6.1/10
869
32 user 24 critic

Before I Hang (1940)

A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.

Director:

Nick Grinde (as Nick Grindé)

Writers:

Robert Hardy Andrews (story and screenplay) (as Robert D. Andrews), Karl Brown (story)
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lorna Gray, Robert Wilcox
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Scientist becomes obsessed with the idea of communicating with his dead wife.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Boris Karloff, Anne Revere, Amanda Duff
Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A medical researcher visits the deserted home of a pioneer in cryogenic science who disappeared 10 years earlier and finds him frozen in ice but still alive.

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Boris Karloff, Roger Pryor, Jo Ann Sayers
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ignoring an ancient prophecy, evil brother Gregor seeks to maintain his feudal power on his his Tyrolean estate by murdering and impersonating his benevolent younger twin.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Boris Karloff, Marian Marsh, Robert Allen
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A young divorcee tries to convert a historic house into a hotel despite its oddball inhabitants and dead bodies in the cellar.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Maxie Rosenbloom
Black Friday (1940)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dr. Sovac transplants the brain of a gangster into his professor friend's body to save his life, but there is a side effect that causes a dangerous split personality.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Stanley Ridges
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Dr. Laurience, a brilliant but unstable scientist experimenting with transferring minds, becomes vengeful when his magnate patron withdraws his support.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, John Loder
The Ghoul (1933)
Action | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An Egyptologist returns from the dead to take revenge on those who have violated his tomb.

Director: T. Hayes Hunter
Stars: Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwicke, Ernest Thesiger
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After hapless pianist and ex-con John Elman is framed for murder, he is resurrected by a scientist after his execution.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ricardo Cortez, Edmund Gwenn
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King ... See full summary »

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Barbara O'Neil
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake
Bedlam (1946)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, Billy House
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Dr. John Garth
Evelyn Keyes ... Martha Garth
Bruce Bennett ... Dr. Paul Ames
Edward Van Sloan ... Dr. Ralph Howard
Ben Taggart ... Warden Thompson
Pedro de Cordoba ... Victor Sondini
Wright Kramer Wright Kramer ... George Wharton
Bertram Marburgh Bertram Marburgh ... Stephen Barclay
Don Beddoe ... Capt. McGraw
Robert Fiske ... District Attorney
Kenneth MacDonald ... Anson, Prison Guard
Frank Richards ... Otto Kron - Convict
Edit

Storyline

A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Chill-filled tale of a monster! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El mago de la muerte 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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Film Daily Year Book (1941) and American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films 1931-1940 list the running time as 71 minutes; however, the original review in Variety, 2 October 1940, which followed the film's premiere in Lincoln, Nebraska on 26 September 1940, records it as 62 minutes, which corresponds to the time of the print from Sony shown on Turner Classic Movies in October 2008. See more »

Quotes

Dr. John Garth: Someday, somehow, medical science will find a way to end the needless, ghastly suffering caused by the ravages of age!
See more »

Connections

Featured in TJ and the All Night Theatre: Before I Hang (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Étude No 12 in C minor, Op 10 'Revolutionary'
(uncredited)
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Before I Hang (1940) **1/2
30 May 2010 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

Boris Karloff would begin to repeat what might be considered the same part again and again in a series of "Mad Doctor" films he made for Columbia Pictures in the early '40s. As the elderly Dr. Garth, Boris is developing a serum which he hopes may preserve life. He's been convicted of the mercy killing of a terminally sick friend (would that make Karloff the first Dr. Jack Kevorkian?) but yet is allowed to continue his experiments while on death row with the aid of prison physician Dr. Miller (DRACULA's Edward Van Sloan). Garth decides to use himself as a guinea pig and injects himself with a serum made with the blood of a known murderer. The kindly doctor is subsequently pardoned from his crime, and the end result of his experiment produces the amazing effect of turning him into a much younger man. He has now inadvertently reversed the aging process, but the tainted formula has one slight side effect: it periodically turns him into a homicidal killer who is seized with the urge to strangle his victims. BEFORE I HANG is a decent offering in this series, though is not to be confused with the similarly-titled and superior THE MAN THEY COULD NOT HANG from 1939. **1/2 out of ****


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 32 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed