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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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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.

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Taglines:

DOOMED TO KILL...BY THE MURDERER'S BLOOD IN HIS VEINS! (oringinal print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

17 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mago de la muerte  »

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(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was shot in the house later used in the 1945 title The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) staring Hurd Hatfield. See more »

Quotes

Capt. McGraw: Dr. Garth, whatever he is, is the first man I've ever met who was polite to me and still made the chills run up and down my spine!
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
When I Get Older Killing my Friends - Not So Many Years from Now
22 November 2007 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

Boris Karloff played the benign "mad" scientist whose intentions were good but turn awry better than anyone else. Most of his mad scientists were men put into bad situations by some kind of catalyst beyond their control and Before I Hang is no exception. Karloff plays a doctor brought before a jury for a mercy killing - a man who had been living in terminal pain sought out Karloff's help with hopes that a youth age-suppressing serum he had been working on would help regulate the pain and off-set the aging process. It didn't work and Karloff aided in his assisted death. Karloff is sent to prison but finds that the warden believes in his work and allows him, with the aid of Edward Von Sloan the prison doctor, to work on his serum just weeks before he is to be hanged for his crime. Before I Hang has really quite a preposterous storyline but Boris Karloff breathes life into it rather nicely with a gentle performance edged by a maniacal turn as he injects himself with the serum that has some bad side effects. The other actors are all very good with old Karloff nemesis from Frankenstien Von Sloan doing very well with his rather small, thankless role and Eugene Palette giving a good turn as the warden. Karloff's three old friends are all well-played and Evelyn Keyes as his daughter adequate as is Bruce Bennet as her love interest and Karloff's former assistant. The movie is not particularly fast-paced but the tension does build increasingly with effect. Before I Hang is a rather nice addition to Karloff's Columbia Mad Doctor roles. Perhaps not the best of them but certainly stands strong with the rest of them.


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