One of Hollywood’s earliest horror films is 1932’s Doctor X — directed by Michael Curtiz. Casual movie fans may not know his name, but he was behind the making of a whopping 180 films, most of them for the Warner Bros studio. Before you say “it’s quality that counts, not quantity,” Casablanca is on that list…and so is Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945) and White Christmas (1954), all landmark films. And there are 176 more!
One of Curtiz’s lesser known works is the aforementioned Doctor X, recently restored to its original two-color Technicolor edition. TCM has the rights and will be premiering the restored movie on their channel May 6, as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival.
New York City reporter Lee Taylor (Lee Tracy) is doing a piece on a series of grisly, cannibalistic murders that have all been committed under a full moon. Police soon begin to suspect that the murderer works at the lab of Dr. Jerry Xavier (Lionel Atwill), a mysterious Long Island researcher who is doing an investigation of his own. Antsy for an inside story, Taylor breaks into the lab, where he meets and falls in love with Dr. Xavier’s daughter Joan (Fay Wray).
Following the showing of this movie, stay tuned for a new short documentary on the horror films of Michael Curtiz. If you don’t get TCM, but you have HBO Max, the movie will show up there on the same day under the Classics Curated by TCM Hub.
The TCM Classic Film Festival runs from Thursday, May 6 through Sunday, May 9.