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HUMPHREY BOGART AS AN UNDEAD MAD SCIENTIST: THE RETURN OF DR X (1939)

Return of Dr XTHE RETURN OF DR X (1939) – Category: Enjoyably campy bad movie elevated by kitsch-value in the casting.    

Yes, it’s the famous “Humphrey Bogart as a zombie mad scientist” movie. The tale goes that Jack Warner inflicted this role on gangster-flick star Bogart as punishment for resisting being cast in too many formulaic crime films. This was, of course, before The Maltese Falcon made Bogie a big-time star and long before actors had the kind of contracts that they have these days.

Bogart plays the titular Dr X, but not the same Dr X that Lionel Atwill played in a movie of that name earlier in the decade. This Dr X is Dr Maurice Xavier, a mad scientist executed in the electric chair for, among other things, bizarre experiments on infants (a pretty ballsy story element in those pre- Auschwitz awareness days).

The “return” mentioned in the title refers to the fact that Bogart’s Dr X has been brought back from the dead by the film’s secondary menace, Dr Flegg (and let’s face it , The Return Of Dr Flegg just doesn’t have the same sinister  appeal).

Flegg can bring people back from the dead but needs Dr X’s help to Continue reading

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