The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)

the man they could not hang 1939

Is it really possible to use a mechanical heart to bring back the dead? Yes it is and Dr.Boris knows how. This movie is pretty ridiculous and that’s what makes it fun. There’s even a reporter named Scoop.

Dr.Henryk Savaard (Boris Karloff) can’t wait to test his new device. A medical student volunteers. His girlfriend Betty Crawford (Ann Doran) is Savaard’s nurse. Savaard and his assistant Lang (Byran Foulger) are ready. Savaard kills the student and fires up the mechanical heart pump. Looks like it’s working. Then…Betty freaks and runs to the cops. She tells Police Lt.Shane (Don Beddoe) there’s a murder happening back at the house. They all charge over.

The experiment has an hour to go. Shane won’t wait. Savaaard gives the device to Lang and tells him to hide it and himself. Shane leads everyone in and finds the dead student. No matter what Savaard says he’s arrested.  At his trial the jury deliberates for sixty hours. They didn’t buy Savaard’s scientific explanations. Guilty. He asks Judge Bowman for permission to address the courtroom.  Savaard gives everybody hell with special attention to Betty, the jury who he threatens and D.A. Drake (Roger Pryor). Police surgeon Stoddard also gets blasted. Some time later at the sentencing Bowman gives Savaard the death penalty.

It’s the night of the execution. Savaard tells daughter Jane (Lorna Gray) there will be no funeral or any kind of ceremony. He’s left his body to science. His assistant Lang picks him up after the hangman does his thing. Lang takes him back to Savaard’s house and it’s time to dig out that mechanical device.

Months later Scoop Foley runs into his editor’s office with articles about how six members of the Savaard jury are all dead. The editor (John Dilson with some real overacting) orders Scoop to get the Scoop.

He finds out there’s a gathering at Savaard’s house. The surviving members of the jury are there along with Judge Bowman. Also attending are Dr.Stoddard, D.A.Drake and Lt.Shane. Betty is there too. They all got telegrams from the judge to be there. He says he didn’t send anything out to anyone. Scoop is in for a real scoop when the guest of honor shows up. It’s Savaard. He has some surprises in store.

Boris pulls it off as he always does no matter how unbelievable the script. See this one.

Boris works on his heart saving pump

Boris works on his heart saving pump


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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