5.7/10
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The Crime of Doctor Crespi (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Horror, Mystery | 24 September 1935 (USA)
A crazed scientist invents a serum that induces a catatonic state in whoever it is injected into. He uses the serum to paralyze his enemies, so that he can bury them alive.

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(based on the story by), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Harriet Russell ...
...
...
John Bohn ...
Geraldine Kay ...
Miss Rexford
Jean Brooks ...
Miss Gordon (as Jeanne Kelly)
Patsy Berlin ...
Jeanne Ross, the Child
Joe Verdi ...
Di Angelo
Dean Raymond ...
Minister
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Storyline

Dr. Crespi has a festering hatred for Dr. Stephen Ross, the man who married his ex-sweetheart. Ross must undergo surgery and Crespi, sensing an opportunity, seizes it. Ross "appears" to die but Crespi has given him a drug that places the victim in a trance-like state, but leaves him in possession of his senses. Crespi attends the premature burial of his hated colleague. Dr. John Arnold has his suspicions and calls on Dr. Thomas to to help him. They exhume the body and find Ross alive, albeit now a terrified, ghostly figure given to stalking the hospital corridors. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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SCREEN'S SUPER-THRILLER...AN EPIC OF HORROR! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

24 September 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Crime do Dr. Crespi  »

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1.37 : 1
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Shot in eight days. See more »

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Fair
29 February 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Crime of Dr. Crespi, The (1935)

** (out of 4)

Ultra low-budget film based on Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Premature Burial' has Dr. Crespi (Erich von Stroheim) giving an enemy a serum that paralyzes the body so that he can torture him by burying him alive. I've heard a lot about this film over the years but just now caught up with it. The films 63-minute running time goes very fast, which is a big plus but the director doesn't do anything from the opening credits to the closing ones. The big "secret" that the enemy isn't really dead doesn't go anywhere and the ending is all too predictable. Von Stroheim must have really been down on his luck to do a film like this. I'm not sure what's up with his incredibly over the top performance but the director gives him a close up whenever he goes into one of his fits. Dwight Frye, of Dracula and Frankenstein fame, plays the hero, which is pretty hard to believe as he too goes over the top.


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