6.1/10
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28 user 23 critic

Calling Dr. Death (1943)

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.

Director:

Reginald Le Borg (as Reginald LeBorg)

Writer:

Edward Dein (original screenplay)
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Cast

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 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)
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror strikes as a madman rules! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El doctor Muerte See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Isabel Jewell's scenes all ended up on the cutting room floor. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Stella: Don't tell them anything, Mark, you were with me Saturday and Sunday.
Doctor Steele: [to himself] That's why she's so worried. I have no alibi.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Pillow of Death (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Murder and the subconscious...
5 April 2014 | by binapiraeusSee all my reviews

After the radio mystery show "Inner Sanctum" had been running for two years with huge success, Universal Pictures decided to make a movie out of it - which was itself so successful that it became a movie serial, consisting of six films altogether, all of them starring Lon Chaney Jr. in different roles; just like Richard Dix in the "Whistler" series - only with MUCH more suspense, mystery and a DEFINITE touch of Film Noir, especially this first and enormously impressive entry...

Here, Lon Chaney Jr. plays a successful neurologist who's helping lots of people with severe psychological problems by entering into their subconscious hypnotizing them, and finding the underlying reasons for their diseases - only he can't help HIMSELF: his marriage has been unhappy for years, his beautiful wife has turned away from him, cheating on him with other men, making him feel ridiculous and jealous - and ANGRY... And one day, after another quarrel about her affairs, she is found murdered - while Dr. Steel finds himself in his office the next morning, suffering from amnesia. And while hard-boiled Inspector Gregg starts bothering him immediately, trying to get a confession out of him, Steel himself begins to believe that he's guilty; so the only way to find out the truth (while his wife's boyfriend, who keeps protesting his innocence, is waiting on Death Row for his execution), he thinks, is by having his faithful assistant Stella hypnotize him and record his memories on disk...

There are SO many twists and turns in this REALLY 'noirish', gloomy and fateful story (underlined by surrealistic camera and sound effects) that towards the end, we all feel almost like being under hypnosis ourselves, and no one knows anymore who the real killer is - and those who are realistic enough to guess, just don't want to believe it... But the MOST unbelievable thing is - that a movie of THIS class today seems almost forgotten, and isn't even considered by most people as 'Noir'!! While in comparison to this dark masterpiece full of doomed men, reckless femmes fatales and cynical cops, even some of the greatest and most celebrated Noirs (like, let's say "The Big Sleep", which is full of murders, but also of playful jokes, and does have its cheerful happy ending) look almost like children's films...


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