6.3/10
776
34 user 23 critic

The Devil Commands (1941)

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

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

Robert Hardy Andrews (screenplay) (as Robert D. Andrews), Milton Gunzburg (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Dr. Julian Blair
Richard Fiske ... Dr. Richard Sayles
Amanda Duff ... Anne Blair
Anne Revere ... Mrs. Blanche Walters
Cy Schindell ... Karl (as Ralph Penney)
Dorothy Adams ... Mrs. Marcy
Walter Baldwin ... Seth Marcy
Kenneth MacDonald ... Sheriff Ed Willis
Shirley Warde Shirley Warde ... Helen Blair
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Storyline

Dr. Julian Blair is engaged in unconventional research on human brain waves when his wife is tragically killed in a freak auto accident. The grief-stricken scientist becomes obsessed with redirecting his work into making contact with the dead and is not deterred by dire warnings from his daughter, his research assistant, or his colleagues that he is delving into forbidden areas of knowledge. He moves his laboratory to an isolated New England mansion where he continues to try to reach out to his dead wife. He is aided by his mentally-challenged servant Karl and abetted by the obsessive Mrs. Walters, a phony medium, who seems to exert a sinister influence over him. When their overly curious housekeeper discovers the truth about their experiments, her death brings the local sheriff in to investigate. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When the Devil commands Karloff obeys...! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Devil Said No See more »

Company Credits

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

Cy Schindell plays the role of Julian's hulking manservant Karl. He often used the name Al Seymour, but here is billed under the name Ralph Penney, for the only time in his career. See more »

Goofs

Dr. Julian tells Mrs. Walters she had 10,000 volts pass through her body. Volts do not flow or pass, amps do. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Van Den: I know one thing, Julian - there are things human beings have no right to know!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Karloff as an extremely MAD scientist
12 July 1999 | by dzondzonSee all my reviews

I saw this movie over 35 years ago, as a child, late at night.It left a big impression on me and scared me to death. I recently saw it again and my earlier impressions were justified. Karloff tries to contact the soul of his dead wife using an apparatus comprised of metal helmets through which he directs psychic electricity. The whirling vortex of soul energy is a high point in the film. Karloff gets more and more creepily deranged as the movie goes on. Presumably the devil makes him do it. This film is really a well done minor gem. Fans of the mad scientist/laboratory genre will find much to enjoy. This film is a must for Karloff afficianados. It is unfortunately very difficult to find as it hasn't been on T.V.for years and no commercial video tapes exist. See it if you can!


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