48 user 39 critic

Dr. Cyclops (1940)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Horror | 12 April 1940 (USA)
1:59 | Trailer
A mad scientist working in the South American jungle miniaturizes his colleagues when he feels his megalomania is threatened.


Tom Kilpatrick (original screen play)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Albert Dekker ... Dr. Thorkel
Thomas Coley Thomas Coley ... Bill Stockton
Janice Logan ... Dr. Mary Robinson
Charles Halton ... Dr. Bulfinch
Victor Kilian ... Steve Baker
Frank Yaconelli Frank Yaconelli ... Pedro
Paul Fix ... Dr. Mendoza
Frank Reicher ... Professor Kendall


Four explorers are summoned to Peru by the brilliant physicist Dr Thorkel. They discover a rich source of radium and a half-mad Thorkel who shrinks them down to one-fifth their normal size when they threaten to stop his unorthodox experimentation. Written by Steve Hill <shill@harper.cc.il.us>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Diabolical See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Allen Fox as "Cab Driver" is in studio records/casting call lists for that role, but he did not appear or was not identifiable in the movie. See more »


At the end, the remaining three survivors all agree to not reveal to anyone what happened at Thorkel's lab. Bullfinch was a renowned scientist whom Thorkel murdered in cold blood, not to mention the fact he also murdered Pedro. Sure, probably no one will wonder about Pedro, but won't people ask about Bullfinch's disappearance? See more »


Dr. Alexander Thorkel: Are we then country doctors? You do not realize what we have here. In our very hands, we have the cosmic force of creation itself. In our very hands, we can shape life, take it apart, put it together again, mould it like putty.
Dr. Mendoza: But what you are doing is mad. It is diabolic! You are tampering with powers reserved to God.
Dr. Alexander Thorkel: That is good. That is very good. That is just what I am doing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For unknown reasons, the opening credits do not list any of the cast members; they're only shown in the traditional cast card at the end. See more »

Alternate Versions

The scene where Dr. Thorkel murders Dr. Mendoza is missing from many TV prints. See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Giants (1996) See more »

User Reviews

Dr. Cyclops was a pretty entertaining yarn from King Kong co-director Ernest B. Schoedsack
4 October 2009 | by tavmSee all my reviews

This is one of two movies (the other being The Valley of Gwangi) I'm reviewing this month that has some connection with King Kong. In this case, it's the fact that the co-director of that one, Ernest B. Schoedsack, helmed this one solo. Also, actor Frank Reicher who plays Professor Kendall here was Captain Englehorn in the original 1933 blockbuster. Anyway, this was a pretty entertaining for its time yarn about a mad scientist (Albert Dekker as Dr. Alexander Thorkel) who invites three of his colleagues to look at his work before quickly dismissing them after only a few minutes of their time since he only needed them because of his gradually failing eyesight. Also along for the ride is a mule owner and a servant with a dog. When they discover what Thorkel's done, he tricks them into a room and shrinks them in order to control them...Okay, anyone expecting some logic as to why certain things happen the way they do should probably stay away from this movie as you'll probably get a headache doing so. Just marvel at some of the interesting visual effects (like how Dr. Throkel holds one of the shrunken in his hand), some cool sound effects (like the loud roar of that black cat), and the campy performance of Dekker (as when he actually tells the fate of what happens when the three survivors stay alive while still shrunken for a long time). Despite not much action (at least not until the last 25 minutes) or very compelling acting (though Charles Halton does have his moments as Dr. Rupert Bulfinch when confronting Thorkel especially when he calls him the title name), this was still a reasonably entertaining movie that won't waste the 77 minutes you spend watching this. So on that note, I recommend Dr. Cyclops. P.S. I'd like to recognize uncredited screenwriter Malcolm Stuart Boylan and player Janice Logan as both native born Chicagoans, like I am. And that Halton played Mr. Carter, the bank examiner, in my favorite movie, It's a Wonderful Life.

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Release Date:

12 April 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doctor Cyclops See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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