IMDb > The Man with Nine Lives (1940)

The Man with Nine Lives (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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The Man with Nine Lives -- In this suspenseful film, Boris Karloff stars as a near-crazed scientist seeking a cure for cancer by freezing bodies in suspended animation...and winds up frozen himself. When the family of a man Karloff has frozen comes snooping around, Karloff accidentally drugs them along with himself, but theyare revived ten years later by a researcher, Pryor.


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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Karl Brown (screen play)
Harold Shumate (story)
View company contact information for The Man with Nine Lives on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 April 1940 (USA) See more »
He kills in the name of science...Tombs of ice for the living...Chambers of horror for the dead! See more »
A medical researcher visits the deserted home of a pioneer in cryogenic science who disappeared 10 years earlier and finds him frozen in ice but still alive. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A welcome new twist on the whole mad scientist genre See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Boris Karloff ... Dr. Leon Kravaal
Roger Pryor ... Dr. Tim Mason
Jo Ann Sayers ... Judith Blair
Stanley Brown ... Bob Adams

John Dilson ... John Hawthorne
Hal Taliaferro ... Sheriff Stanton
Byron Foulger ... Dr. Bassett
Charles Trowbridge ... Dr. Harvey
Ernie Adams ... Pete Daggett
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Bruce Bennett ... State Trooper (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Doctor Spectator (uncredited)
Eddie Dew ... Doctor Spectator Listening to Explanation (uncredited)
Minta Durfee ... Frozen Therapy Patient (uncredited)
William Marion ... Doctor Spectator (uncredited)
Charles Miller ... Doctor Spectator Explaining Procedure (uncredited)
Ivan Miller ... Sheriff Haley (uncredited)
Wedgwood Nowell ... Doctor Spectator (uncredited)
Cyril Ring ... Doctor Spectator (uncredited)
Landers Stevens ... Doctor Spectator (uncredited)
Lee Willard ... Frozen Body of Jasper Adams (uncredited)

Directed by
Nick Grinde  (as Nick Grindé)
Writing credits
Karl Brown (screen play)

Harold Shumate (story)

Produced by
Irving Briskin .... producer (uncredited)
Wallace MacDonald .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Benjamin H. Kline (director of photography) (as Benjamin Kline)
Film Editing by
Al Clark (film editor)
Art Direction by
Lionel Banks 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur S. Black Jr. .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Edward Bernds .... sound engineer (uncredited)
Music Department
Mischa Bakaleinikoff .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Gerard Carbonara .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Ben Oakland .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Karol Rathaus .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Morris Stoloff .... musical director (uncredited)
Gregory Stone .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Ralph S. Willard .... technical advisor (as Dr. Ralph S. Willard)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
74 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Canada:G (Ontario) | UK:A | USA:Approved (PCA #6183) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Part of the Son of Shock package of 20 titles released to television in 1958, which followed the original Shock Theater release of 52 features one year earlier. This was also one of the 11 Columbia titles, the other 61 all being Universals.See more »
Plot holes: When Dr. Mason uses the "standard" method of reviving Dr. Kravaal, it doesn't appear to be anything more than placing him near a fire and putting blankets on him. He asks his nurse for "more coffee," but it's unclear what he's doing with the coffee which would help him resuscitate the doctor as Kravaal is unconscious and can't be drinking it.See more »
[first lines]
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...
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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
A welcome new twist on the whole mad scientist genre, 29 November 2006
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

It's not exactly a major shock that Boris Karloff plays a mad scientist in this film, though it is very unusual the way he plays this role. Instead of the evil twisted genius set on making monsters or ruling the world, Karloff's goals are incredibly noble. And, when he later kills, you really understand with and could possibly condone why he did this. The moral implications of the film are astounding! As for the rest of the film, the writing for this sort of B-movie is very good, the acting fine and production values work out well (proving you don't need a huge budget to make a good film). About the only negatives at all are the ending (I would have just ended the film a minute or two earlier without the unnecessary final scene) and a mistake in the film about how deep the lab was under the earth. In the beginning, they count 191 steps to the bottom of the shaft to the lab, but later, it's just a homemade ladder about 12 feet long. Regardless, it didn't harm the film in any serious way and the film is a very good 'mad scientist' flick that actually is good entertainment and well thought-out.

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