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Doctor X (1932)

Unrated | | Comedy, Crime, Horror | 27 August 1932 (USA)
A wisecracking New York reporter intrudes on a research scientist's quest to unmask The Moon Killer.



(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Lee Taylor
Dr. Wells
Dr. Haines
Dr. Duke
Arthur Edmund Carewe ...
Dr. Rowitz
Leila Bennett ...
Police Commissioner Stevens
Detective O'Halloran
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Daily World Editor (as Thomas Jackson)
Harry Holman ...
Mike - Waterfront Policeman
Cathouse Madame


A monster lurks as New York newspaperman Lee Taylor investigates one of the "Moon Killer" murders, in which the victims are strangled, cannibalized and surgically incised under the light of the full moon. The trail leads to the cliffside mansion of Dr. Xavier, where the doctor and his colleagues conduct a strange experiment. Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mightier than words can describe! See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 August 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doktor X  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


For a time Warner Brothers did not have a print of the original Technicolor version and it was assumed to be lost. The Technicolor version was finally discovered and restored by the UCLA Archives. See more »


In the opening scene of the film, Lee Tracy is shown strolling along the New York docks in search of news, when a body arrives at the Mott Street Morgue across the street. In reality, Mott Street, located in New York's old Chinatown district, is fairly well landlocked and nowhere near the either waterfront or dock areas. See more »


Lee Taylor, Daily World Reporter: Are you going swimming with me in the morning?
Joanne 'Joan' Xavier: No thanks. Good night.
Lee Taylor, Daily World Reporter: What will you do if I start to sink and yell for help?
Joanne 'Joan' Xavier: Throw you an anvil. Good night!
See more »


Black Bottom
(1926) (uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Hummed by Lee Tracy while imprisoned in the closet
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User Reviews

"Synthetic" early horror film is fun despite a hokey plot...
1 December 2005 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

When you think of it, everything about this film is strictly synthetic...the plot, the hokey comic relief, the occasional ham acting--but the atmosphere photographed in crisp looking two-strip Technicolor is fully charged and the taut direction of Michael Curtiz (long before he did another more polished noir called THE UNSUSPECTED), makes this a very watchable early horror film from Warner Bros.

The Anton Grot sets in early color will keep the viewer totally enhanced even when the plot holes become too obvious. The annoying comic relief supplied by Lee Tracy as a fast-talking newspaperman (was there any other kind?), is fortunately not much of a handicap when the cast includes an assortment of richly eccentric characters.

I have to confess I guessed who the murderer was from the start--but it didn't dampen my enjoyment of the melodramatic and very creepy events. The storyline concerns a killer known for striking when there's a full moon and Lionel Atwill is the doctor who thinks he can solve the crime by some scientific detective work of his own.

It's the sort of film that became a staple of the "old dark house" mysteries audiences loved in the '20s and '30s--and even into the '40s with films like THE CAT AND THE CANARY. None of it seems quite as compelling as some of the better known fright films (including MURDER IN THE WAX MUSEUM), but we do get a chance to hear some first rate screams from Fay Wray (who looks very attractive in close-ups even though the Max Factor make-up is a little too extreme), and the capable cast includes such sturdy performers as Lionel Atwill and Preston Foster.

Trivia note: The killer's synthetic flesh make-up is very effective when he's in full mode on the kill. Kudos to Michael Curtiz for a fun-filled fright film.

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