Calling Dr. Death - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Calling Dr. Death Reviews

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May 9, 2016
Lon Chaney Jr. stars as psychiatrist Mark Steele, who is an amiable man with a loyal nurse named Stella(played by Patricia Morison). Unfortunately, he is married to a wild, mean, and unfaithful wife(played by Ramsay Ames) who refuses to divorce him. After a mysterious blackout one weekend, Dr. Steele has no memory, but is told by the police that his wife has been brutally murdered, and the Inspector on the Case(played by J. Carol Naish) doggedly pursues him, convinced of his guilt. The man she was having an affair with is caught, but did he do it, or someone else? Reasonably good film could have dispensed with the head-in-a-crystal ball routine, but acting is good(especially Naish in a role quite similar to later "Columbo"!) Not bad for a low budgeter.
½ May 7, 2016
This is the first of the Inner Sanctum (popular book and especially radio series) Universal films and to me by far the best. At barely over an hour, it is a tight entertaining little murder mystery worthy of the best Hitchcock TV episodes. It has the creepy classic tropes you come looking for in an old classic mystery, including the stream of conscious voice overs, amnesia, hypnosis, murder, head in the bottle intro, and twist ending.
December 31, 2013
This Lon Chaney vehicle feels awfully tv movie of the weekish.. Maybe it was. This story of a doctor trying to find out whether he killed his wife just feels stilted and yes, ready for commercials. Not much of a revelation in the end if you have half a brain.
September 29, 2013
Murder mystery thriller with Lon Chaney Jr, J Carrol Naish and a cameo from Holmes Herbert. A diverting way to spend an hour and 2 minutes.
January 5, 2013
ok B movie fare from universal starring lon chaney jr
August 19, 2012
Good Chaney yearn, but it's not just the door that creaks--A fun movie if you are a Universal horror fan!!
April 22, 2012
a lot of universal stalwarts in this inner sanctum mystery and j carrol naish is always good value.hypnotized. worth a look.
November 11, 2011
This, the first film in a series bouncing off the success of the popular Inner Sanctum radio show, is a surprisingly entertaining piece of B-movie fluff. Playing out more like a good TV mystery, it gives us a novelty story, and by the time the film wraps up our minds have wrapped up about it. But director Reginald Le Borg deserves some credit for making the ride not only fun but also quite stylish. He employs a number of techniques to make the film a psychological case study, the most interesting being the way he has Lon Chaney Jr. deliver his voiceover narration: in a whisper. And speaking of Lon Chaney Jr., was there ever a B-movie star so adept at turning lousy material into dramatic entertainment as he? No matter how small the picture, Chaney always brought emotion and conviction to the part.
Super Reviewer
October 13, 2010
This is a strange movie, I wasn't sure how to rate it. It's not bad or good, it's just okay.
Super Reviewer
½ March 2, 2010
The first of Universal's Inner Sanctum series (and the second I've seen) seems to have a pattern building: Reginal Le Borg's stylish but not overbearing direction with a not-too-believaable performance by Lon Chaney Jr as some sort of doctor ominously whispering his thoughts. Oh, and of course he gets thrown into grisley situation that he didn't, but is of course made to look that he did cause. Like what I'm guessing is the case with the rest of the Inner Sanctum, series, Calling Dr. Death is basically just a (very predicatable) mystery with very little in the supernatural department that the advertising seems to be riding upon. Ultimately, Le Borg's direction (especially during the hypnosis scenes) was the draw for me, not to mention that they don't make women like Patrica Morison and Ramsay Ames anymore.
June 22, 2009
The first in the Inner Sanctum Mystery series, Calling Dr. Death is filled with plenty of moody photography and direction. The scene where Chaney discovers his dead wife in POV is especially good. A fun little B-movie.
½ October 5, 2007
Lon Chaney Jr. has an evil, philandering wife with big hair who is murdered (and has acid thrown on her face for good measure). Special!!
October 2, 2007
My first look into the inner sanctum, and it was pretty good. Lots of weird elements helped boost this mystery out of a low key noir rut.
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