A criminal has plastic surgery done to change his identity. However, during the operation, he loses his memory; when he comes to after the surgery, he has a change of heart and decides to ... See full summary »
A wealthy but unmarried woman dies, and since no heirs can be found, her estate will automatically go to her attorney. The attorney's partner, however, would like to get his hands on the ... See full summary »
A man is released from prison after serving time for a murder he didn't commit. He goes to live with his brother and his family on their Louisiana ranch, where they're raising horses to compete in an important race.
The Baron is a banker, in Vienna, who works at at very fast pace. He appreciates beautiful women, but fires the beautiful Miss Frey as he considers her a diversion to work. Susie sneaks ... See full summary »
Roy Del Ruth
A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.
Bert and Alf are fired from their jobs as delivery "boys" for a newspaper. They decide to be reporters on their own and set out to get a story on the inventor of a new machine gun. The ... See full summary »
Bernard B. Ray
A criminal has plastic surgery done to change his identity. However, during the operation, he loses his memory; when he comes to after the surgery, he has a change of heart and decides to help people by becoming a doctor. Written by
Part of the Son of Shock package of 20 titles released to television in 1958, which followed the original Shock Theater release of 52 features one year earlier. This was also one of the 11 Columbia titles, the other 61 all being Universals. See more »
Ralph Bellamy tries to lead a reformed life despite Isabel Jewell's interference
"The Man Who Lived Twice" is a really fun picture, and well-made in the bargain. Ralph Bellamy plays a tough criminal whose confederates are Ward Bond and Isabel Jewell. Surgeon Thurston Hall operates on the disfigured Bellamy, and he becomes a doctor with a loss of memory of his former life. When Jewell recognizes him, the complications start, and they pile up at a rapid pace.
The script is tight, the directing effective, the music kept to a minimum, the tension maintained, and the performances smooth by all concerned.
The ways in which this movie is done can be compared with the way that many modern movies are done, and the comparisons will often favor the older methods, use of music, construction of scenes, acting styles, editing approaches and styles. I've seen a good many modern movies that are just fine, but a significant number come across as manipulative of the viewer rather than taking one into a believable world. Despite the scientific premise of "The Man Who Lived Twice" being very implausible, it still manages to come across as natural. This is quite a feat, not unlike some of those movies that Karloff starred in. New film makers could benefit by studying how the old masters accomplished this, and I think they might find that they need to pay much more attention to the script and the film editing. Nowadays a good many films manipulate the audience with music, camera work, and editing techniques.
A picture like this is shorter and yet each conversation shows people making logical choices within their characters and advancing the action and portrayals by doing so. Modern movies too often have scenes, dialog, subplots, characters and action that seems attached or layered on or introduced, rather than flowing naturally out of the basic plot and characters.
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