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The Scotland Yard Mystery (1934)

 -  Mystery | Crime | Drama  -  June 1935 (USA)
4.8
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 18 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

A mad scientist devises a formula that puts people into a zombie-like trance to do his bidding.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Gerald du Maurier ...
Commissioner Stanton
George Curzon ...
Dr. Charles Masters
Grete Natzler ...
Irene Masters
Belle Chrystall ...
Mary Stanton
Leslie Perrins ...
John Freeman
Frederick Peisley ...
Kenneth Bailey
Wally Patch ...
Detective Sergeant George
Henry Victor ...
Floyd
Herbert Cameron ...
Paxton
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A mad scientist devises a formula that puts people into a zombie-like trance to do his bidding.

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not a ghost! Not A Vampire! NOT A ZOMBIE! what is "The Living Dead"

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Mystery | Crime | Drama

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June 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Living Dead  »

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1.37 : 1
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The Living Dead
28 March 2010 | by (LI, NY) – See all my reviews

This film, as many did at the time, had a title change upon arriving on the US shores. It was re-tilted "The Living Dead". The original British title barely wins in a squeaker as the better one and neither is really apt. There is no mystery in this film. The criminal mastermind is revealed within the first ten minutes and it then operates as a suspense picture, and not a bad one.

Sir Gerald du Maurier in one of his few film appearances is the Commissioner and George Curzon is the criminal mastermind, using a job as a police doctor to get inside information on an insurance scam he is running. It is similar in ways to "Dark Eyes of London", the Edgar Wallace tale that followed to the screen five year later. Curzon's doctor has developed a serum that puts people in a death-like state. Once "dead", they can collect their life insurance money and he gets his share. There are plenty of plot holes that are left untied at the end, but it is an entertaining film with a few horror overtones to somewhat justify the horror-inspired title it had in the US.

Du Maurier is quite good in his role. It is said his performance of Captain Hook on the British stage is what inspired a very young Boris Karloff to become an actor. It is easy to see why. Du Maurier has a very reserved style and gives the best performance in the picture. Right behind him is Curzon as a very sinister villain who seems to be able to look at himself in the third person as he very elaborately tries to escape in the end. The pace and camera-work are good and this is entertaining for fans of this era's suspense films. If you're looking for horror you might be a bit disappointed - there are only two brief graveyard sequences.


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