Wednesday, October 27, 2021

The Man They Could Not Hang

And the one hour hit wonders roll on.

Man I don't know what ticket prices were in 1939 but people must have really got their money's worth. A more unknown yet highly praised Karloff role, the story of this movie is such a great concept it really shocks me such an idea hasn't been reused in cinema. An acclaimed scientist Dr. Savaard has created a method to ressurect the recently dead, but this is no Plan 9 and before he can fully test his experiment on a college volunteer he is arrested and tried for murder. This is something I actually got a lot out of, we know Savaard is on the level by his conviction alone that this would have worked yet the moral and ethical issue is explored a bit and makes you question whether he should be put on trial to begin with. I genuinely don't see him as a villain in this role until later on when he gathers the courtroom members who gave him the death penalty and he has several traps in his home to execute them. With a plot like that the influence can be seen decades after the fact with The Abominable Dr. Phibes, and needless to even say the Saw franchise. Boris Karloff is outstanding in this role, it's such a great part for him with his ever gentlemanly demeanor mixed with deliciously devious determinations to kill the people who wronged him, I think this is such an underrated role of his long career. The rest of the cast do fine work, but it goes without saying they used Karloff to the max in every way. I can see some people not liking the ending considering how abrupt and somewhat contrived it is, but I do still urge people to dig this one up. It's a very well made film, with good sets, mood enhancing lighting, the camera work is very fluid and almost feels handheld at times, it's most definitely a movie that should be considered to be a minor classic and I had a very enjoyable time watching it. The highlights being Saavard's blisteringly dark and direct damning of the members of the court, and when he reveals himself to be alive once more, it showcases nothing but the best from Karloff. 4 stars, 7.5/10, you can catch this film for free on Dailymotion and you won't have much time to lose. Once more unto the breach my friends, once more!

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