A doctor is not sure if he murdered his beautiful but wicked wife, and has his attractive nurse try to find the truth by hypnotizing him.


Reginald Le Borg (as Reginald LeBorg)


Edward Dein (original screenplay)





Complete credited cast:
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Doctor Mark Steele (as Lon Chaney)
Patricia Morison ... Stella Madden
J. Carrol Naish ... Inspector Gregg
David Bruce ... Robert Duval
Ramsay Ames ... Maria Steele
Fay Helm ... Mrs. Duval
Holmes Herbert ... Bryant - the Butler
Alec Craig ... Bill - the Watchman
Frederick Giermann Frederick Giermann ... Marion's Father (as Fred Gierman)
Lisa Golm ... Marion's Mother
Charles Wagenheim ... Coroner
Mary Hale Mary Hale ... Marion
George Eldredge ... District Attorney
John Elliott ... Priest
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Earle Hodgins ... Bartender (scenes deleted)


Losing his memories of the last few days, neurologist Dr. Steele is told that his wife has been brutally murdered. Steele, aware of his conniving wife's infidelity, believes he may have been the killer and enlists the aid of his pretty nurse Stella to hypnotize him into recovering his lost memories. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

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HYPNOTIC MURDER! (re-release poster-all caps) See more »


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Did You Know?


This was the first of six films in Universal's INNER SANCTUM series,shot October 25- mid November 1943,released December 17. See more »


The door to Steele's office reads "HOURS 10-12 AM 2-4 PM." 12:00 AM is midnight, not noon. See more »


Doctor Steele: Neurology... neurology... the results are beyond imagination. To penetrate man's mind intrigues me more and more.
See more »


Followed by Strange Confession (1945) See more »

User Reviews

CALLING DR. DEATH (Reginald LeBorg, 1943) **1/2
10 November 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I hadn't intended to purchase this Set - and only did so after constant prodding by Joe Karlosi; in essence, these films are no worse than the lower-profile sequels of the Universal monster pictures, such as the follow-ups to THE MUMMY (1932) and THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933).

This was the first of six "Inner Sanctum" mysteries all starring Lon Chaney Jr. (with his frequent voice-over linking them rather naively with the concurrent noir subgenre) and featuring portentous - and hilarious - intros by a disembodied head in a crystal ball! It's not too bad in itself, with the plot overly familiar but fairly involving - Chaney's mind goes blank one weekend and when he comes to, discovers his unloving wife has been murdered! Of course, he's the chief suspect of dogged detective J. Carroll Naish (the best thing about the entire film) though it's the woman's lover, named Robert Duval(!), who's actually accused - and convicted - of the crime. The characters are all relatively engaging (Chaney is a celebrated neurologist with beautiful Patricia Morison as his devoted assistant) and the plot development plausible enough, making for an entertaining and fast-paced 63 minutes. The final revelation, then, is at once surprising and satisfying.

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Release Date:

17 December 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Inner Sanctum #1: Calling Dr. Death See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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