Film (1939). Columbia. Directed by Nick Grinde. Written by Karl Brown, based on a story by Leslie T White and George W Sayre. Cast includes Lorna Gray, Boris Karloff, Roger Pryor and Robert Wilcox. 72 minutes. Black and white.
A kindly Scientist (Karloff) invents a mechanical heart, and one of his students volunteers to undergo clinical death to test it; a police raid at the critical moment prevents this and the student dies. Karloff is executed for murder, but arranges to be revived with the artificial heart. Now a vindictive Mad Scientist, he lures judge, jury and witnesses to a booby-trapped house where he proceeds to dispose of them in turn. His daughter intervenes and is accidentally killed by one of the lethal devices. He revives her at the cost of his own life. Like most sf films of the period, The Man They Could Not Hang has little real science; it is, rather, a Gothic melodrama of retribution. [JB/PN]
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