In the 8th film of Columbia's "Crime Doctor" series, Dr. Robert Ordway is vacationing in the Blue Ridge Mountains district of West Virginia when a typhoid epidemic breaks out. Three deaths ... See full summary »
In the 8th film of Columbia's "Crime Doctor" series, Dr. Robert Ordway is vacationing in the Blue Ridge Mountains district of West Virginia when a typhoid epidemic breaks out. Three deaths occur with the first two being typhoid-caused but the death of the third person, Ward Beachey, is a case of poisoning. Orday learns that Beachey was the town Romeo with many enemies and that most of those had access to the poison. Doc Millerson, who has a suspicion who the guilty party is, receives a note in a woman's handwriting requesting a meeting at the river bank. He goes there and is killed in an ambush by a rifle shot. Following the note as a clue, Ordway visits the house of Ezra Minnich and traps Minnich's young daughter into confessing that her father made her write the note. Minnich confesses he had killed Beachey for trying to break up his home and Doc Millerson because he suspected him. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Weird, but good--sort of like Li'l Abner meets the Crime Doctor!!
Well, one thing you can say about the Crime Doctor detective series is that it sure didn't fall into a predictable pattern. Unlike other Columbia Pictures films of the genre (such as Boston Blackie and The Lone Wolf), the plot lines and locations of the Crime Doctor films generally made them a bit fresher and more interesting.
Here, oddly enough, Dr. Ordway takes a needed vacation in what looks like the Ozarks or Appalachians (though the exact setting was never mentioned). Talk about a big departure from the usual sophistication of New York! While his going there for hunting and fishing is unusual, what ISN'T unusual is that murders occur here--just like in the city! The troubles begin in this very backward little town when Typhoid breaks out and Dr. Ordway is pressed into service by the county health department. While assisting with autopsies, Ordway discovers that one of the victims has no trace of Typhoid in his blood and the man was actually poisoned! At this point, given that this is the country and Ordway is quite the amateur detective, he helps the police solve the crime as well as rid the town of infection.
Because of the strange combination of the New York psychiatrist and the Li'l Abner-like locals, this makes for a very strange mix. While certainly far from the best Crime Doctor film, fans of the genre no doubt will be thrilled to see a unique story and decent writing. And don't worry--this is NOT anything like SWING YOUR LADY or other silly hillbilly films.
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