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Doctor X (1932)

Unrated | | Comedy, Crime, Horror | 27 August 1932 (USA)
A wisecracking New York reporter intrudes on a research scientist's quest to unmask The Moon Killer.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Robert Tasker (screen play), Earl Baldwin (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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When corpses drained of blood begin to show up in a European village, vampirism is suspected to be responsible.

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An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lionel Atwill ... Dr. Jerry Xavier
Fay Wray ... Joanne Xavier
Lee Tracy ... Lee Taylor
Preston Foster ... Dr. Wells
John Wray ... Dr. Haines
Harry Beresford ... Dr. Duke
Arthur Edmund Carewe ... Dr. Rowitz
Leila Bennett ... Mamie
Robert Warwick ... Police Commissioner Stevens
George Rosener ... Otto
Willard Robertson ... Detective O'Halloran
Thomas E. Jackson ... Daily World Editor (as Thomas Jackson)
Harry Holman ... Mike - Waterfront Policeman
Mae Busch ... Cathouse Madame
Tom Dugan ... Sheriff
Edit

Storyline

A monster lurks as New York newspaperman Lee Taylor investigates one of the "Moon Killer" murders, in which the victims are strangled, cannibalized and surgically incised under the light of the full moon. The trail leads to the cliffside mansion of Dr. Xavier, where the doctor and his colleagues conduct a strange experiment. Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There have been weird mysteries before and there will be weird mysteries again, but here is a thriller that will be remembered for years! A new note in exciting entertainment... An afternoon or evening in another world... An adventure in the realms of mystic romance with lovers fascinatingly different from any you've ever known!...A picture guaranteed to be the outstanding love-mystery of all time...portrayed by a remarkable cast that is worth the price of admission alone! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doktor X See more »

Filming Locations:

Laguna Beach, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The black and white version was distributed to smaller markets while the more expensive Technicolor prints were reserved for theaters in large cities. See more »

Goofs

Fay Wray's character is variously addressed as "Joanne" or "Joan," sometimes in the same scene. See more »

Quotes

Lee Taylor, Daily World Reporter: Are you going swimming with me in the morning?
Joanne 'Joan' Xavier: No thanks. Good night.
Lee Taylor, Daily World Reporter: What will you do if I start to sink and yell for help?
Joanne 'Joan' Xavier: Throw you an anvil. Good night!
See more »

Alternate Versions

This film was shot in two versions. One camera unit, under Ray Rennahan, shot the film in two-color Technicolor. A second camera unit, under Richard Towers, shot the scenes at the same time in black and white. The black and white version was meant for foreign territories where Technicolor did not have facilities. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Mad Doctors (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Somebody's Wrong
(1923) (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting and Henry I. Marshall
Lyrics by Ray Egan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Doctor X (1932) **1/2
28 January 2006 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

DOCTOR X is one of those heartbreaking films to watch for a fan of old horror movies, because it has so many wonderful things going for it yet just narrowly misses the mark of being really good due to a liability or two which could have been avoided. As is so often the case with early '30s fright films like this, the need was felt to add a "funnyman" to the proceedings to perhaps give audiences of the day a chance to laugh along with being scared. The culprit in this case is Lee Tracy, who plays a typical golden age newspaper reporter who snoops around and gets his nose tangled into everyone's business.

The "business" at hand is a string of killings in New York regarding a fiend who strangles people and then apparently cannibalizes them. Dr. Xavier (the always enjoyable Lionel Atwill) heads a group of doctors who are all suspects up for scrutiny, and though we have to deal with the frequent lapses into silliness from Mr. Tracy, this old chestnut is interesting and gripping a fair amount of its running time. Director Michael Curtiz does a fine job of visually entertaining us with strange angles, quick closeups and flashy set designs. An added delight is the early use of two-strip color that gives the film a rather eerie dimension with its muted greens. Fay Wray (KING KONG) steps into another early horror picture here, but really doesn't have much to do and isn't of much use to the story. There's a completely out of place beach scene with Wray and Tracy that will leave you wondering who thought it shouldn't be left on the cutting room floor (perhaps it was an excuse to get a pantie shot of Fay as she sunbathes under her big beach umbrella).

The film's strongest moment comes in a revelation sequence late in the movie where we finally get to see who the crazed murderer is, and it's still chilling even now to watch him go through his insane routine. You're bound to have the words "synthetic flesh" etched into your subconscious for a long time after seeing DOCTOR X, and if there's one thing you'll remember, this will be it. **1/2 out of ****


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