11 user 5 critic

The Crime of Doctor Crespi (1935)

A crazed scientist invents a serum that induces a catatonic state in whoever it is injected into. He uses the serum to paralyze his enemies, so that he can bury them alive.


John H. Auer


John H. Auer (story), Edgar Allan Poe (suggested by: "Premature Burial") | 2 more credits »




Cast overview:
Erich von Stroheim ... Dr. Andre Crespi
Harriet Russell Harriet Russell ... Estelle Gorham Ross
Dwight Frye ... Dr. Thomas
Paul Guilfoyle ... Dr. John Arnold
John Bohn John Bohn ... Dr. Stephen Ross
Geraldine Kay Geraldine Kay ... Miss Rexford
Jean Brooks ... Miss Gordon (as Jeanne Kelly)
Patsy Berlin Patsy Berlin ... Jeanne Ross - the Child
Joe Verdi Joe Verdi ... Di Angelo
Dean Raymond ... Minister


Dr. Crespi has a festering hatred for Dr. Stephen Ross, the man who married his ex-sweetheart. Ross must undergo surgery and Crespi, sensing an opportunity, seizes it. Ross "appears" to die but Crespi has given him a drug that places the victim in a trance-like state, but leaves him in possession of his senses. Crespi attends the premature burial of his hated colleague. Dr. John Arnold has his suspicions and calls on Dr. Thomas to to help him. They exhume the body and find Ross alive, albeit now a terrified, ghostly figure given to stalking the hospital corridors. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SCREEN'S SUPER-THRILLER...AN EPIC OF HORROR! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Crime | Horror | Mystery


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Did You Know?


Dwight Frye received the highest billing of his career in this film. See more »


Featured in The Strange Life of Dr. Frankenstein (2018) See more »

User Reviews

The Crime of Dr Crespi review
7 May 2020 | by JoeytheBritSee all my reviews

Nifty little horror-thriller in which Erich 'The Man You Love to Hate' von Stroheim stars as a mad doctor who paralyses his love rival in order to feign his death. It's inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's The Premature Burial, but bears little resemblance to that work. Von Stroheim is great, especially when gleefully visiting his paralysed victim in the morgue to maintain the dosage and inform him of how it should wear off just as they're tamping down the last sod of earth on his grave.

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Release Date:

24 September 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Crime do Dr. Crespi See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Liberty Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA 'High Fidelity' Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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