob Leventhal and Jack Norling.[1]

With the success of the first two shorts, Smith consulted J.M. Nikolaus in the camera department at MGM. Nikolaus went to studio manager E. J. Mannix who gave Nikolaus a budget of "about $3,000" to create a stereoscopic camera rig. After some trial and error, Nickolaus created a camera using two Bell & Howell 35mm cameras with specially matched lenses made by Bauch and Lomb. The lenses were 2¾ inches apart and were shot into prisms. George Sidney directed the short.[1] (Sidney later directed the 3-D feature for MGM, Kiss Me Kate.)

As with the two previous Audioscopiks short films, the prints were in red-green anaglyph by Technicolor. This film opens in 2-D color, with a young woman showing how to hold the 3-D viewer. Prints for the two earlier films were also made by Technicolor to achieve the red-green anaglyph prints necessary for 3-D projection.


  1. ^ a b Smith, Pete. "Three Dimensionally Speaking" from New Screen Techniques (Quigley Publishing Company, 1953) Pages 17–20.

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