Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Doctor X the Return of Doctor X - Authentic Region 1 DVD From Warner Brothers Starring Humphrey Bogart Lionel Atwill Fay Wray Lee Tracy Preston S Foster Rosemary Lane Dennis Morgan John Litel Huntz Hall Directed By Michael Curtiz|
Director: Michael Curtiz
This is a double feature. Two films are on one disc. Extras include commentary for each film.
Really only for enthusiasts of the genre
Douglas M | 07/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD set contains 2 films from Warner Brothers, two of a mere handful which they released in the 1930s in the horror genre. While the films share a common name, they are completely unrelated.
"Doctor X" was released in 1932, an exciting story masterfully directed by Michael Curtiz and filmed in 2 strip technicolour. It tells of the investigation by a journalist of the moonlight murders whereby victims are killed and cannbalised by a full moon. Doctor X runs a research institute with as weird a collection of doctors as any horror film could want. The film moves to a climax at a gothic house by the ocean. The lighting is filled with sinister shadows. Lionel Atwill is riveting as Doctor X. The print has been restored by UCLA but a lot of white vertical lines appear and it is frequently hard to see what is happening. The 2 strip technicolour is more sepia, greens and browns, than colourful. The DVD comes with an interesting though verbose commentary. The commentator has his tongue firmly in cheek and he combines copious production information with pointed comments about the cornier aspects of the film. He is very entertaining. Also included is the trailer of the black and white version of the film which promotes it as much as a comedy as a thriller.
"The Return of Doctor X" is another thing altogether. It is an assembly line B film released in 1939 with an astonishing Humphrey Bogart in the role of Doctor X. The story bears no relation to the earlier film other than the use of a nosey reporter and a theme relating to the creation of synthetic blood. In the earlier film, it was synthetic flesh. Typical of a B, the film moves quickly with holes in the plot and curtailed scenes. The climax is more like a gangster film. The print of the film is excellent and there is a commentary attached. The commentator nicely paces details about the film and it's evolution with an interview with the director, Vincent Sherman, who was 99 at the time. Sherman provides interesting information about working in the Warner Brother's factory.
The DVD set is OK value but will really only be of interest to fans of the horror genre who will want to see the earlier rare film."
Love Those Two Colors!
Craig Connell | Lockport, NY USA | 02/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, kudos to the Hollywood Legends Of Horror series to make these DVD transfers so nice-looking. Now, on to this two-disc DVD.
Doctor X - wow, what a shock - a 1932 color movie! Well, sort of......only two colors, but they look great. The two-strip Technicolor looked fantastic. Immediately there is a street scene of green and brown that looks tremendous....and eerie. You would think that only black-and-white might make this look eerie, but not so - that combination of green and brown was very effective and made this a fascinating visual film. Hats off to the UCLA film restoration team, which made this 75-year-old film look really good.
As for the story, well, let's just say it doesn't measure up to the visuals. It starts off looking like a fun movie, even - surprise - a comedy as the newsman "Lee Taylor" (Lee Tracy) cracks a few corny jokes. However, it settles down into a crime story (more than horror) and we wind up with a whodunit and a room full of suspects, a la Charlie Chan or Sherlock Holmes.
The suspects are all scientists working in the Academy of Surgical Research. A bunch of recent hideous crimes by the "Moon Killer" were all done in the vicinity of the academy, so they're the prime suspects. Even the head man at the academy, "Dr. Xavier," looks a bit suspicious. He is played well by Lionel Atwill.
The police give "Dr. X" 48 hours to find out if any of his employees are the killer before they totally take over the investigation and ruin the reputation of the scientific institution. All of the scientists, by the way, look and act creepy which adds to the mystery. Heck, they all could be serial killers.
After a long middle part which dragged, we finally see who the real killer is and that part is fun to watch and he transforms into a hideous monster-like man. I guess this why the film is called a horror film instead of a crime movie. I won't give the ending away but I admit, it's pretty good.
As for "The Return Of Doctor X," it really isn't a sequel to the 1932 film "Doctor X." Too bad....it might have been better had it been. Not that this is bad; it isn't, but isn't anything to write home about, either. Thankfully, it's only 62 minutes. Had this been 20 minutes longer, it would have been a yawner.
This, too, for a "horror" picture, this isn't much horror. Actually there is no horror, nothing in here that is going to frighten the most timid of souls. The only strange-looking person is Humphrey Bogart and all classic film buffs will do is laugh when they see "Bogie" in here. With a plastic-looking face and some weird hair coloring, you want to laugh out loud when you first see him.
Wayne Morris and Dennis Morgan are the real stars of the film. They are in almost every scene, with Morris as reporter "Walter 'Wichita' Garrett" and Morgan as "Dr. Mike Rhodes." John Litel plays a Dr. Frankenstein-type character in "Dr. Flegg," a key member of this cast.
This movie is almost all talk until the 59-minute mark when "Dr. X" makes a run for it and gets involved in gunfire. Yet, it's never boring, either. The scenes move quickly from place to place and plays more like a crime film than anything else. Typical of early '30s crime movies, we get some corny humor from one of the characters, in this case from Morris.