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The Devil Commands (1941)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  3 February 1941 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 563 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 16 critic

Scientist becomes obsessed with the idea of communicating with his dead wife.

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(screenplay) (as Robert D. Andrews) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Richard Fiske ...
Dr. Richard Sayles
Amanda Duff ...
Anne Blair
...
Mrs. Blanche Walters
Cy Schindell ...
Karl (as Ralph Penney)
...
Mrs. Marcy
Walter Baldwin ...
Seth Marcy
Kenneth MacDonald ...
Sheriff Ed Willis
Shirley Warde ...
Helen Blair
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Storyline

Dr. Julian Blair is engaged in unconventional research on human brain waves when his wife is tragically killed in a freak auto accident. The grief-stricken scientist becomes obsessed with redirecting his work into making contact with the dead and is not deterred by dire warnings from his daughter, his research assistant, or his colleagues that he is delving into forbidden areas of knowledge. He moves his laboratory to an isolated New England mansion where he continues to try to reach out to his dead wife. He is aided by his mentally-challenged servant Karl and abetted by the obsessive Mrs. Walters, a phony medium, who seems to exert a sinister influence over him. When their overly curious housekeeper discovers the truth about their experiments, her death brings the local sheriff in to investigate. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This mad wizard kills at will in Satan's service! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 February 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Devil Said No  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Completed December 1940, released February 3, 1941. See more »

Goofs

Dr. Julian tells Mrs. Walters she had 10,000 volts pass through her body. Volts do not flow or pass, amps do. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Anne Blair: They say my father's spirit must still lives in that house. I don't know. When he seemed to be so close to what he sought, something reached for him - a warning that human beings must not try to reach beyond death! I don't know. No one will ever know, and yet perhaps the time will come when the door to infinity will open... perhaps... perhaps...
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Mad Doctors (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Helen, is that you or today's market reports?
19 October 2004 | by (Flushing, NY) – See all my reviews

Dr. Julian Blair has been conducting experiments with research with brain waves. One night, while en route to pick up his daughter from the train station, his wife is killed in a car crash, and Dr. Blair becomes obsessed with using research to be able to remain in contact with his late wife. His colleagues, assistant/Dr. Richard Sayles, and daughter Ann try to convince Dr. Blair, that these experiments are bordering on the occult, by the doctor scoffs them all off. When Dr. Blair's handyman Karl tells his boss of an experience he had with a medium, Mrs. Walters. Dr. Blair goes to the seance that night and uncovers Mrs. Walters hoax, but is convinced that she has extraordinary brain waves. While experimenting using Mrs. Walters, Karl becomes injured, shorting out his brain and nervous system. Shortly after, Dr. Blair (with Mrs. Walters and Karl) moves to a secluded house in Maine to further conduct his experiments, which unnerve the townspeople and the sheriff, who believes the doctor was responsible for the theft of the recently deceased, which Dr. Blair uses as conductors for his experiments. Dr. Blair later becomes convinced that Ann holds the key for communicating with his deceased love, but will he use her before the townspeople storm his house believing him responsible for the death of a local? This B-horror schlock hits on all cylinders, with Karloff giving one of his most strongest performances, only outdone by Revere's ultra sinister portrayal of Mrs. Walters. Very good direction by Dmytryk keeps this one moving with the great horror touches. Rating, 9.


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