MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 11,340 this week

The Devil Commands (1941)

6.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 481 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 13 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 07 Feb 2011
 
a list of 21 titles
created 03 Jul 2011
 
a list of 56 titles
created 26 Mar 2013
 
list image
a list of 38 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Devil Commands (1941)

The Devil Commands (1941) on IMDb 6.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Devil Commands.

Videos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Dr. Laurience, a brilliant but unstable scientist experimenting with transferring minds, becomes vengeful when his magnate patron withdraws his support.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, John Loder
House of Evil (1968)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

Relatives of a recently deceased man meet at his eerie castle for a reading of the will. They encounter a sinister piano player who turns out to be a toy maker, and his toys are imbued with murderous intentions.

Directors: Jack Hill, Juan Ibáñez
Stars: Boris Karloff, Julissa, Andrés García
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ignoring an ancient prophecy, evil brother Gregor seeks to maintain his feudal power on his his Tyrolean estate by murdering and impersonating his benevolent younger twin.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Boris Karloff, Marian Marsh, Robert Allen
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young divorcee tries to convert a historic house into a hotel despite its oddball inhabitants and dead bodies in the cellar.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

This lurid exposé of the Hitler Youth follows the woes of an American girl declared legally German by the Nazi government.

Directors: Edward Dmytryk, Irving Reis
Stars: Tim Holt, Bonita Granville, Kent Smith
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Clive Riordan plans a devilish revenge against his wife's lover.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Robert Newton, Sally Gray, Phil Brown
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Mad scientist turns a man into an electrically-controlled monster to do his bidding.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Lon Chaney Jr., Anne Nagel
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An insane scientist doing experimentation in glandular research becomes obsessed with transforming a female gorilla into a human...even though it costs human life.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Acquanetta, John Carradine, Evelyn Ankers
The Black Cat (1941)
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Elderly Henrietta Winslow lives in an isolated mansion with her housekeeper and beloved cats. As her health fails, her greedy relatives gather in anticipation of her death.

Director: Albert S. Rogell
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Hugh Herbert, Broderick Crawford
Night Key (1937)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The inventor of a new top-of-the-line burglar alarm system is kidnapped by a gang in order to get him to help them commit robberies.

Director: Lloyd Corrigan
Stars: Boris Karloff, Warren Hull, Jean Rogers
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

On a spooky island, three stranded travelers find an evil doctor working with foreign spies and in control of zombies.

Director: Jean Yarbrough
Stars: Dick Purcell, Joan Woodbury, Mantan Moreland
Horror | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The boys are sent to a mountain camp. Stranded in a small rural town, they hear about a "monster killer" roaming the countryside. At night, they sneak out. Peewee is shot by a grave-digger,... See full summary »

Director: Phil Rosen
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan
Edit

Cast

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

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:

KARLOFF TURNS KILLER IN A HORROR-CRAMMED THRILLER! (original 11x14 title card) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved
Edit

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  »
Edit

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

Dr. Julian Blair: Anne dear, your mother is not dead, not really. She's come back to me!
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
THE DEVIL COMMANDS (Edward Dmytryk, 1941) **1/2
9 September 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

A likable horror/sci-fi (given a catchpenny but utterly meaningless title!) tailor-made for its star – despite its naïve approach to the supernatural (what with the goofy laboratory equipment that's a cross between medieval torture devices and an underwater suit!). The Gothic trappings included in the narrative (mystery house, seances, brutish 'zombie' manservant) don't sit too well alongside the scientific paraphernalia and jargon – and actually cheapen the film, though not quite to the level of the contemporaneous Bela Lugosi vehicles made by Poverty Row studios!

Perhaps the most perplexing element in the film is the constant narration, which doesn't really serve any purpose: this was probably inspired by Hitchcock's REBECCA (1940) but also, curiously enough, ties it with the fatalistic voice-over that would soon become a film noir staple – and we all know what director Dmytryk achieved in that most influential subgenre (in fact, he's easily the best director with whom Karloff worked during his stay at Columbia – albeit in an early and, therefore, minor effort); here already, Dmytryk's proficiency for creating mood on a miniscule budget through careful lighting is well in evidence. By the way, I can't say for certain but the cliff setting from where Karloff and Anne Revere dispose of the body of the nosy maid may be the same that was utilized four years later for the climax of a marvelous Grade-B noir, MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS (1945), also a Columbia picture (and which I finally caught up with while in Hollywood early this year)!

Karloff is committed and persuasive as always as the scientist aching to communicate with his dear departed wife – a role which eerily predates many Peter Cushing would play in the 1970s (particularly following the death of his real-life wife!); however, the star is matched by co-star Revere as the domineering and vaguely sinister medium. As busy as the climax is, it's rather hurried: what with Karloff trying to convince his daughter's fiancé – conveniently, a scientist – of the fundamental value of his work but, failing to do so, has to knock him out before he can use his own daughter as guinea pig in his great experiment!; all the while, an angry torch-carrying mob (who seem to have stepped in from the set of some concurrent Universal production!) is hatching up a plan to stall Karloff's 'dangerous' research – but, as soon as they're about to storm the place, the whole edifice collapses around them (for reasons that are not entirely clear)!!

While the least effective of the three Karloffs I've just watched for the first time, it's not a bad effort all around – and I still look forward to his two remaining (and, oddly, similarly-titled) Columbia vehicles, namely THE MAN THEY COULD NOT HANG (1939) and BEFORE I HANG (1940)…though I now know not to expect anything approaching the quality of his genuine classics from the Universal heyday!


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I don't get the title... leejh4
Good idea but... patrickstibbs-2
Discuss The Devil Commands (1941) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?