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The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)

Unrated | | Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi | 17 August 1939 (USA)
When Dr. Savaard's experiment in cryonics is interrupted by the short-sighted authorities, his volunteer dies, and he is condemned to death. He vows vengeance if he can survive his own hanging.

Director:

(as Nick Grindé)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Joe De Stefani ...
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Juror Sutton
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Storyline

Mad Scientist, Dr. Henryk Savaard, is obsessed with bringing the dead back to life. The police are alerted of Savaard's activities by his assistant's girlfriend. Savaard is arrested, convicted and sentenced to hang. He vows revenge on the judge, jury and district attorney. After the hanging, his assistant claims Savaard's body and uses Savaard's technique on it. Savaard is brought back to life. Now he can seek sweet revenge on his prosecutors. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

King of Horror...in his biggest role! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Celui qui a tué la mort  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shooting lasted from June 27-July 12, 1939, released Aug. 17. See more »

Goofs

When the judge dies, the remaining guests discover the electrified grill because the detective's gun, in a holster on his belt, hits the grill. Later, when the detective pulls his gun, he pulls it from his jacket. See more »

Quotes

Priest: It seems strange to see you in such good spirits, Doctor.
Dr. Henryk Savaard: Strange that I should have no fear of dying? Well, I have lived so long questioning the unknown that this plunge into its depths is only the last and perhaps the greatest of my experiments.
Priest: Have you no faith?
Dr. Henryk Savaard: As a scientist, I'm afraid I'm a professional skeptic who doubts everything - even the certainties.
Priest: But do you not recognize the great truths?
Dr. Henryk Savaard: I never found one that would bear analysis.
Priest: Can't you conceive of a truth too great for ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References The Ninth Guest (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Now a mechanical heart sounds silly...... doesn't it?
7 January 2005 | by (Rego Park, NY) – See all my reviews

Dr. Henryk Savaard works with his assistant Lang and medical student Bob Roberts in Dr. Savaard's experiments in the use of a mechanical heart to prolong life. Roberts risks his life in the experiment where Savaard will kill him and bring him back from the dead. This unnerves Dr. Savaard's nurse (and Roberts' girlfriend) Betty Crawford, who sends for the police, and when they arrive arrest Dr. Savaard for killing Roberts. At his trial, Dr. Savaard tries to explain his methods and experiments were in the name of science, but they fall on deaf ears as he is convicted and sentenced to hang. He donates his body to science, and most specifically to Lang, who plans to bring him back to life using Dr. Savaard's process. Scoop Foley, a news reporter who covered the trial (and fell for Dr. Savaard's daughter Janet) notices that six members of the Savaard jury committed suicide by hanging, and that the remaining jurors, and the judge, prosecutor, police inspector, and Ms. Crawford have been invited to the Savaard house where the doctor plans to have all of them die one by one, but he doesn't expect his daughter to arrive. This is one heck of a movie with everything that the B sci-fi/horror flick should have. Watching Karloff, I can only think how much more respected he could be if he didn't have to subject himself to these B movies which he excels in. Grinde makes excellent use of camera-work, as well as shadow and light. The script does seem like it won't differ from anything else in the genre, but it continually goes further into new twists and turns with the Agatha Christie like revenge Savaard plans. My only regret is that the film wasn't longer. Excellent ending. Rating, based on B movies, 10.


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