5.7/10
1,355
45 user 28 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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Walter Garrett
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Michael Rhodes
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Dr. Francis Flegg
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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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Undertaker
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Guide (scenes deleted)
Cliff Saum ...
Detective Sgt. Moran
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Hotel Manager
John Ridgely ...
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

Taglines:

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  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Humphrey Bogart said of this film: "This is one of the pictures that made me march in to [Warner Bros. studio chief Jack L. Warner] and ask for more money again. You can't believe what this one was like. I had a part that somebody like Bela Lugosi or Boris Karloff should have played. I was this doctor, brought back to life, and the only thing that nourished this poor bastard was blood. If it had been Jack Warner's blood or [Harry Warner's] or [Sam Warner's] maybe I wouldn't have minded as much. The trouble was, they were drinking mine and I was making this stinking movie." See more »

Goofs

Although Wayne Morris is billed as "Walter Barnett", he is called "Walter Garrett" in the film. 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 Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Average "B" thriller stands out do the presence of mis-cast Bogart.

Had this film not cast Humphrey Bogart as the title mad scientist, this film would probably regarded as just another 1930's big studio "B" thriller. Bogart tries hard , but he is Bogart, and its just to hard to take seeing him playing an executed mad scientist brought back from the dead who is now a scientific vampire. Supposedly, Boris Karloff was slated to play the title role, but was not available.

I have to admit I was very impressed with the films art direction (credited to Esdras Hartley.) The laboratory of Dr. Flegg consists of a maze of glass tubes dripping a dark fluid in beakers, and has the look of a giant circulatory system, reflecting the films emphasis on blood.

Hollywood legend has it that Bogart was having trouble with WB brass at the time with the type roles they were giving him. The WB brass wanted to punish him by casting him in this and KING OF THE UNDERWORLD in order show Bogie who was boss.


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