IMDb > The Return of Doctor X (1939)
The Return of Doctor X
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The Return of Doctor X (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
5.7/10   1,053 votes »
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Down 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Lee Katz (screen play)
William J. Makin (from a story by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Return of Doctor X on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 December 1939 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD...TO HAUNT THE LIVING!!! See more »
Plot:
A hotshot reporter and a young doctor team up to investigate a series of grisly murders and a mysterious sample of synthetic blood. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Bogart's Contribution to the First Horror Film Cycle See more (38 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Humphrey Bogart ... Marshall Quesne
Rosemary Lane ... Joan Vance

Wayne Morris ... Walter Garrett
Dennis Morgan ... Michael Rhodes

John Litel ... Dr. Francis Flegg
Lya Lys ... Angela Merrova
Huntz Hall ... Pinky
Charles C. Wilson ... Detective Roy Kincaid (as Charles Wilson)
Vera Lewis ... Miss Sweetman
Howard C. Hickman ... Chairman (scenes deleted) (as Howard Hickman)
Olin Howland ... Undertaker
Arthur Aylesworth ... Guide (scenes deleted)
Cliff Saum ... Detective Sergeant Moran
Creighton Hale ... Hotel Manager
John Ridgely ... Rodgers
Joseph Crehan ... Editor
Glenn Langan ... Interne

William Hopper ... Interne (as DeWolf Hopper)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nat Carr ... Reporter (uncredited)
Loia Cheaney ... Nurse (uncredited)
Eddie Graham ... Hospital Attendant (uncredited)
John Harron ... Reporter (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Frank Mayo ... Attorney (uncredited)
John 'Skins' Miller ... Newspaper Vendor (uncredited)
Jack Mower ... Policeman Guarding Rodgers' Room (uncredited)
Paul Panzer ... Hospital Attendant (uncredited)
Frank Pharr ... Andy - the Night Editor (uncredited)
Gwen Seager ... Miss Lawrence (uncredited)
Claude Wisberg ... Office Boy (uncredited)

Ian Wolfe ... Cemetery Caretaker (uncredited)

Directed by
Vincent Sherman 
 
Writing credits
Lee Katz (screen play)

William J. Makin (from a story by)

Produced by
Bryan Foy .... associate producer (uncredited)
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer (uncredited)
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Bernhard Kaun (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Sidney Hickox  (as Sid Hickox)
 
Film Editing by
Thomas Pratt (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Esdras Hartley 
 
Costume Design by
Milo Anderson (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Louis Baum .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard Maybery .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Charles Lang .... sound
 
Stunts
Buster Wiles .... stunt double: Humphrey Bogart (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Bernhard Kaun .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
John Langan .... dialogue director
Leo Morton Schulman .... technical advisor (as Dr. Leo Schulman)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.) (A First National Picture)
Distributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
62 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Sweden:15 | UK:H | USA:Approved (PCA #5541)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
When Walter 'Wichita' Garrett reviews the press clippings, two of them refer to "Eugene Xavier", the remainder refer to "Maurice Xavier."See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Bogart abducts Rosemary Lane they leave in a light colored, late '30's cab. As the police pursue them it changes to a black, vintage car. When they arrive at the hide-out in the woods its a newer light colored cab again.See more »
Quotes:
Walter 'Wichita' Garrett:Maybe she's not dead.
Editor:If she's not dead, they're playing a dirty trick on her because they're taking her over to Bixby's Undertaking Parlor.
[to both Rhodes and Garrett]
Editor:Now get out of here both of you!
Walter 'Wichita' Garrett:Yes, sir!
Editor:[angrily] And don't come back!
[they leave]
Walter 'Wichita' Garrett:[to Rhodes] I won't believe she's dead 'til I see it with my own eyes. Even then I won't believe it!
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Greenlawn cemetery? I've heard of that.
Who is Dr. X?
What is Dr X's shocking secret?
See more »
20 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
Bogart's Contribution to the First Horror Film Cycle, 12 October 2005
Author: theowinthrop from United States

