Saturday 21 April 2007

Crime Doctor's Man Hunt (1946) William Castle

Warner Baxter is back again as Dr Robert Ordway, the Crime Doctor, and once again he's treating a patient who turns up dead. Prospective patients really ought to have paid more attention: either they were likely to end up as corpses or apparent murderers. This one was Philip Armstrong aka John Foster, who before being murdered was experiencing blank spells where he wanders around a particular end of town full of fairground attractions, apparently subconsciously trying to bring back a lost memory. Ordway is there investigating just after he's killed but he can't even produce a body let alone the killers. Soon he has to investigate not just his patient but his patient's murder.

There's really not much to say about the Crime Doctor films that I haven't already said when reviewing the first few, because nothing much is different here. The first film in the series was thoroughly different from the rest because it served entirely as an introduction, but from then on it's consistently the same ol' same ol'. Baxter is fine, if wooden and serious, and he's the only real continuing character. The backgrounds are mildly interesting but never really develop, staying just mildly interesting backgrounds. The script is solid but never really catches fire at any point. The Crime Doctor films seem to be really just there, solid and reliable but never breaking new ground or catching the imagination, just like Dr Robert Ordway himself who never seems to get excited about anything, even when his life is threatened or his patients have been murdered.

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