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Before I Hang (1940)

A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.

Director:

Nick Grinde (as Nick Grindé)

Writers:

Robert Hardy Andrews (story and screenplay) (as Robert D. Andrews), Karl Brown (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Dr. John Garth
Evelyn Keyes ... Martha Garth
Bruce Bennett ... Dr. Paul Ames
Edward Van Sloan ... Dr. Ralph Howard
Ben Taggart ... Warden Thompson
Pedro de Cordoba ... Victor Sondini
Wright Kramer Wright Kramer ... George Wharton
Bertram Marburgh Bertram Marburgh ... Stephen Barclay
Don Beddoe ... Capt. McGraw
Robert Fiske ... District Attorney
Kenneth MacDonald ... Anson, Prison Guard
Frank Richards ... Otto Kron - Convict
Edit

Storyline

A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DOOMED TO KILL...BY THE MURDERER'S BLOOD IN HIS VEINS! (oringinal print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El mago de la muerte See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Shooting lasted from June 27-July 12, 1940, released September 17. See more »

Quotes

Capt. McGraw: Dr. Garth, whatever he is, is the first man I've ever met who was polite to me and still made the chills run up and down my spine!
See more »

Connections

Featured in TJ and the All Night Theatre: Before I Hang (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Étude No 12 in C minor, Op 10 'Revolutionary'
(uncredited)
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Abbie Normal
3 November 2009 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This starts out so well. We have a man who really shouldn't have been executed, facing the music for doing an act of kindness toward a fellow human being. The people around him give him his wish to continue to do research and he is eventually pardoned because of his great discoveries. Unfortunately, to prove his point, he gets injected with the blood of a three-time killer who was hanged. Of course, true to plot, Karloff's kindly old doctor begins to black out and do evil deeds to the people he loved. He has discovered a sort of fountain of youth, but his old buddies realize that he is messing where he shouldn't have been messing, and want nothing to do with it. Whenever he gets all worked up, he becomes a strangler. There's nothing very remarkable about it and the science is quite ludicrous. Karloff and the rest of the cast give it the old college try, but the thing is so lame that it just falls flat. Totally predictable.


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