12 user 4 critic

Man with Two Lives (1942)

Approved | | Horror, Thriller | 13 March 1942 (USA)
A man is brought back from death at the same time a vicious criminal dies in the electric chair. However, the man's soul is now taken over by the electrocuted gangster, who embarks on a vengeful crime wave.


Phil Rosen


Joseph Hoffman


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Norris ... Philip Bennett
Marlo Dwyer ... Helen Lengel
Eleanor Lawson Eleanor Lawson ... Louise Hammond
Frederick Burton ... Hobart Bennett
Addison Richards ... Lt. Detective George Bradley
Edward Keane ... Dr. Richard Clark
Hugh Sothern ... Prof. Toller
Tom Seidel ... Reginald 'Reg' Bennett
Elliott Sullivan Elliott Sullivan ... Eric
Anthony Warde ... Hugo
Ernie Adams ... Gimpy
Kenne Duncan ... Jess Fowler (as Kenneth Duncan)
George Dobbs ... Tim Martin
Lois Landon Lois Landon ... Aunt Margaret
Frances Richards Frances Richards ... Nurse


Phillip Bennett and Louise Hammond, engaged to be married, are returning from her home after the engagement party, and Phillip is apparently killed in an automobile accident. Dr. Clarke is called and asked to bring Phillip back to life as he has been able to do so on animals. Panino, a vicious criminal, is to be electrocuted that same night at midnight. Dr. Clarke performs his operation a few minutes before this, and as Panino dies his soul enters Phillip's body, and he lives. Phillip is brought home but seems to have amnesia, as he does not recognize any one. He goes instinctively for Panino's haunts, and gradually assumes leadership of the gang and its business. Hobart Bennet, Phillip's father, becomes worried because of his newly-developed attitude and continued absence from home. A crime wave and gang-war breaks out in the city, with many killings. Mr. Bennett and Dr. Clarke go to the gang's hideout, and both are recognized by other gangsters. They question the men regarding ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His Secret Means DEATH!


Horror | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 March 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man with Too Many Faces See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecasts of this film occurred in New York City Thursday 27 May 1948 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Chicago Wednesday 16 February 1949 on WBKB (Channel 4), in Los Angeles Sunday 27 March 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5), and in Cincinnati Friday 17 June 1949 on WKRC (Channel 11). See more »


Hobart Bennett: Two months now. Two months - and his conduct becomes more and more extraordinary. Sometimes I can scarcely believe he's my son.
Dr. Richard Clark: Is he still so brusque?
Hobart Bennett: That's putting it mildly Doctor. I hate to admit this about Philip but he's often downright offensive.
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Moonlight Sonata (Piano Sonata No.14)
By Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

You changed Phil, you changed
14 June 2012 | by Chase_WitherspoonSee all my reviews

Engaging tale of transmigration of the soul, which apparently afflicts a young man after he's revived from death following a fatal automobile accident. Just so happens he's been resurrected the same night as a notorious and unscrupulous killer is executed - his subsequent criminal behaviour concerning to not only his family, oblivious to his double life, but also his new gang, who live in fear of his ruthless streak.

Norris is pretty chilling at times as the cold-blooded killer, who nonchalantly offs just about anyone who presents a risk to his authority. Keane, Burton and Sothern play the trio of elders who presided over his ill-fated re-animation, now desperately trying to understand the reasoning for his out-of-character behaviour, and mysterious disappearances. Addison Richards has a neat little side dish of a role playing a savvy detective with whom Norris shares a scene in which the two trade feigned small talk, in a game of brinkmanship till just one is left standing.

It's a surprisingly taut, violent and compelling picture the only real issue I took was with the dual ending, the almost post-script conclusion of which, in my opinion, was unnecessary and retrograde. Listen out for some memorable dialogue too like "he lets his rod off at every opportunity and doesn't care in which direction it's pointed". We're talking about a revolver obviously, but it still cracks me up.

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