The Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942)

60-61 mins | Drama | 27 February 1942

Director:

Joseph H. Lewis

Writer:

Al Martin

Cinematographer:

Jerome Ash

Editor:

Ralph Dixon

Production Designer:

Jack Otterson

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Terror of the Islands and Terror of the South Seas . While the end credits list the character played by Hardie Albright as "William Saunders," he is identified in the film as "R. B. Saunders." Modern sources include Tom Steele ( Policeman ) in the ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Terror of the Islands and Terror of the South Seas . While the end credits list the character played by Hardie Albright as "William Saunders," he is identified in the film as "R. B. Saunders." Modern sources include Tom Steele ( Policeman ) in the cast. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Jan 1942.
---
Daily Variety
2 Jan 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 41
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jul 41
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jan 42
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Jan 42
p. 451.
New York Times
5 Jan 42
p. 21.
Variety
7 Jan 42
p. 44.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
[Sd] tech
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit pub wrt
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Terror of the South Seas
Terror of the Islands
Release Date:
27 February 1942
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 4 January 1942
Production Date:
8 July--late July 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
8 December 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10885
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60-61
Length(in feet):
5,503
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7626
SYNOPSIS

Mad scientist Ralph Benson has been doing regeneration experiments on animals in his laboratory on Market Street in San Francisco. He convinces destitute R. B. Saunders to be his first human experiment for the sum of $1,000. When Saunders fails to come home that night, his wife contacts the police, who have been investigating the crazed chemist for some time. Saunders dies during the failed experiment, and Benson escapes just as the police arrive at his lab. He then shaves his beard and boards the passenger ship S.S. Paradise to New Zealand under the name "Graham." Knowing that policeman Crandall is on his trail, Benson knocks the officer out and throws him overboard. When passenger Patricia Wentworth is told of the murder, she relates the story to her aunt, Margaret Wentworth, who gossips the news across the ship. An arson fire soon breaks out, and as the ship begins to sink, the passengers are forced to board life boats. Margaret, Patricia, boxer Red Hogan, steward Jim, ship's officer Dwight and Benson are then shipwrecked together on a South Sea island. The natives, believing that "white men are evil spirits," plan to burn the survivors to death, but when Benson apparently brings Tanao, the wife of island chief Elan, back to life, the chemist is proclaimed "God of Life" and master of the island. He orders the lifeboat burned and tells his fellow passengers that he plans to keep them on the island as "subjects" for his experiments. On Tanao's advice, Benson decides to take "a white wife" and proposes to Patricia. Although she wants to refuse, the group convinces Patricia that ... +


Mad scientist Ralph Benson has been doing regeneration experiments on animals in his laboratory on Market Street in San Francisco. He convinces destitute R. B. Saunders to be his first human experiment for the sum of $1,000. When Saunders fails to come home that night, his wife contacts the police, who have been investigating the crazed chemist for some time. Saunders dies during the failed experiment, and Benson escapes just as the police arrive at his lab. He then shaves his beard and boards the passenger ship S.S. Paradise to New Zealand under the name "Graham." Knowing that policeman Crandall is on his trail, Benson knocks the officer out and throws him overboard. When passenger Patricia Wentworth is told of the murder, she relates the story to her aunt, Margaret Wentworth, who gossips the news across the ship. An arson fire soon breaks out, and as the ship begins to sink, the passengers are forced to board life boats. Margaret, Patricia, boxer Red Hogan, steward Jim, ship's officer Dwight and Benson are then shipwrecked together on a South Sea island. The natives, believing that "white men are evil spirits," plan to burn the survivors to death, but when Benson apparently brings Tanao, the wife of island chief Elan, back to life, the chemist is proclaimed "God of Life" and master of the island. He orders the lifeboat burned and tells his fellow passengers that he plans to keep them on the island as "subjects" for his experiments. On Tanao's advice, Benson decides to take "a white wife" and proposes to Patricia. Although she wants to refuse, the group convinces Patricia that she should accept the proposal as a delaying tactic. Benson then tells his "fiancée" that he plans to start his experiments with one of the three white men. The group plans to escape the island in a canoe, but Tanao learns of their scheme and warns Benson. Before they can leave, Benson orders Elan to capture Jim. When the others refuse to leave without Jim, Dwight takes the canoe himself, but he is discovered by native youth Barab and the two drown each other. Benson, as part of his experiments, imprisons Jim in a cave, but he agrees to release the steward as soon as Patricia marries him. A native wedding is performed, but Benson does not release Jim. Red and Margaret then convince the natives to force Benson to release and revive the steward. Afterward, Jim tells Margaret and Red that he was not actually dead, just in a state of "suspended animation," and that Tanao never died either, as she had merely suffered a heart attack. The three then find the drowned Barab and take him to Benson. Benson finally agrees to let the group leave the island, only to have Elan and the natives arrive and demand that Benson bring Barab back to life. When he is unable to do so, Elan orders Benson burned to death. Meanwhile, the four survivors sneak away from the village, just in time to signal a rescue plane. The plane whisks the four away, much to the delight of the pilots, who realize that they will receive a $10,000 reward from Sir Archibald, Margaret's Australian fiancé. During the flight back to civilization, Jim proposes to Patricia, who gladly accepts. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.