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Before I Hang (1940)

Unrated | | Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi | 17 September 1940 (USA)
A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.

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(story and screenplay) (as Robert D. Andrews), (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Edward Van Sloan ...
Ben Taggart ...
Pedro de Cordoba ...
Wright Kramer ...
Bertram Marburgh ...
...
Robert Fiske ...
Kenneth MacDonald ...
Frank Richards ...
Otto Kron - Convict
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Storyline

A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beware! When Karloff stops the clock, your hour has come! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

17 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mago de la muerte  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film Daily Year Book (1941) and American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films 1931-1940 list the running time as 71 minutes; however, the original review in Variety, 2 October 1940, which followed the film's premiere in Lincoln, Nebraska on 26 September 1940, records it as 62 minutes, which corresponds to the time of the print from Sony shown on Turner Classic Movies in October 2008. See more »

Quotes

Dr. John Garth: Well, you want to go on living, don't you?
Victor Sondini: Why, I've had a very full life, I... After all, man's span of life is only supposed to be threescore and ten.
Dr. John Garth: Who made that rule? George, your old age is a disease, and I can cure it!
See more »

Connections

Featured in TJ and the All Night Theatre: Before I Hang (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

A Good Columbia Picture
4 October 2004 | by (Beltsville, Maryland) – See all my reviews

Of the Karloff Columbia Mad Doctor pictures, my very favorite is "The Man With Nine Lives" with "The Devil Commands" a close second followed by "The Man They Could Not Hang" (which was still quite good). Similarly, "Before I Hang" is a good "B" picture with some good scenes such as the experimentation with the model in order to mix the chemicals and serums correctly. Karloff's "Dr. Jekyll - Mr. Hyde" transformations seem to be very hair-raising indeed.

As usual, Karloff proves he was one of the best mad scientists of classic shudder cinema.

This neat little "B" came with a good supporting cast including Bruce Bennett and Evelyn Keyes.

Worthwhile watching with all of your "B" buddies.

7/10.


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