5.2/10
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13 user 11 critic

The Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Horror | 27 February 1942 (USA)
A mad scientist is forced to leave San Francisco when his experiments become known. He lands on a tropical island, takes control and terrorizes the local populace. The survivor of a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Mrs. William Saunders
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William Saunders
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Jim
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...
Barab (as Ray Mala)
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Rosina Galli ...
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Kalo
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Hadley
Byron Shores ...
Crandall
Tani Marsh ...
Tahitian Dancer
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Storyline

A mad scientist is forced to leave San Francisco when his experiments become known. He lands on a tropical island, takes control and terrorizes the local populace. The survivor of a shipwreck washes ashore on the island, sees what is happening and determines to free the natives from his rule. Written by Anonymous

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GENIUS - OR FIEND? (original poster-all caps)

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Comedy | Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

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Passed | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

27 February 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El médico loco  »

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(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Shooting began July 8, 1941, but was not released until February 27, 1942 (copyright 1941) . See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lionel Atwill, Mad Doctor at large
27 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

This very minor Universal horror film from 1942 is significant for it was the last time Lionel Atwill received a starring role in a film. He was on the outs after this due to the sex scandal that ruined his career and health. He played only minor roles after this and died 4 years later of cancer.

The film is very easy to be hard on and Universal has obviously regarded it so low, that it has never made it to video, despite the millions they still make off their classic horror films. What kills the film is a lack of mood or suspense. It is super-pedestrianly directed by Joseph H. Lewis.

What makes the film are the change-of-pace settings including a doomed cruise ship and an exotic island. The actors are all excellent too, even if Nat Pendelton and Una Merkel get a little tired with their comic relief act.

Ultimately, Atwill rules and is as menacing and sinister as ever. He revives a dead native and is revered as a god by the island tribe. He very selfishly dictates how the other ship survivors will live as only Atwill so slimily could (Sounds like a reality show plot). The other standout is Noble Johnson as the village leader. He is given more dialogue than he ever had in his many previous horror films and he ultimately gives Atwill a run for his money. It was nice to see him in a larger role.

Don't expect too much - this is a B film. Atwill fans will delight in seeing his last great lead performance. Atwill may have never had a definitive mad doctor film, but I've always regarded him as the maddest doctor of them all.


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