5.7/10
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48 user 26 critic

The Return of Doctor X (1939)

Approved | | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi | 2 December 1939 (USA)
A hotshot reporter and a young doctor team up to investigate a series of grisly murders and a mysterious sample of synthetic blood.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joan Vance
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Angela Merrova
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Pinky
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Detective Roy Kincaid (as Charles Wilson)
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Miss Sweetman
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Chairman (scenes deleted) (as Howard Hickman)
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Guide (scenes deleted)
Cliff Saum ...
Detective Sgt. Moran
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Hotel Manager
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Rodgers
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Storyline

New York newspaper reporter Walter Barnett finds himself out of a job after he claims to have found actress Angela Merrova dead in her apartment - only the next day she showed up alive and threatened to sue the paper. Determined to investigate he discovers her involvement with a strange doctor who is an expert on human blood. Barnett then finds a connection to a series of gruesome murders where the victims were all found drained of blood. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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He lives to kill and kills to live! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

2 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Return of Dr. X  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Directorial debut of Vincent Sherman. See more »

Goofs

The police fire into Mr. Quesne's hideout. Considering the fact that Ms. Vance is also in the hideout, they should not be firing against the possibility of hitting Ms. Vance. See more »

Quotes

Detective Roy Kincaid: What is this Group 1, Group 4 business?
Dr. Mike Rhodes: Well, you see, medical science has discovered that human blood is divided into four different groups, #1 being the most rare and #4 the most common,. We must see to it that certain of these types are not mixed in the transfusion.
Detective Roy Kincaid: Then would you say that whoever came into Rodgers' room to kill him was looking for #1 blood?
Dr. Mike Rhodes: It's possible. That's why I think the coronor made a mistakre in his report, so do you mind if I make a test of these stains for myself...
Detective Roy Kincaid:
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: Doctor X (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fright Night With Bogie
2 August 2001 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

This picture isn't bad at all, and is quite entertaining. It's problem is that it isn't very credible. In order to enjoy it one has to put oneself back into the spirit of the late thirties, as the nation was still reeling from the Depression and very much in need this sort of anodyne movie.

Basically it's a mad doctor movie mixed with the sort of breezy newspaper comedy (such as His Girl Friday) then popular. The story has little to do with the first Doctor X movie, which is quite different. Vincent Sherman directs his scenes for maximum suspense and energy, and makes a go at a contemporary horror film set in New York, with brownstones, hospitals and funeral parlors filling in for the usual old dark houses and castles. He succeeds very nicely.

The young leading players are likable but unexceptional. John Litel is, however, very fine as a sane doctor being manipulated by a mad one. The most notable casting is Humphrey Bogart as the resurrected Dr. X, and he is if nothing else visually striking, with his chalky face and hair with a white streak down the middle. He is altogether too familiar to be convincing in the role, which he handles competently.

Overall, I think it's fair to say the movie wasn't meant to be taken too seriously. It was made at a time when horror movies were made for fun as much as fright. Taken on its own terms it delivers the goods, and makes the Warners' standard issue New York streets look as spooky as a graveyard at Halloween.


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