Newest Reviews
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Body Parts
Newest Articles
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
  Calling Dr. Death An Inspector CallsBuy this film here.
Year: 1943
Director: Reginald Le Borg
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr, Patricia Morison, J. Carrol Naish, David Bruce, Ramsay Ames, Fay Helm, Holmes Herbert, Alec Craig, Frederick Gierman, Lisa Golm, Charles Wagenheim, Mary Hale, George Eldredge, John Elliiott
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dr Mark Steele (Lon Chaney Jr) is performing his specialised treatment of hypnotism on a young girl, and is able to tell her concerned parents exactly what is wrong with her: boyfriend trouble has put her in a state of voluntary paralysis, apparently. But Steele has problems of his own, as he frets over his wife's wicked ways; they have been married two years and in that time not only has he grown closer to his nurse, Stella (Patricia Morison), but his wife, Maria (Ramsay Ames) is rejecting him. Could this be enough to make him... murderous?

A remarkable change of direction for the left wing comedian and writer - no, wait, it's a different Mark Steele we're concerned with here, as this was the first of Universal's Inner Sanctum mysteries, inspired by the success of the similarly named radio series. As with all six of these brief films, Chaney starred, putting in his even by this time familiar tortured soul act for the sake of a plot that required him to sweat out a possible murder conviction and a trip to the electric chair.

The script was from Edward Dein, a director of low budget fare himself, and as with all in this series presented a thriller with horror overtones. The "supernatural" element this time was a faith in the powers of hypnotism, as practiced by Dr Steele, but first he has a pressing concern: his unfaithful missus has turned up dead in an out of the way country house, skull crushed and face obliterated with acid (not sure why, it's just a gruesome detail maybe to make us question the corpse's identity).

Sadly for Dr Steele, he can't recall what he's done the weekend the killing occurred, which makes him suspect number one - at least until his wife's lover, Robert Duval (no, not that one, he's a character played by David Bruce) is collared for the slaying. Will Duval be executed for a crime he didn't commit? The real killer's identity is fairly well hidden, but with such a small cast it can be worked out, the investigating detective Gregg (J. Carrol Naish) looking more like the villain than anyone considering his continual needling of Dr Steele. Director Reginald Le Borg offers some nice visual tricks, with a few good, hallucinatory sequences that stand out and a nervy, whispery voiceover for atmosphere, but largely the film is rather plain, the kind of thing that would turn up on television in decades to come.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3668 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M


Last Updated: