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Uses footage from actual University of Southern California experiment in which scientists claimed they brought a dead dog back to life. Robert E. Cornish, playing himself in the film, was one of the scientists involved. See more »
Not to be taken at face value, a cheap exploitation flick,"Life Returns" is a truly penetrating movie that has to do with bringing the dead back to life.
You cease to laugh at the movie before the opening credits when we see a statement by Robert E. Cornish. Telling the audience that what we are about to see in the movie regarding the operation of the dog who was brought back to life. What were told is not only real but the footage of the operation is that of the actual operation preformed by Dr. Cornish and his staff at the Berkeley Medical Facility in Calif. on March 22, 1934; now how's that for realism.
The story leading up to the actual amazing life saving, or life restoring, operation is obviously fiction. It's about a man who's obsessed with bringing back the dead who can't get the financial support. That he needs to develop a serum that would cause the blood of dead people or animals to start circulating and thus bring that back to life.
Working together with Dr. Cornish and Dr. Stone,Lois Wilson, on this theory Dr. Kendrick, Onslow Stevens, is frustrated by the lack of interest in his idea by big business. As well as the medical profession who look at him as being cracked and out of his mind. Going it alone with both Both Dr. Cornish & Stone giving up the idea, due to lack of funds. Dr. Kendricks loses his practice his wife, who passed away, and is in danger of having his young son Danny, George P. Breakstone, to be taken away from him by the state and put into the local Juvenile Hall because he can't provide for him. Danny runs away from home with his pet dog Scooter, to prevent the authorities from taking him away from his father. And goes and hides in a clubhouse that his friends, the neighbor kids, let him live in.
One afternoon Scooter is caught by the dog-catcher and is later put to sleep because Danny couldn't come up with the $3.00 that he needed to get Scooter free. As his dad was too out of it and broke to do anything to save the poor animals life. Dr. Kendrick finally comes to his senses when Danny loses all respect for him for doing nothing to save Scooter. Dr. Kendrick then gets in touch with his old friend Dr. Cornish who later preforms the operation. Dr. Cornish together with the help of Dr. Kendrick's serum miraculously brings Scooter back to life, to the tears of joy of Danny. And with the resurrection of Scooter the restoration of Dr. Kendrick's reputation as a far-seeing and inventive man of medicine.
The operation that brought Scooter back to life was something straight out of the bible! And as unbelievable as it was it was the one thing in the movie "Life Returns" that was fact and not fiction!
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