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Life Returns (1935)

 -  Drama  -  2 January 1935 (USA)
4.6
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 92 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

A doctor who has spent his career working on ways to revive the dead sees his chance to prove his theory by performing his procedures on a recently deceased dog.

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Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Best known for his work on "Star Trek," actor and director Leonard Nimoy died on Friday in Los Angeles. Read our full story on his varied career, and view our memorial photo gallery.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Onslow Stevens ...
George P. Breakston ...
Danny Kendrick (as George Breakston)
...
...
Stanley Fields ...
Dog Catcher
...
Dr. James
Richard Carle ...
A.K. Arnold
Dean Benton ...
Intern
Lois January ...
Nurse
Richard Quine ...
Mickey
Maidel Turner ...
Mrs. Vandergriff
George MacQuarrie ...
Judge
Otis Harlan ...
Dr. Henderson
Robert E. Cornish ...
Himself
Mario Margutti ...
Cornish's Assistant
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Storyline

Idealistic doctoral graduates Bob (Dr. Robert E. Cornish), Louise and John plan their futures in pursuit of a formula to restore life to the dead. Bob and Louise wish to remain independent and pursue medical research free of corporate ties. John tries in vain to convince them that by joining him to work at Arnold Research Laboratories they could achieve more research in a year than they could in five as an independent research team. John leaves his friends for corporate pharmacology only to find the pace of his research is not progressing fast enough nor seems practical enough to suit Mr. Arnold. The final blow comes when he is told to turn his attention to creating a treated pig bristle brush to restore hair and prop up his bosses investments in pig processing. Disillusioned Dr. John Kendrick faces public ridicule as he promotes his theory to his peers and falls into a deep depression that costs him his private medical practice. Five years later the sudden passing of his wife, drives... Written by G. E. Sutton

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The mystery of the man who conquered death!

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 January 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'incredibile realtà  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story opens with a signed affidavit as follows:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The actual experiment of bringing the dead back to life, which is part of the motion picture "Life Returns" was performed by myself and staff on May 22, 1934 at 11:45 P.M. in Berkeley, California. This part of the picture was originally taken to retain a permanent scientific record of our experiment. Everything shown is absolutely real. The animal was unquestionably and actually dead, and was brought back to life. May I offer my thanks to my assistants, Mario Margutti, William Black, Ralph Celmer and Roderic Kneder, who are shown carrying out their respective parts. Respectfully submitted, Dr. Robert E. Cornish. See more »

Quotes

Danny Kendrick: I want a father. Every kid I know has got one.
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User Reviews

 
Dreadful and Cheap
13 January 2012 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I'm a huge fan of the classic horror & sci-fi films of the 1930s and 1940s, particularly those of Universal. So when I came across this obscure title, starring Onslow Stevens and Valerie Hobson (both of much better Universal titles), I thought I'd struck paydirt. Unfortunately, I struck just plain old ordinary dirt. For starters, this movie looks cheap. If you're expecting any of the Universal polish that you find in most of their classic films, forget it. This looks like the kind of Poverty Row cheapie Bela Lugosi would be doing in years to come. The story is basically about bringing dead dogs back to life.

The main selling point is supposedly this guy Robert Cornish, who appears in the movie but hardly speaks and rarely has the camera focused on his face when he does. Apparently for about 5 minutes back in the day he made headlines for bringing a dog back to life. The actual footage of that is crammed into this movie and it's about as cheap and bland as you might expect. Although seeing the guy give the dog mouth-to-mouth is worth a gander. However, despite this movie basically only being made because of Mr. Cornish, he's not the real star of it. The star is Onslow Stevens, turning in a dreary performance as Dr. John Kendrick. He staggers around in a daze for most of the picture (when he's not acting crazy, that is). But it's not entirely his fault. The character is written so unlikeable that you can't root for him even though the movie's objective is to make you do just that. After suffering ONE setback, Dr. Kendrick turns into a total loser wandering around like he's lost and looking disheveled. The guy lets his practice go to ruin, lets his wife die and kid live on the street, all the while whining and moping. He's a mess. Speaking of the kid, he's very annoying and the actor playing him is awful ("Scoota! Scoota!").

Anyway, the best part of this whole movie to me was a minor tidbit. When they show the newspaper article announcing Kendrick's engagement, the headline below that reads "Dog Saves Lad From Wasps." That would have made for a much more interesting film, I think. I was pretty disappointed in this movie and I wouldn't recommend it to anybody but Universal completists and people who like movies they can make fun of.


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