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Man in the Dark (1953)

 -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  9 April 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 163 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 16 critic

A thug is convicted and undergoes experimental brain surgery to remove the criminal element in his brain. The operation wipes out all memories of his past life, including where he stashed ... See full summary »



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Title: Man in the Dark (1953)

Man in the Dark (1953) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Complete credited cast:
Steve Rawley
Audrey Totter ...
Peg Benedict
Horace McMahon ...
Nick Dennis ...
Dayton Lummis ...
Dr. Marston
Dan Riss ...


A thug is convicted and undergoes experimental brain surgery to remove the criminal element in his brain. The operation wipes out all memories of his past life, including where he stashed the loot. He is abducted by his gang and they try to beat the truth out of him. His memories return in the form of weird dreams, and he and his old girlfriend track down the clues to find the money. Written by Ed Lorusso

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3-D THRILLS!!! YOU...RIDE THE ROLLER-COASTER!...DODGE THE BULLETS!...AND DO THE LOVING! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


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Release Date:

9 April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Lived Twice  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first 3-D feature ever released by a major American studio. House of Wax (1953)went into production first, but Columbia rushed "Man in the Dark" - shooting it in a mere 11 days - to get it into theaters just days before "Wax" opened. (Bwana Devil (1952) preceded both of them, but United Artists was not considered a major studio in the early 1950s.) See more »


Remake of The Man Who Lived Twice (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

a criminal has big trouble after surgery
12 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Edmond O'Brien stars in "Man in the Dark," a 1953 film also starring Audrey Totter. O'Brien plays Steve Rawley, a prisoner who undergoes experimental surgery that's supposed to erase the criminal elements of his brain. It also wipes his memory of past events.

Unfortunately Steve and some other thugs committed a big robbery and Steve hid the money. Now that he has no memory, he doesn't know where he put it. His old gang kidnaps him and tries to find out his hiding place. His old girlfriend Peg (Totter) is around, and she wants him to forget the whole thing and go away with her.

Steve starts remembering things in the form of bizarre dreams. He and Peg attempt to follow the clues in the dreams to track down the money.

Edmond O'Brien made a lot of these B films for Columbia. This one is no better or worse than many of them. The last part of the film takes place in an amusement park, and it's very good.

Originally this film was in 3-D, and like some other films, it was filmed in the seen-better-days area of Ocean Park near Venice, CA. I always like seeing the old LA, and this film has lots of shots of it.

I had one major problem with this film, and it's a major plot hole. If you had stolen a lot of money and hidden it, why would you agree to a surgery that is going to clean out your memory so that you don't remember where you hid it?

I don't know the answer.

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