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The Strange Case of Doctor Rx (1942)

Private eye Jerry Church is hired by a criminal defense lawyer after five mobsters he has gotten acquitted are apparently strangled by a serial killer.



(original screenplay)


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Cast overview:
Dr. Fish
Kit Logan Church
Dudley Crispin
Eileen Crispin
Det. Sgt. Sweeney
John Crispin
Det. Capt. Bill Hurd
Horatio B.Fitz Washington
Ernie Paul
Dist. Atty. Mason
Leyland Hodgson ...
Thomas, the butler


After five men previously acquitted of various criminal charges are murdered by a mysterious avenger known as Dr. Rx, police Inspector Hurd and Sergeant Sweeney ask private investigator Jerry Church to help them on the case. He takes the case after talking to Dudley Crispin, a brilliant attorney who had defended three of the murdered men. Crispin gains an acquittal for his latest client, Zarini, but the latter falls dead in the courtroom. Jerry marries Kit Logan, who becomes frightened and persuades Jerry to quit the case. He stays however after Ernie Paul, suspected of the Zarini murder, threatens to "get" him if he does not stay on and clear Paul. Dr. Rx captures Jerry and attempts to frighten him into insanity by strapping him on an operating table, and pretending to exchange the detective's brain for a gorilla. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


FOLLOW HIM -- at Risk of Insanity! FIND HIM -- and You'll Never Return!


Horror | Mystery





Release Date:

17 April 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Rx  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Part of the original Shock Theater package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed one year later with Son of Shock, which added 20 more features. See more »


Det. Sgt. Sweeney: If I hadn't lost my badge, i'd turn it in.
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User Reviews

The Doctor Perscribes Death
18 February 2007 | by (Flushing, NY) – See all my reviews

A killer is going around murdering men who have eluded the clutches of the law thanks to the legal system, known only as Doctor Rx. The police ask private detective Jerry Church to help them, but he insists on returning to a legal practice in Boston. When DA Crispin asks for Church's help, he say he'll go watch the end of his latest case (involving gangster Tony Zarini) as a favor, but when Zarini mysteriously becomes Rx's 6th victim Church says he'll work on the case. This all changes when Church meets up with former flame, mystery writer Kit Logan, and after they marry Church now wants a peaceful life and decides to drop the case again, but after he is threatened by suspect Ernie Paul, he gets even worse treatment from Dr. Rx himself who plans to transplant Church's brain into the head of a gorilla. Is there no stopping this fiend? The film doesn't exactly stay in one genre with mystery, crime, comedy (thanks to Mantan Moreland & Shemp Howard), and romance, but you can't say the film isn't fun. After the midway mark of the film, it seems to get more interesting and curious to know what's going on here and when Dr. Rx actually appears, boy the film jumps up in fun. The cast is full of the usual Universal stock company of actors and they play their roles to the best they can. Fun film all together, Rating, 7.

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