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Doctor X (1932)

Unrated  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  27 August 1932 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,603 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 31 critic

A wisecracking New York reporter intrudes on a research scientist's quest to unmask The Moon Killer.

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(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: Doctor X (1932)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Joanne Xavier
...
Lee Taylor
Preston Foster ...
Dr. Wells
...
Dr. Haines
Harry Beresford ...
Dr. Duke
Arthur Edmund Carewe ...
Dr. Rowitz
Leila Bennett ...
Mamie
Robert Warwick ...
Police Commissioner Stevens
...
Otto
Willard Robertson ...
Detective O'Halloran
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Daily World Editor (as Thomas Jackson)
Harry Holman ...
Mike - Waterfront Policeman
...
Cathouse Madame
Tom Dugan ...
Sheriff
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Out-Thrills Them All!


Certificate:

Unrated

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Monstro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The New York waterfront sequences were shot on the still standing Twinkletoes (1926) set left over from the 1926 Colleen Moore vehicle, in which in stood in for London's Limehouse District. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mamie, Xavier's Maid: Something tells me if I go in that room tonight, tomorrow I'll be... in my coffin!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: Doctor X (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Agitato
(uncredited)
Music by Bernhard Kaun
Stock cue played over main titles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Love Those Two Colors!
25 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow, what a shock - a 1932 color movie! Well, sort of......only two colors, but they look great.

I only got this because I saw it at the library as part of a two-pack with "The Return Of Dr. X." It is part of a Hollywood "Legends Of Horror" package that includes several other films I am familiar with and think highly of, so I can see a possible future purchase.

Anyway, the first thing that struck me watching this was that fantastic two-strip Technicolor. Immediately there is a street scene of green and brown that looks tremendous....and eerie. You would think that only black-and-white might make this look eerie, but not so - that combination of green and brown was very effective and made this a fascinating visual film. Hats off to the UCLA film restoration team, which made this 75-year-old film look really good.

As for the story, well, let's just say it doesn't measure up to the visuals. It starts off looking like a fun movie, even - surprise - a comedy as the newsman "Lee Taylor" (Lee Tracy) cracks a few corny jokes. However, it settles down into a crime story (more than horror) and we wind up with a whodunit and a room full of suspects, a la Charlie Chan or Sherlock Holmes. The suspects are all scientists working in the Academy of Surgical Research. A bunch of recent hideous crimes by the "Moon Killer" were all done in the vicinity of the academy, so they're the prime suspects. Even the head man at the academy, "Dr. Xavier," looks a bit suspicious. He is played well by Lionel Atwill.

The police give "Dr. X" 48 hours to find out if any of his employees are the killer before they totally take over the investigation and ruin the reputation of the scientific institution. All of the scientists, by the way, look and act creepy which adds to the mystery. Heck, they all could be serial killers.

The film drags during much of that period - except for a short testing session that Dr. X sets up to see if any of his subordinates are, indeed, the killer. Apparently, it's true because someone kills one of the suspects during the experiment! Then there is another long lull and the cops are getting impatient with the good doctor. They give him another ultimate so he "tests" his employees again, this time using his daughter "Joanne" (Fay Wray) as a guinea pig, so to speak.

Then, we finally see who the real killer is and that part is fun to watch and he transforms into a hideous monster-like man. I guess this why the film is called a horror film instead of a crime movie. I won't give the ending away but I admit, it's pretty good.

If that long middle part had been spiced up a bit, this would have super, but it was too talky for too long. Still, this isn't bad and I love those two colors. I wish more movies looked like that.


34 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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