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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At an exclusive psychiatric clinic, the doctors and staff are about as crazy as the patients. The clinic head, Dr. Stewart McIver, thinks that it would be good therapy for his patients to ... See full summary »
Adolf Hitler, Benito and Suki Yaki are placed in a series of Three-Stooges routines, with the premise that the Board of Directors of Hell has put the Devil on notice they intend to replace ... See full summary »
George E. Stone
Reportedly, in April 1865, upon hearing the dreadful news from Washington, D.C., Benjamin Disraeli made the comment that "Assassination has never changed history!". A brave statement, but dubious. Lincoln's murder took a first rate political mind and spirit out of an office that needed him, and put in a misguided, ill prepared man with some sense of his office's importance. The result was that Lincoln's hope to restore the Union with a benign peace was wrecked by the inept President Andrew Johnson and the Radical Republican Congress which sought a harsher peace on the South. John Wilkes Booth had changed history indeed.
Same happened in 44 B.C. when Julius Caesar was killed. Same happened in 1914 when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed and World War I broke out. Assassination does effect history.
In 1942 two Czech patriots were parachuted into their homeland to carry out a mission. They did - they killed Reinhart Heydrich, the "Hangman" "Protector" of Bohemia, and creator of the Final Solution. Heydrich was in a car that was blown up, and it is pleasant to announced that the creep actually died from being skewered by eight heavy springs in the seat that he was seated in - it took him over a week to die. Given his involvement in the Holacaust and other atrocities, one can only say he died the way he deserved. Unfortunately, the Germans destroyed two villages, and killed hundreds of people in retaliation. Because of that the Allies did not carry out any other assassination plots in Europe against Nazis.
But the notion of killing Nazi leaders was instilled in the air, and I think that is why this film was made soon after. To Americans Heydrich was vaguely known (after the destruction of Lidice and the other village interest in the "Hangman" led to two films being made: Fritz Lang's HANGMEN ALSO DIE and Douglas Sirk's HITLER'S MADMAN). HITLER, DEAD OR ALIVE is not a good film - it is really rather stupid. The idea of hiring three American criminals to kill Der Fuhrer is outlandish. But to be fair, this idea of criminals fighting the good fight against Nazis was fairly common in Hollywood films. Nazis never fought fairly, so we needed someone who also fought unfairly. Witness Humphrey Bogart and his co-horts in ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT (against Conrad Veidt) or Alan Ladd in THIS GUN FOR HIRE (admittedly against traitors working for Japan, not Germany) or LUCKY JORDAN. Still, if you want to kill the most vicious government leader in history, why use three gunman instead of working out a plan with the government. So if you have problems with this, you will have problems with the entire film.
The only thing I liked about this movie was when Bobs Watson (as Hitler) makes a comment to a cohort that he eventually plans to doublecross Mussolini. Perhaps it might have happened sooner or later, but Der Fuhrer actually had a high regard for Il Duce, and later in the war sent his leading special agent, Otto Skorzeny, into Italy to rescue the imprisoned ex-head of the government. Still it was amusing to hear that. Otherwise, the film was a total wash-out.
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