THE MAN WHO LIVED AGAIN (1936)
(a.k.a. THE MAN WHO CHANGED HIS MIND)
Article #579 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 10-15-2002
Posting date: 3-10-2003
A scientist discovers a method of switching the minds of animals, and proceeds to try it on human beings.
A glance at the title and a quick perusal of the plot description may lead one to believe that this is one of Karloff’s Columbia mad doctor vehicles; however, this is a British production that predates them by a few years, and it’s superior to those productions. Karloff gives a relaxed but confident performance in the type of role that would soon be all too common for him, and it’s directed with a good pace and a nice visual sense, particularly during a rather nightmarish montage sequence. However, the movie is stolen by two character roles; Clayton is a cynical sharp-tongued cripple who is all too willing to put his two cents in at every opportunity (he has perhaps the funniest lines of any character this side of Ernest Thesiger’s Dr. Pretorius), and Lord Haslewood is an amusing but homorless newspaper magnate trying to cash in on whatever Karloff’s scientist can give him. They are played by Frank Cellier and Donald Calthrop (not necessarily respectively), and they serve as a great example on how a couple of sharply-written character roles can enhance a movie-watching experience enormously. This may not be one of Karloff’s better-known vehicles, but I think it ranks with some of his best work and is definitely worth catching.