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The Devil-Doll (1936)

Passed | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | 10 July 1936 (USA)
An escaped convict uses miniaturized humans to wreak vengeance on those that framed him.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Lorraine Lavond
...
Toto
...
Malita
Robert Greig ...
Emil Coulvet
Lucy Beaumont ...
Mme. Lavond
...
Marcel
Grace Ford ...
Lachna
...
Charles Matin
Arthur Hohl ...
Victor Radin
...
Marguerite Coulvet
...
Mme. Coulvet (as Claire du Brey)
Rollo Lloyd ...
Detective
E. Alyn Warren ...
Commissioner (as E Allyn Warren)
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Storyline

Paul Lavond was a respected banker in Paris when he was framed for robbery and murder by crooked associates and sent to prison. Years later, he escapes with a friend, a scientist who was working on a method to reduce humans to a height of mere inches (all for the good of humanity, of course). Lavond however is consumed with hatred for the men who betrayed him, and takes the scientist's methods back to Paris to exact painful revenge. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Greater Than "The Unholy Three"

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 July 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Witch of Timbuctoo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Madame Mandilip's special dolls are costumed as members of vicious street gangs known as the Apache (pronounced ah-PAHSH), who were involved in theft, prostitution, and the occasional murder in pre-World War I Paris. The dolls even perform the Apache dance popularized by the gangs, in which extremely close steps alternate with seemingly brutal punches, kicks, hair-pulling, spins, and throws; it was usually danced to the Valse des rayons (aka Valse chaloupée) composed by Jacques Offenbach. In the 1930s and 1940s, this dance was still performed by professional dancers and can be seen in several films and even cartoons of the period. See more »

Goofs

When Lachna is on Coulvet's bed to stab him, she does not cast a shadow on the bed's blanket, nor does she put any indentions in the blanket when walking on it. See more »

Quotes

Lavond (as Madame Mandelip): [Examining Madame Coulvet's expensive necklace up close] Forgive me, madame, but I do love the beautiful. You can tell that from my workmanship.
See more »

Connections

References The Unholy Three (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

Valse des rayons
(uncredited)
from the ballet "Le Papillon"
Music by Jacques Offenbach
Played on a music box
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great suspense, drama, efx, and acting by Lionel Barrymore!
7 August 2000 | by (Upstate NY) – See all my reviews

Don't let the genre classification as "sci/fi & horror" mislead you. It's really an excellent suspense/mystery/melodrama with the superb Lionel Barrymore (Mr Potter of "It's a Wonderful Life") and a young Maureen O'Sullivan. The sci/fi & fantasy elements - a mad scientist's ability to shrink people and control their actions - are exciting plot devices that allows Barrymore to exact revenge on the men who destroyed his life and family.

Director Tod Browning ("Freaks", the original "Dracula", and many Lon Chaney films) has created a great mix of suspense, action, light humor, & heart-tugging emotions in this tale of revenge and redemption.

The efx are (mostly) ahead of their time, and as good as the later shrunken-people sci-fi movies of the 40s and 50s, such as "Dr Cyclops", "Attack of the Puppet People", and "The Incredible Shrinking Man".

But the best part is the great acting of Barrymore. He plays a desperate escaped convict, who hides by masquerading as a kindly old woman, who in turn pretends to be maker of perfectly detailed dolls. As this character that's both humorous and murderous, obsessed and befuddled, he toys with the police and his betrayers who will be the targets of his army of living dolls. It's a tour de force of acting in this beautiful film.


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