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Doctor X (1932)

Unrated | | Comedy, Crime, Horror | 27 August 1932 (USA)
A wisecracking New York reporter intrudes on a research scientist's quest to unmask The Moon Killer.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Robert Tasker (screen play), Earl Baldwin (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lionel Atwill ... Dr. Jerry Xavier
Fay Wray ... Joanne Xavier
Lee Tracy ... Lee Taylor
Preston Foster ... Dr. Wells
John Wray ... Dr. Haines
Harry Beresford ... Dr. Duke
Arthur Edmund Carewe ... Dr. Rowitz
Leila Bennett ... Mamie
Robert Warwick ... Police Commissioner Stevens
George Rosener ... Otto
Willard Robertson ... Detective O'Halloran
Thomas E. Jackson ... Daily World Editor (as Thomas Jackson)
Harry Holman ... Mike - Waterfront Policeman
Mae Busch ... Cathouse Madame
Tom Dugan ... Sheriff
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Storyline

A monster lurks as New York newspaperman Lee Taylor investigates one of the "Moon Killer" murders, in which the victims are strangled, cannibalized and surgically incised under the light of the full moon. The trail leads to the cliffside mansion of Dr. Xavier, where the doctor and his colleagues conduct a strange experiment. Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No One Seated During Last Reel See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The New York waterfront sequences were shot on the still standing Twinkletoes (1926) set left over from the 1926 Colleen Moore vehicle, in which in stood in for London's Limehouse District. See more »

Goofs

As Dr. Xavier displays the wax figures of the murder victims, on the first figure, that of the "woman of the streets", the left hand can be seen trembling slightly. See more »

Quotes

Lee Taylor, Daily World Reporter: Are you going swimming with me in the morning?
Joanne 'Joan' Xavier: No thanks. Good night.
Lee Taylor, Daily World Reporter: What will you do if I start to sink and yell for help?
Joanne 'Joan' Xavier: Throw you an anvil. Good night!
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Alternate Versions

This film was shot in two versions. One camera unit, under Ray Rennahan, shot the film in two-color Technicolor. A second camera unit, under Richard Towers, shot the scenes at the same time in black and white. The black and white version was meant for foreign territories where Technicolor did not have facilities. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Return of Doctor X (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Agitato
(uncredited)
Music by Bernhard Kaun
Stock cue played over main titles
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User Reviews

 
Full Moon High
25 August 2002 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

Old dark house thrillers were all the rage in the early talkie era. Doctor X combines a spooky old house with a mad scientist horror story, and as directed by Michael Curtiz in early two-strip Technicolor, it's a quite good show even by today's standards.

Lionel Atwill's Doctor X is a scientist who runs a medical research institute in New York City near where a series of grisly murders have recently occurred. He and his entire teaching staff are suspects in the case, as the police have determined that the killer has some medical knowledge. The ever-helpful doctor seeks to prove the authorities wrong, and transports his staff to the cliffside manor, Blackstone Shoals, to prove them wrong, and gets more than he bargained for.

Newspaperman Lee Tracy is along for the ride, and can't seem to keep his mouth shut, as he continually makes wisecracks. His character is utterly of the time, and as such a fascinating glimpse of a bygone type, both of real life and the movies. Fay Wray is her usual lissome self, with her peculiarly gyrating physicality far more interesting than her delivery of dialog. She's a brunette here, and proves herself once again filmdom's definitive Scream Queen, on at least one occasion shrieking with no provocation whatsoever, as if in preparation for the horror to come.

For a 1932 movie, this one moves quickly. There are enough dour and sinister-looking suspects to keep one guessing the identity of the murderer till near the end. Curtiz shows an often sadistic sense of humor, as when several suspects are manacled to their chairs to witness reenactment of one of the murders, only to have the real killer turn up! The director's control of the material is complete, and he shows himself once more one of great unsung masters of the studio era.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doctor X See more »

Filming Locations:

Laguna Beach, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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