5 user 9 critic

Earthbound (1940)

Approved | | Mystery, Fantasy | 6 June 1940 (USA)
A murdered man (Baxter) helps his widow (Leeds) bring his killer (Bari) to justice.


Irving Pichel


Samuel G. Engel, Basil King (story) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Warner Baxter ... Nick Desborough
Andrea Leeds ... Ellen Desborough
Lynn Bari ... Linda Reynolds
Charley Grapewin ... Mr. Whimser
Henry Wilcoxon ... Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds
Elizabeth Patterson ... Becky Tilden
Russell Hicks ... Prosecutor
Christian Rub ... Etienne Almette
Ian Wolfe ... Amos Totten
Lester Sharpe ... Detective (as Lester Scharff)
Reginald Sheffield Reginald Sheffield ... Defense Attorney
Pedro de Cordoba ... Minister


Nick and Ellen's second honeymoon in Switzerland is interrupted when he is called back to Paris on business. But it turns out to be funny-business when he discovers his ex-mistress Linda sent him the telegram. Nick spurns her, leading her to shoot and kill him. His ghost cannot rest, though, since Linda's husband Jeff is arrested for the crime and tried. Nick hovers over Ellen guiding her to the evidence that will clear Jeff and convict Linda, at which point he can rest at peace. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mystery | Fantasy








Release Date:

6 June 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La sombra del pecado See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Filmed January 13-late February 1940. The final feature for actress Andrea Leeds, and the last at 20th Century-Fox for Warner Baxter, who left for Columbia and the "Crime Doctor" series. See more »


Version of Earthbound (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

Seen on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater in 1976
11 January 2014 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

1940's "Earthbound" is a rare change for suave Warner Baxter, and his last at 20th Century-Fox (by 1943, he would begin the 'Crime Doctor' series at Columbia). Happily married to a much younger wife, Ellen (Andrea Leeds), we soon learn Nick Desborough hasn't exactly been a faithful husband, as his spurned lover Linda (Lynn Bari) has left her own husband for Nick, who refuses to pick up with her again because he genuinely loves Ellen and cares about Linda's husband Jeffrey (Henry Wilcoxon). All attempts to persuade Linda to return to Jeffrey result in the jilted woman shooting her former lover dead, whereupon his ghost instantly exits his body, failing to comprehend what has happened, or why no one can see or hear him. There is one man who communicates with the deceased Nick, Mr. Whimser (Charley Grapewin), who met the murder victim aboard a train only hours before his death. Nick learns that Jeffrey has confessed to killing him, returning to his widowed wife to find out what he can do to convince her to right the wrongs that have taken place. Warner Baxter has to play opposite no one for nearly the entire movie; there's a better picture in there somewhere, but not with this script. Even the luminous Andrea Leeds, in her final role, is given little to work with, while Lynn Bari is sadly out of her depth. The rarely seen "Earthbound" made one appearance on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater, June 12 1976 (following 1954's "Creature from the Black Lagoon").

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