Dr. Cyclops (1940)

75 mins | Science fiction, Horror | 12 April 1940

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HISTORY

According to a news item in HR , this film was to have been the first in Paramount's "weird-chiller" series. In an interview in NYT , director Ernest Schoedsack explained that the entire technical side of the picture had been plotted on blueprints before shooting began. Gordon Jennings and Farciot Edouart were nominated for an Academy Award in the Special Effects category. Although a pre-production news item in HR adds that Jane Webb, a Chicago radio actress, was to have her screen debut in this picture, her participation in the final film has not been ... More Less

According to a news item in HR , this film was to have been the first in Paramount's "weird-chiller" series. In an interview in NYT , director Ernest Schoedsack explained that the entire technical side of the picture had been plotted on blueprints before shooting began. Gordon Jennings and Farciot Edouart were nominated for an Academy Award in the Special Effects category. Although a pre-production news item in HR adds that Jane Webb, a Chicago radio actress, was to have her screen debut in this picture, her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Mar 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
8 Mar 40
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 39
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jun 39
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 40
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Mar 40
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
7 Mar 40
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
23 Sep 39
p. 58.
Motion Picture Herald
9 Mar 40
p. 56.
New York Times
11 Apr 40
p. 32.
New York Times
28 Jan 1940.
---
Variety
6 Mar 40
p. 16.
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 April 1940
Production Date:
began 12 June 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 April 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9542
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
75
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5484
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

When his failing vision no longer permits him to use his microscope, Dr. Alexander Thorkel, the world's greatest living biologist, summons two scientists and a mineralogist to his laboratory deep in the Amazon jungle. The scientists, Dr. Mary Robinson, Dr. Rupert Bullfinch, and mineralogist Bill Stockton, are joined in their expedition by Steve Baker, the owner of the mules they have rented. As soon as the scientists complete their examination of Thorkel's slides, the doctor insists that they leave his camp immediately, but they refuse without first learning the nature of his research. The discovery of a huge uranium deposit makes them even more curious, causing them to break into his lab. Just as they learn that Thorkel has solved the mystery of molecular structure and can shrink living tissue, the doctor bursts into the room and tricks his intruders, along with his servant, Pedro, into the chamber, where he then shrinks them. While he sleeps, his subjects escape, and when he awakens and recaptures Bullfinch, the doctor learns that he is gradually returning to normal size, and so kills him. The remaining four escape into the jungle, but Thorkel tracks them down with the help of Pedro's dog, and Pedro sacrifices his own life for the safety of the others. Their only hope now lies in outwitting the diabolical doctor, and while he sleeps, they steal his spare spectacles and break the lens in his one remaining pair. Awakening in a rage and unable to see with only one eye, the doctor falls to his death in the mine shaft while pursuing his victims. Months later, Mary, Bill and Steve return ... +


When his failing vision no longer permits him to use his microscope, Dr. Alexander Thorkel, the world's greatest living biologist, summons two scientists and a mineralogist to his laboratory deep in the Amazon jungle. The scientists, Dr. Mary Robinson, Dr. Rupert Bullfinch, and mineralogist Bill Stockton, are joined in their expedition by Steve Baker, the owner of the mules they have rented. As soon as the scientists complete their examination of Thorkel's slides, the doctor insists that they leave his camp immediately, but they refuse without first learning the nature of his research. The discovery of a huge uranium deposit makes them even more curious, causing them to break into his lab. Just as they learn that Thorkel has solved the mystery of molecular structure and can shrink living tissue, the doctor bursts into the room and tricks his intruders, along with his servant, Pedro, into the chamber, where he then shrinks them. While he sleeps, his subjects escape, and when he awakens and recaptures Bullfinch, the doctor learns that he is gradually returning to normal size, and so kills him. The remaining four escape into the jungle, but Thorkel tracks them down with the help of Pedro's dog, and Pedro sacrifices his own life for the safety of the others. Their only hope now lies in outwitting the diabolical doctor, and while he sleeps, they steal his spare spectacles and break the lens in his one remaining pair. Awakening in a rage and unable to see with only one eye, the doctor falls to his death in the mine shaft while pursuing his victims. Months later, Mary, Bill and Steve return to normal size and civilization. +

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

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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.