In an effort to relieve the suffering of surgery patients, Dr. Thomas Bolton painstakingly develops an opium-based anesthetic, to which he gradually becomes addicted. In order to provide a continual supply of chemicals to continue his experiments and support his addiction, he falls in with a den of murderers who use his signature to sell cadavers to the local hospital. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
The light used on Lee's entrance varies from shot to shot. See more »
Mr. Bolton, the committee have decided against holding ant further demonstrations
Well, Charles, you've lost faith with me too?
The decision's for your own good.
You can't stop me. Operations without pain are possible, and I'll not rest until I've proved it to you!
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Boris Karloff, as usual, is a joy to watch, as is Christopher Lee, who was right on the verge of becoming a big star in the Hammer films. This film is also notable for strongly evoking the grimy atmosphere of those out-of-the-way areas in 1800's England, worthy of comparison to David Lean's "Oliver Twist" (1948). Coincidentally, not long after seeing this film I happened to read the true life story of Horace Wells (1815-1848), a Connecticut dentist who experimented on himself with ether, chloroform, and laughing gas in an effort to discover a painless method of oral surgery. He succeeded, but became an addict in the process; his behavior subsequently became so violent that he was placed in prison, where he committed suicide. I wonder if Karloff's character in this film is at least partially based on Horace Wells.
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