7 user 5 critic

Mystery of the White Room (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Romance | 17 March 1939 (USA)
In the middle of an eye-surgery operation in a large hospital, the lights in the operating room go out and the chief surgeon is murdered. It is the job of Police-Detective Spencer to figure... See full summary »


Otis Garrett


Alex Gottlieb (screenplay), James G. Edwards (novel) (as James G. Edwards M.D.)


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Cast overview:
Bruce Cabot ... Dr. Bob Clayton
Helen Mack ... Carole Dale
Joan Woodbury ... Lila Haines
Constance Worth ... Ann Stokes
Thomas E. Jackson ... Sgt. Macintosh Spencer (as Thomas Jackson)
Tom Dugan ... Hank Manley
Mabel Todd ... Dora Stanley
Roland Drew ... Dr. Norman Kennedy
Addison Richards ... Dr. Finley Morton
Frank Reicher ... Dr. Amos Thornton
Frank Puglia ... Tony
Don Porter ... Dr. Donald Fox


In the middle of an eye-surgery operation in a large hospital, the lights in the operating room go out and the chief surgeon is murdered. It is the job of Police-Detective Spencer to figure out who in the room had something to gain from his death. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A SHRIEK OF EXCITEMENT FROM START TO FINISH (original poster - all caps) See more »


Crime | Mystery | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder in the Surgery See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


8th entry in Universal's Crime Club Productions series. In 1937, Universal had entered into a deal with the pulp publisher to select up to 4 of it's novels annually for production as B-pictures. Producer Irving Starr was selected to head this unit. This entry, based on the novel, "Murder in Surgery," was the 8th out of a total of 11 Crime Club novels the studio produced under the deal. See more »


Sergeant Macintosh Spencer: [to Tom Dugan] "You're as unbalanced as the budget".
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User Reviews

Dr. Death Reporting for Surgery
28 July 2007 | by Mike-764See all my reviews

Dr. Finley Morton is murdered when the lights go out during a surgical operation and the suspects are numerous. Dr. Kennedy (Morton's nephew) was considered for the position of Dr. Morton's assistant until he refused to perform an operation because of cowardice. Dr. Clayton, who went and performed the operation, had a row with Morton for disobedience when following hospital regulations. Also, Dr. Thornton, who was formerly chief surgeon at the hospital until an operation performed by Morton left him without the use of his right arm. The only clue that Sergeant Spencer has lies with the deaf janitor Tony, who caught a glimpse of the murderer until a jar of acid was thrown in his face blinding him, but Dr. Clayton (who is Spencer's chief suspect) decides that the corneas from Dr. Morton can be used for Tony giving him the chance to see and identify the murderer, that is if the murderer doesn't prevent the operation. Decent movie that fills out it's just under one hour running time with few slow spots. The only thing that hurts the movie is Tom Dugan playing amateur detective, but Jackson's responses to Dugan's help are humorous. The acting is decent with the entire cast playing the murder movie stereotypes, and the plot doesn't really give too much away keeping the viewer in suspense. Rating, 7 out of 10.

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