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Not much. Both movies have a character named Dr. Xavier, or "Dr. X"; both have a wisecracking newspaper reporter. The plot of Doctor X features "synthetic flesh." The Return of Doctor X (1939) has "synthetic blood." This movie's Dr. X is the head of the fictional Academy of Surgical Research. The 1939 Dr. X is a clammy, white-faced laboratory assistant with a white streak in his hair--and a shocking secret. (Most plot descriptions reveal it, but it's supposed to be a surprise.) This movie's reporter, played by Lee Tracy, is thoroughly a New Yorker. The 1939 newspaper man, played by Wayne Morris, is a drawling, Midwestern type. The studio considered The Return of Doctor X to be a follow-up to this film. And they clearly wanted to evoke this popular movie by making the 1939 film sound like a sequel. But there's little connection between them.
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