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The Strange Case of Doctor Rx (1942)

Approved | | Horror, Mystery | 17 April 1942 (USA)
Private eye Jerry Church is hired by a criminal defense lawyer after five mobsters he has gotten acquitted are apparently strangled by a serial killer.

Director:

William Nigh

Writer:

Clarence Upson Young (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Patric Knowles ... Private Detective Jerry Church
Lionel Atwill ... Dr. Fish
Anne Gwynne ... Kit Logan Church
Samuel S. Hinds ... Dudley Crispin
Mona Barrie ... Eileen Crispin
Shemp Howard ... Det. Sgt. Sweeney
Paul Cavanagh ... John Crispin
Edmund MacDonald ... Det. Capt. Bill Hurd
Mantan Moreland ... Horatio B.Fitz Washington
John Gallaudet ... Ernie Paul
William Gould ... Dist. Atty. Mason
Leyland Hodgson ... Thomas, the butler
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Storyline

After five men previously acquitted of various criminal charges are murdered by a mysterious avenger known as Dr. Rx, police Inspector Hurd and Sergeant Sweeney ask private investigator Jerry Church to help them on the case. He takes the case after talking to Dudley Crispin, a brilliant attorney who had defended three of the murdered men. Crispin gains an acquittal for his latest client, Zarini, but the latter falls dead in the courtroom. Jerry marries Kit Logan, who becomes frightened and persuades Jerry to quit the case. He stays however after Ernie Paul, suspected of the Zarini murder, threatens to "get" him if he does not stay on and clear Paul. Dr. Rx captures Jerry and attempts to frighten him into insanity by strapping him on an operating table, and pretending to exchange the detective's brain for a gorilla. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FOLLOW HIM -- at Risk of Insanity! FIND HIM -- and You'll Never Return!

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 April 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dr. Rx See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming began October 6, 1941, and release took place on April 17, 1942. Patric Knowles finished this film before starting "The Wolf Man" on October 27, both films copyrighted 1941. See more »

Quotes

Night Club Manager: [Seeing Sweeney helping himself to liquor] Who asked you to have a drink?
Det. Sgt. Sweeney: [Trying to intimidate him] Where were you on the night of January?
Night Club Manager: [Calling his bluff] What month?
Det. Sgt. Sweeney: Never mind.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amusing Comedy-Mystery
1 January 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Patrick Knowles has had it with being a private detective in New York, and is about to head back to Boston. However, when the fifth acquitted murderer is found strangled with a note signed "Doctor Rx", attorney Samuel Hinds, whose clients all the victims were, and old buddy Police Chief Edmund McDonald rope him in on helping out with the case. Adding to the complications is Knowles' estranged wife, Anne Gwynne, who comes back into his life. She wants him retired from his dangerous profession and he agrees.

It's a decent comedy-mystery with most of the humor provided by Mantan Moreland as Knowles' manservant and Shemp Howard as McDonald's assistant. There is also Lionel Atwill as a "Doctor Fish" who always seems to be near at hand, Ray Corrigan in a gorilla suit to spice up proceedings, and a tiny but compelling role for a sultry Jan Wiley as a gangster's moll.

William Nigh, who had been directing movies for thirty years, helms the movie; he was one of the many A-list directors of silent movies who retreated to the Bs and never raised their heads after that. In the 1920s he had directed Marion Davies for Cosmopolitan and Lon Chaney for MGM. By 1932, he was directing B westerns, and spent the last fifteen years of his career at Monogram and PRC. This decent Universal programmer was as rarefied as he got in the sound era. He retired in 1948.


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