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The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)

Unrated | | Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi | 17 August 1939 (USA)
When Dr. Savaard's experiment in cryonics is interrupted by the short-sighted authorities, his volunteer dies, and he is condemned to death. He vows vengeance if he can survive his own hanging.

Director:

Nick Grinde (as Nick Grindé)

Writers:

Karl Brown (screenplay), George Wallace Sayre (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Dr. Henryk Savaard
Lorna Gray ... Janet Savaard
Robert Wilcox ... 'Scoop' Foley
Roger Pryor ... District Attorney Drake
Don Beddoe ... Police Lt. Shane
Ann Doran ... Betty Crawford
Joe De Stefani Joe De Stefani ... Dr. Stoddard
Charles Trowbridge ... Judge Bowman
Byron Foulger ... Lang
Dick Curtis ... Jury Foreman Clifford Kearney
James Craig ... Juror Watkins
John Tyrrell ... Juror Sutton
Edit

Storyline

Mad Scientist, Dr. Henryk Savaard, is obsessed with bringing the dead back to life. The police are alerted of Savaard's activities by his assistant's girlfriend. Savaard is arrested, convicted and sentenced to hang. He vows revenge on the judge, jury and district attorney. After the hanging, his assistant claims Savaard's body and uses Savaard's technique on it. Savaard is brought back to life. Now he can seek sweet revenge on his prosecutors. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TRANSFORMED BY THE HANGMAN'S NOOSE...from a doctor serving humanity into a demon filled with hate...and terrorizing blood-lust! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Celui qui a tué la mort See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the Son of Shock package of 20 titles released to television in 1958, which followed the original Shock Theater release of 52 features one year earlier. This was also one of the 11 Columbia titles, the other 61 all being Universals. See more »

Goofs

When the judge dies, the remaining guests discover the electrified grill because the detective's gun, in a holster on his belt, hits the grill. Later, when the detective pulls his gun, he pulls it from his jacket. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Henryk Savaard: We've taken a human life! If we can't restore that life, the law will call it murder.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Back, Again!
30 October 2009 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

It isn't such a bad movie. It's just how many times does Boris Karloff get the same script. He is hanged or electrocuted or done in in some way and someone manages to bring him back. Of course, he's not the man he used to be. In this one, his work is compromised, costing a young assistant his life, due to a panic stricken girl. When his partner brings him back, he decides to kill the jury, the judge, the prosecuting attorney. It's a sort of "And Then There Were None" thing but doesn't work as well as the Rene Clair film. The device invented looks silly but is a precursor to an artificial heart. The science is bad but the idea is ahead of its time. There is a great courtroom speech that is hard to deny, but they hang him anyway. Still, I love this guy and am impressed by his acting. It's too bad he got himself typecast so badly. He did have some very nice dramatic roles, but most of it was this kind of thing. See it anyway.


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