This film is important because it shows that even Hollywood legends need huge amounts of luck to avoid film oblivion. Bogie had been in Hollywood for four years in the early 1930s, and never hit a good film (although he did appear for his one and only time in that period with the young Spencer Tracy). He went back to his stage work in New York City, appeared in THE PETRIFIED FOREST, and returned to Hollywood with his friend Leslie Howard to make the film version there. After the filming of THE PETRIFIED FOREST Bogie was taken seriously as a supporting actor, getting important roles (though as villains) in films like DEAD END and THE ROARING TWENTIES, but also appearing as the lead in films like BLACK LEGION. But his anger at not getting the roles he felt he deserved led to friction with Jack Warner. Warner was like many gifted studio head - producers: he knew that you groom an actor you admire for the right break-out parts. Bogie would not wait, so Warner would punish him by giving him dreck like SWING YOUR LADY. He decided to give him this film too - Warner's answer to the Universal horror and science fiction cycle, THE RETURN OF DOCTOR X.

If this film had been made by Universal with Boris Karloff it is possible that the film would have been a 7 or 8 out of 10. Karloff or Lugosi or Atwill were able to project a mixture of scientific interest, curiosity, and sinister twisting to their scientists and their characters. Maybe it was the sound of their voices (with their staginess or their accents). Bogart did not have this. He sounded like an average Joe with a slight lisp. He just did not project a scientific gambler.

The plot of THE RETURN OF DOCTOR X has nothing to do with an earlier film DOCTOR X that starred Atwill and Fay Wray. That film was pretty good. It was about a series of murders apparently connected with a medical center, where Atwill is one of the leading doctors, and one of the suspects. The plot of THE RETURN OF DOCTOR X is about a series of murders connected to apparent vampirism as the victims are drained of their blood. It turns upon the experiments of a Dr. Francis Flegg (John Litel - trying to be a crusading visionary, but hampered by poor dialog). Flegg is working on a study of human blood, with a way of possibly making an artificial version of it to extend life. However, he has had only one success - a strange man who works with him named Marshall Quesne (Bogart).

Bogart's make-up is the only really interesting thing about him. He has his hair parted in the center, with a white streak of hair in the middle, and wears pince-nez. His face is whitened to look like he is anemic. He tries to act self-deprecating, when talking to others like Wayne Morris (the reporter who is investigating the murders). But he only acts like he is sleep-walking through the lines. Except when he gets upset - at one point he notes part of Litel's blood experiment is failing (and he is very involved in making the experiment work). He starts yelling at Litel about this, much to Morris' interest. But those moments are few - too few.

If the rest of the film had anything going for it, Bogart's failure to make his character live would not matter. But it doesn't. Rosemary Lane and Dennis Morgan (and Morris) give good performances, but other actors (Fay Wray and Joel McCrae and Lee Tracy come to mind) would have vitalized the roles. Huntz Hall, as a newspaper copy-boy, has one good moment - he keeps teasing Morris for his theories regarding dead bodies of the victims in one scene by singing, "When a body meets a body coming through the rye" over and over again. But that said, the film is too flimsy to make one really care who did well in it. Fortunately for Bogie HIGH SIERRA and THE MALTESE FALCON would soon bring him his stardom, and CASABLANCA and THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRES ensured it.

I give the film only a 3 out of 10, for it's value as a curiosity. The only issue left for me is how would Karloff have been as Captain Queeg or Lugosi as Fred C. Dobbs.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Return of Doctor X (1939)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Bogie surprised me in this FilmKoala
Is it me? reverendhawkins-28-303158
not that bad. ciaran122-1
Loony Tunes. Please Help! rorymathew
Trailer on Legends of Horror DVD swollen_ostrich
Would love to see this on DVD! cricket23
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