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.
Noble-born cad Denis (Stapley) has been tricked into a forced stay at the eerie manor of the Sire de Maletroit (Laughton), an evil madman who can't get over the death of his beloved, twenty... See full summary »
Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »
Dr. Leon Kravaal develops a potential cure for cancer, which involves freezing the patient. But an experiment goes awry when authorities believe Kravaal has killed a patient. Kravaal freezes the officials, along with himself. Years later, they are discovered and revived in hopes that Kravaal can indeed complete his cure. But human greed and weakness compound to disrupt the project. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Shooting began February 16, 1940, released April 18. See more »
In an early scene, the calendar date of "Saturday, March 16" is prominently displayed on Dr. Kravaal's wall. This is the actual 1940 calendar date, the year when the movie was filmed. However, later when the doctor and others are revived from a frozen sleep, they are informed that they have been frozen for ten years and that the year is now 1940. If that is the case, then the original calendar page on Dr. Kravaal's wall should have read "Saturday, March 15" which was the correct date in 1930. See more »
opening title card scroll:
Added to the many miracles performed by modern science that have accounted for the saving of thousands upon thousands of human beings, comes its newest and most modern discovery - frozen therapy. ¶Estimates of how long frozen therapy can produce a state of suspended animation range from days to years. But on the fact that disease can be arrested - that life can be prolonged, by freezing human beings in ice, the medical world agrees. ¶In research hospitals today, men and women are ...
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Boris Karloff is a misunderstood and maligned doctor specializing in cryogenics
"The Man with Nine Lives" (1940) is an impressive sci-fi film. Several aspects of it stand out. Boris Karloff gives a wonderful performance in a role that requires him to be both a good guy and a bad guy in the same person. This role requires that he display a wide range of emotions and moral stances, and he does so with great skill. His specialty as a doctor is cryogenics applied to human beings. The story calls for a very cold storeroom and the film shows a completely realistic one, with thick ice, icicles and frost. This alone is worth seeing in the film. One wonders how the actors kept from shivering and catching colds. The story ably contrasts the endeavors of the intelligent lone wolf doctor with the narrow-minded and hidebound types surrounding him. Another impressive aspect of the plot is how intelligently it raises and deals with moral issues. Karloff goes through several moral changes as circumstances change, and so does Roger Pryor, the doctor who has rediscovered Karloff and his work. The motivations of Karloff change as circumstances change, and we see and understand them. At times, he's completely reasonable and contained but when his desire to solve a scientific puzzle takes over, he can be dangerous. The story itself is an intriguing tale with unexpected but logical twists.
At the beginning of the movie, we see Roger Pryor as a doctor who has found that cancer can be arrested by cooling down the patient. His guide is a book by Karloff, who has dropped out of view for 10 years. The scenes showing Pryor cooling down a patient are unintentionally funny by being so unsophisticated. The nurses are piling ice cubes on the patient. He's adjusting the patient's body temperature with these ice cubes. Later he revives the patient with hot coffee. When we get to Pryor's encounter with Karloff, everything is far more sophisticated and believable.
Karloff starred in a number of these smaller films, and they're all worth seeing.
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