IMDb > The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)

The Man They Could Not Hang (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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The Man They Could Not Hang -- In this early sci-fi thriller, Boris Karloff is a doctor working on experiments to restore life to the dead. When he is unjustly hanged for murder, he is brought back to life by his trusted assistant. Re-animated he turns decidedly nasty and sets about murdering the jury that convicted him.

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Karl Brown (screenplay)
George Wallace Sayre (story)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Man They Could Not Hang on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 August 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
TRANSFORMED BY THE HANGMAN'S NOOSE...from a doctor serving humanity into a demon filled with hate...and terrorizing blood-lust! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Delicious variant on the "Old Dark House" theme See more (25 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Boris Karloff ... Dr. Henryk Savaard
Lorna Gray ... Janet Savaard
Robert Wilcox ... 'Scoop' Foley
Roger Pryor ... District Attorney Drake

Don Beddoe ... Police Lt. Shane

Ann Doran ... Betty Crawford
Joe De Stefani ... Dr. Stoddard
Charles Trowbridge ... Judge Bowman
Byron Foulger ... Lang
Dick Curtis ... Jury Foreman Clifford Kearney
James Craig ... Juror Watkins
John Tyrrell ... Juror Sutton
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Anderson ... Prison Warden (uncredited)
Sam Ash ... Druggist (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Harlan Briggs ... Defense Attorney Parker (uncredited)
Stanley Brown ... Bob Roberts (uncredited)
Flo Campbell ... Housewife (uncredited)
John Dilson ... King - City Editor (uncredited)
Carl Faulkner ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Juror (uncredited)
Frank Jaquet ... Cigar-Smoking Fat Juror (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Reporter (uncredited)
William Lally ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Perc Launders ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Larry Lund ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Ian Maclaren ... Priest (uncredited)
Charles McAvoy ... Prison Official (uncredited)
Charles Miller ... Dr. Avery - Juror (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Reporter (uncredited)
Franklin Parker ... Second Reporter (uncredited)
Tom Quinn ... Reporter (uncredited)
Bob Reeves ... Juror (uncredited)
Walter Sande ... Reporter at Typewriter (uncredited)

Robert Sterling ... First Reporter (uncredited)
Edward Thomas ... Butler (uncredited)
Cyril Thornton ... Senior Butler (uncredited)

Directed by
Nick Grinde  (as Nick Grindé)
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Karl Brown  screenplay
George Wallace Sayre  story
Leslie T. White  story

Produced by
Wallace MacDonald .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Benjamin H. Kline  (as Benjamin Kline)
 
Film Editing by
William A. Lyon  (as William Lyon)
 
Makeup Department
Clay Campbell .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Thomas Flood .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
George Cooper .... sound engineer (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Morris Stoloff .... musical director (as M.W. Stoloff)
R.H. Bassett .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Joseph Nussbaum .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Ben Oakland .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
George Parrish .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Karol Rathaus .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
William Grant Still .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Gregory Stone .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
64 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Shooting lasted from June 27-July 12, 1939, released Aug. 17.See more »
Quotes:
Dr. Henryk Savaard:We've taken a human life! If we can't restore that life, the law will call it murder.See more »

FAQ

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Delicious variant on the "Old Dark House" theme, 28 December 2004
Author: wadeboi from Hollywood, CA

First, this film is way ahead of its time in foreshadowing heart transplants and (yet to be achieved) artificial hearts. The first act is all about the artificial heart thing. Act 2 is a courtroom drama about the doctor being sentenced to hang for an accidental killing of his medical student during the experiment. Act 3 is the revenge against the jurors and judge who convicted him. Each act of this melodrama is delicious but Act 3 is by far the best. My only gripe is that it ends too soon. It would have been more fun to have a few more gimmicks to revenge the conviction. This film reminds me of the classic "12 Angry Men" but is a lot more fun and to the point. Great production values for 1939.

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