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Mystery of the White Room (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Romance | 17 March 1939 (USA)
In the middle of an eye-surgery operation in a large hospital, the lights in the operating room go out and the chief surgeon is murdered. It is the job of Police-Detective Spencer to figure... See full summary »



(screenplay), (novel) (as James G. Edwards M.D.)


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Cast overview:
Carole Dale
Lila Haines
Constance Worth ...
Ann Stokes
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Sergeant Macintosh Spencer (as Thomas Jackson)
Hank Manley
Dora Stanley
Dr. Norman Kennedy
Dr. Finley Morton
Dr. Amos Thornton
Dr. Donald Fox


In the middle of an eye-surgery operation in a large hospital, the lights in the operating room go out and the chief surgeon is murdered. It is the job of Police-Detective Spencer to figure out who in the room had something to gain from his death. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Beware! WATCH FOR IT! A hand that soothed in the light...but struck in the dark! (original ad) See more »


Crime | Mystery | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murder in Surgery  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


8th entry in Universal's Crime Club Productions series. In 1937, Universal had entered into a deal with the pulp publisher to select up to 4 of it's novels annually for production as B-pictures. Producer Irving Starr was selected to head this unit. This entry, based on the novel, "Murder in Surgery," was the 8th out of a total of 11 Crime Club novels the studio produced under the deal. See more »


Sergeant Macintosh Spencer: [to Tom Dugan] "You're as unbalanced as the budget".
See more »

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User Reviews

Who killed the chief surgeon in the OR during a black out?
20 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

This is an entertaining murder mystery from Universal Studios "Crime Club" series of the late 1930's.Basted on Dr James G Edwards mystery novel "Murder in the Surgery", it was the eighth of the Crime Club films. Rugged Bruce Cabot and pretty Helen Mack are appealing leads in a cast the includes old vets Frank Reicher and Addison Richards. Thomas E Jackson as the Detective Sargent investigator played police detectives so often in movies that he had his own personal badge.Joan Woodbury was a familiar on screen face at the time and the rest of the cast knew their way around a B film.Tom Dugan and Mabel Todd provide the obligatory if not irritating comedy relief. Director Otis Garrett worked as a film editor for Universal, the Crime Club movies were about the only films he directed. He died in 1941 at the age of 35.

Mystery of the White Room was probably the best of the Crime Club pictures. They were made to be at the bottom half of a Universal double feature. Oddly enough this movie was included in the original Shock Theater package the Universal Studios offered television stations across the country in 1957. It was marketed as a horror film rather than a mystery. Certainly not brilliant film making but an enjoyable way to pass an hour.

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