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Before I Hang (1940)

6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 539 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 19 critic

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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Title: Before I Hang (1940)

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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:

Chill-filled tale of a monster! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Mago da Morte  »

Company Credits

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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

Shooting lasted from June 27-July 12, 1940, released September 17. See more »

Quotes

Dr. John Garth: There's a curtain, a wall I can't get through.
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Connections

Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An interesting plot make this a must-see for Karloff fans.
2 November 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The film begins with a kindly doctor (Boris Karloff) being sentenced for performing a mercy killing. He is given the death penalty and the sentenced is to be carried out in one month (wow--things sure went fast in the good old days). In the meantime, however, the warden of the prison allows the Doctor to continue his experiments regarding prolonging human life, as the work seems important and not everyone is as tough on the Doc as the judge.

During this one month period, a breakthrough occurs with Karloff's research. And, in an effort to test the formula, Karloff insists that the other doctor inject him with the formula. The experiment is a success and Karloff now looks and feels much younger and healthier--and as luck has it, the death sentence is commuted, so Karloff can continue working in the prison laboratory. However, slowly the changes that occur in the one-kindly man are unanticipated...and not particularly pleasant to say the least. Why did he change and what happens next? Well, see the film for yourself, as I'd hate to spoil the suspense--though the why is a tad silly.

Overall, a novel idea for a film that is well worth seeing. Karloff fans will have a ball, but non-fans also might enjoy this interesting little B-movie. I particularly liked it because I enjoyed seeing Karloff play such a likable guy--at least until the injection.


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