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The Strange Case of Doctor Rx (1942)

Private eye Jerry Church is hired by a criminal defense lawyer after five mobsters he has gotten acquitted are apparently strangled by a serial killer.

Director:

William Nigh

Writer:

Clarence Upson Young (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Patric Knowles ... Private Detective Jerry Church
Lionel Atwill ... Dr. Fish
Anne Gwynne ... Kit Logan Church
Samuel S. Hinds ... Dudley Crispin
Mona Barrie ... Eileen Crispin
Shemp Howard ... Det. Sgt. Sweeney
Paul Cavanagh ... John Crispin
Edmund MacDonald ... Det. Capt. Bill Hurd
Mantan Moreland ... Horatio B.Fitz Washington
John Gallaudet ... Ernie Paul
William Gould ... Dist. Atty. Mason
Leyland Hodgson ... Thomas, the butler
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Storyline

After five men previously acquitted of various criminal charges are murdered by a mysterious avenger known as Dr. Rx, police Inspector Hurd and Sergeant Sweeney ask private investigator Jerry Church to help them on the case. He takes the case after talking to Dudley Crispin, a brilliant attorney who had defended three of the murdered men. Crispin gains an acquittal for his latest client, Zarini, but the latter falls dead in the courtroom. Jerry marries Kit Logan, who becomes frightened and persuades Jerry to quit the case. He stays however after Ernie Paul, suspected of the Zarini murder, threatens to "get" him if he does not stay on and clear Paul. Dr. Rx captures Jerry and attempts to frighten him into insanity by strapping him on an operating table, and pretending to exchange the detective's brain for a gorilla. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FOLLOW HIM -- at Risk of Insanity! FIND HIM -- and You'll Never Return!

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 April 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dr. Rx See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal 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 original Shock Theater package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed one year later with Son of Shock, which added 20 more features. See more »

Quotes

Det. Sgt. Sweeney: Swell night for a murder!
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User Reviews

 
The Strange Case of Doctor Rx (1942) *
10 November 2009 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

Easily the worst Universal "horror film" I've ever seen, and it makes previous candidates of mine like SHE-WOLF OF London, THE FROZEN GHOST, and JUNGLE WOMAN look like thrill rides alongside it. Hell, I'd even watch LIFE RETURNS again over this one; at least that's bizarre enough in its badness and resembles an Our Gang short in spots. DOCTOR Rx doesn't make one bit of sense, with nothing going on but talk, talk, talk, and feels like it goes on forever despite that it's only just over an hour. The cockeyed plot seems to be about a series of murders against criminals who got off, committed by a mysterious doctor. Shemp Howard and Mantan Moreland are mixed up in all of this, but they don't even offer anything fun in the comical department. Anne Gwynne had always been the cutest Universal gal for me, but despite all her pep here it's all for naught. And Lionel Atwill is just wasted. The only somewhat decent thing I can say for this turkey is that it was semi-interesting to see Patric Knowles cast as an insensitive jerk for a change, and the 3 measly minutes we spend in Dr. Rx's laboratory with a chained gorilla is a tad unsettling ... even though I can't for the life of me see how it fits into the rest of this picture! A wretched movie. * out of ****


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