Calling Dr. Death (1943)

Article #36 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 4-21-2001
Posting date: 9-3-2001

In this movie, a neurologist (Lon Chaney Jr.) blacks out and finds himself in his office on Monday morning with no memory of the last weekend. He then discovers his wife, who had been cheating on him, had been brutally murdered in a country house, and the detective on the case (J. Carrol Naish) considers him the prime suspect.

This was one of the Inner Sanctum mysteries Universal produced during the forties. They all starred Lon Chaney Jr., and involved mysterious murders, usually with Chaney believing he was responsible, but events proving otherwise. Not really horror movies, they were marketed as such by Universal; as a kid, I knew the minute I saw the floating head in the crystal ball, that there was nary a monster to be had in the movie. This one is so-so, with some nice point-of-view shots at times and adaquate performances by all, but even at a running time of sixty minutes, I don’t feel they had quite enough of a story to support the whole movie; there are just too many scenes of Naish coming in and telling Chaney he should confess. For all that, it’s an okay time-killer.

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