A scientist is working on how to make man immortal. Of course he starts with himself. This isn’t really SF but the element is there so it’s on the fringe of the category. It leans more towards romantic drama than anything else but crime is also an element in the story. Overall it’s mediocre and not one to make any real effort to hunt down.
Dr.Julian Karell (Nils Asther) is set to unveil a painting he did of Sir Humphrey Brandon’s daughter Eve. He talks with one of the guests, an older woman named Minerva, about how his grandfather met her. It’s too much detail for her and she’s disturbed.
The painting is revealed and everyone likes it. One art critic thinks it may be a copy since the style is so similar to a long dead artist. Julian gets Eve (Helen Walker) away from the guests and they talk marriage. He gets an urgent phone call from his home and without saying goodbye takes off.
Back home he gets a telegram from Dr.Kurt van Brucken that his visit will be delayed. The message warns Julian about taking too much of a compound he made for him. Later that night Julian is wandering by the Thames when he sees a man jump in. He rescues him and takes him home.
He’s Alan Guthrie, a medical student Julian has been keeping an eye on at the university. Alan has gambling debts and wants to end it all. Julian tells him he’s experimenting with glands and Alan can take part along with him and the legendary Dr.van Brucken. Alan goes for it. He doesn’t go for being locked in his room and having his food and drink drugged.
Julian keeps everything in a journal called “Vitas Immortales”. Dr.van Brucken finally arrives. They talk about the old days and van Brucken wants Julian to make the experiments public but Julian says he’s not ready yet. Dr.van Brucken is frail and can no longer perform surgery so Julian tries to find one but to no avail.
Julian gets engaged to Eve. Sir Humphrey and his friend Dr.Latimer are suspicious of him after hearing about his search for a surgeon. They go to Scotland Yard and talk with Detective Inspector Ned Garth. He says there’s nothing he can do but if they bring in Julian’s fingerprints he’ll run a check.
Meanwhile Alan gets out of his room and finds Julian’s journal and finds out all the previous assistants wound up dead. Latimer manages to get Julian’s fingerprints. They match a mass murderer from the 1800’s who killed a medical student every ten years.
Dr.van Brucken wants Julian to bring Dr.Latimer on board with the experiments but Julian doesn’t want to share the glory. Looks like there’s a surgeon in France that can do the operation.
The ending has more corn that Iowa but it’s no surprise since that’s the tone of the movie with it’s scenes between Julian and Eve. Miss it and you won’t miss much.