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Strange Confession (1945)

 -  Crime | Horror | Drama  -  5 October 1945 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 209 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 6 critic

A scientist who is working on a cure for influenza is victimized by his unscrupulous boss, who releases the vaccine before it's ready, resulting in the death of the scientist's young son.



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Title: Strange Confession (1945)

Strange Confession (1945) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast overview:
Jeffrey 'Jeff' Carter (as Lon Chaney)
Brenda Joyce ...
Mary Carter
J. Carrol Naish ...
Roger Graham
Dave Curtis
Addison Richards ...
Dr. Williams
Mary Gordon ...
Mrs. O'Connor
George Chandler ...
Gregory Marshall ...
Tommy Carter (as Gregory Muradian)
Wilton Graff ...
Francis McDonald ...
José Hernandez (as Francis J. MacDonald)
Jack Norton ...
Boarder - Jack
Christian Rub ...
Mr. Moore


A distraught Jeff Carter arrives at a renowned lawyer's home with a mysterious bag and a confession he desperately wants heard. Jeff was an underpaid chemist working for unprincipled pharmaceutical tycoon Roger Graham, who takes the profit, as well as the credit, for Jeff's discoveries and hard work. When Graham prioritizes profits over safety, Jeff resigns and is blacklisted by his boss. A chastened Graham is later forced to relent and rehires Jeff under the latter's terms. He presses him to release an unproven influenza drug, but Jeff refuses and asks to go to South America to perfect the formula. The unscrupulous Graham uses the opportunity to release the drug as well as romance Jeff's attractive wife. When Jeff returns and finds that his son has died from the effects of the untested drug, he decides to take revenge. Written by Gabe Taverney (

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New heights of HORROR!


Crime | Horror | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

5 October 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Missing Head  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Due to a rights dispute(being an unauthorized remake of 1934's "The Man Who Reclaimed His Head"), this film was not released to television with the other "Inner Sanctum" features. It was the fifth of the six entries, filmed February 1-14, 1945, and released October 5. After its theatrical reissue using the title "The Missing Head", the film vanished until its video release in the 1990s. See more »


Follows Calling Dr. Death (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

Compelling Little Drama!
15 October 2006 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Strange Confession" was the fifth of six "Inner Sanctum" mysteries produced by Universal between 1943 and 1945 and starring Lon Chaney Jr.

The film opens with chemist Jeff Carter (Chaney) arriving on the doorstep of Parker (George Chandler) a lawyer he knew during his school days. He pleads with him to listen to his "strange confession".

In flashback, we see Carter content with his lot in life. He is a chemist whose boss Roger Graham (J. Carroll Naish) takes all of the credit for Jeff's work in developing new drugs. Jeff's wife Mary (Brenda Joyce) wants Jeff to be more ambitious and provide her and their son with the better things in life.

When Jeff refuses to provide Graham with his notes on a drug he is working on because of incomplete testing, he quits his job. Graham uses his influence to block Jeff's getting another job in the field. Jeff goes to work as a pharmacist and is content in that role. One New Year's Eve, Graham comes to Jeff's apartment to offer him his old job back with perks. At first Jeff refuses but at Mary's insistence, he takes the job.

Unbeknownst to Jeff, Graham has eyes for Mary. To that end he arranges for Jeff and his assistant Dave Curtis (Lloyd Bridges) to go to South America to continue work on an influenza drug. Meanwhile Graham and his assistant Stevens (Milburn Stone) steal Jeff's papers and market the drug based on an incomplete formula. Jeff eventually finds the missing link for his formula and wires the new formula to Graham. Graham and Stevens believe the re-working of the drug will take to long to produce, so they continue to market the drug made with the incomplete formula.

And then tragedy strikes. Jeff returns home and....................

This film is one of the better ones in the series. It has an excellent supporting cast and a good story to boot. Chaney as always is excellent. His performance as the meek and gentle chemist who is double crossed once too often is memorable. Naish makes a smooth villain. Brenda Joyce also stands out as Carter's wife.

Also in the cast are Addison Richards as Dr. Williams and Mary Gordon (Mrs. Hudson in the "Sherlock Holmes" series) as Mrs. O'Connor. For Naish and Stone, this was their second appearance in the series.

A compelling little drama with a few unexpected twists.

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