THE FROZEN GHOST (1945)
Article #163 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-26-2001
Posting date: 1-9-2002
A stage hypnotist believes he has gained the power to will people to death when a drunk that was taunting him during one of his performances dies suddenly.
This is our first revisit to the Inner Sanctum since I covered CALLING DR. DEATH some time ago. Boy, they had a wide variety of storylines; that one was about a hypnotist who believes he killed someone, and this one is about a hypnotist who believes he killed someone.
All right, I’m being a little unfair here. Actually, the Lon Chaney Jr. character in DEATH was a physician who used hypnotism instead of the stage hypnotist of GHOST. In fact, this movie uses these same elements in very different ways; in comparing the two movies, it almost feels like one of those creative writing projects where two different people are told to write a screenplay involving hypnotism and a man who thinks he killed someone. (Throw in a third writer, and you might end up with the script for FEAR IN THE NIGHT.)
There’s several familiar faces and names in this one; along with Chaney, we have Evelyn Ankers, Elena Verdugo, Martin Kosleck and Milburn Stone (Doc on “Gunsmoke”). Even though the Inner Sanctum movies bored me when I was a kid, nowadays I enjoy them well enough; they’re the cinematic equivalent of a comfy old pair of slippers you put on when you just want to sit back and relax. Or maybe they’re a little like a visit to McDonald’s; whether you like them or not, at least you know what to expect.