5.7/10
1,754
51 user 32 critic

The Return of Doctor X (1939)

Approved | | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi | 2 December 1939 (USA)
A hotshot reporter and a young doctor team up to investigate a series of grisly murders and a mysterious sample of synthetic blood.

Director:

Vincent Sherman

Writers:

Lee Katz (screen play), William J. Makin (from a story by)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Humphrey Bogart ... Marshall Quesne
Rosemary Lane ... Joan Vance
Wayne Morris ... Walter Garrett
Dennis Morgan ... Michael Rhodes
John Litel ... Dr. Francis Flegg
Lya Lys ... Angela Merrova
Huntz Hall ... Pinky
Charles C. Wilson ... Detective Roy Kincaid (as Charles Wilson)
Vera Lewis ... Miss Sweetman
Howard Hickman ... Chairman (scenes deleted)
Olin Howland ... Undertaker
Arthur Aylesworth ... Guide (scenes deleted)
Cliff Saum Cliff Saum ... Detective Sgt. Moran
Creighton Hale ... Hotel Manager
John Ridgely ... Rodgers
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Storyline

New York newspaper reporter Walter Barnett finds himself out of a job after he claims to have found actress Angela Merrova dead in her apartment - only the next day she showed up alive and threatened to sue the paper. Determined to investigate he discovers her involvement with a strange doctor who is an expert on human blood. Barnett then finds a connection to a series of gruesome murders where the victims were all found drained of blood. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He lives to kill and kills to live! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 December 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Return of Dr. X See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only horror/science fiction film for Humphrey Bogart. See more »

Goofs

Although Wayne Morris is billed as "Walter Barnett", he is called "Walter Garrett" in the film. See more »

Quotes

Walter 'Wichita' Garrett: Maybe she's not dead.
Editor: If she's not dead, they're playing a dirty trick on her because they're taking her over to Bixby's Undertaking Parlor.
[to both Rhodes and Garrett]
Editor: Now get out of here both of you!
Walter 'Wichita' Garrett: Yes, sir!
Editor: [angrily] And don't come back!
[they leave]
Walter 'Wichita' Garrett: [to Rhodes] I won't believe she's dead 'til I see it with my own eyes. Even then I won't believe it!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fright Night With Bogie
2 August 2001 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

This picture isn't bad at all, and is quite entertaining. It's problem is that it isn't very credible. In order to enjoy it one has to put oneself back into the spirit of the late thirties, as the nation was still reeling from the Depression and very much in need this sort of anodyne movie.

Basically it's a mad doctor movie mixed with the sort of breezy newspaper comedy (such as His Girl Friday) then popular. The story has little to do with the first Doctor X movie, which is quite different. Vincent Sherman directs his scenes for maximum suspense and energy, and makes a go at a contemporary horror film set in New York, with brownstones, hospitals and funeral parlors filling in for the usual old dark houses and castles. He succeeds very nicely.

The young leading players are likable but unexceptional. John Litel is, however, very fine as a sane doctor being manipulated by a mad one. The most notable casting is Humphrey Bogart as the resurrected Dr. X, and he is if nothing else visually striking, with his chalky face and hair with a white streak down the middle. He is altogether too familiar to be convincing in the role, which he handles competently.

Overall, I think it's fair to say the movie wasn't meant to be taken too seriously. It was made at a time when horror movies were made for fun as much as fright. Taken on its own terms it delivers the goods, and makes the Warners' standard issue New York streets look as spooky as a graveyard at Halloween.


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