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Calling Dr. Death (1943)

A Dr. is not sure if he murdered his beautiful but wicked wife, and has his attractive nurse try to find the truth by hypnotizing him.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Doctor Steele (as Lon Chaney)
...
...
...
Robert Duval
...
Maria Steele
Fay Helm ...
Mrs. Duval
...
Butler
Alec Craig ...
Watchman
Frederick Giermann ...
Father (as Fred Gierman)
Lisa Golm ...
Mother
Charles Wagenheim ...
Coroner
Mary Hale ...
Marion
George Eldredge ...
District Attorney
...
Priest
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Bartender (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Losing his memories of the last few days, neurologist Dr. Steele is told that his wife has been brutally murdered. Steele, aware of his conniving wife's infidelity, believes he may have been the killer and enlists the aid of his pretty nurse Stella to hypnotize him into recovering his lost memories. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN HIS MINDS "BLACKS OUT"! (original ad - all caps; includes grammatical error) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El doctor Muerte  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first of six films in Universal's INNER SANCTUM series,shot October 25- mid November 1943,released December 17. See more »

Goofs

The door to Steele's office reads "HOURS 10-12 AM 2-4 PM." 12:00 AM is midnight, not noon. See more »

Connections

Featured in Svengoolie: Calling Dr. Death (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shows Some Promise for the Series
10 August 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Hypnotist's faithless wife is murdered and cops suspect him until a likelier suspect emerges who may or may not be guilty.

Old radio fans no doubt recognize the Inner Sanctum origins of this film and the series that followed. Those old radio half-hours emphasized the mysterious and the darkly psychological and were nearly always entertaining. (In fact, I think the origins of post-war noir lie as much in these radio shows as they do in the better-known movie precursors.) Fortunately, this series, like its radio namesake, trades on the offbeat and chilling, and though these programmers fail to reach the memorable level of Columbia's comparable Whistler entries, the Inner Sanctum movies have their own virtues and are worth catching up with.

This first entry doesn't really grab until the last 15 minutes or so. Then it takes off with a surprise ending and especially with the surreal dream sequence. There's one got'cha in the sequence that shows real imagination. Yes, the storyline doesn't always make sense and I'm still puzzled by some of the relationships. Then too, looks to me like Chaney's not too interested in his part as the psychologist. Catch that one confrontational scene with faithless wife Maria (Ames) where both deliver their lines like they've been woodenly memorized. Nonetheless, Ames is drop-dead gorgeous in her high-fashion gown circa 1943, while Morison (nurse Stella) has the most fetching over-bite this side of Gene Tierney. All in all, this hour of intrigue is spotty but does show promise for future entries.

(In passing—those Chaney voice-overs conveying his private thoughts are a carry- over from radio where they were necessary to prevent "dead air.")


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