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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "A Date with Destiny")

 

Directed by Tim Whelan
USA 1940

 

Death Lurked in His Hypnotic Eyes! In the nerve-jangling thriller The Mad Doctor, the great Basil Rathbone (The Black Sleep, The Comedy of Terrors) is Dr. George Sebastien, a smooth and sinister physician who woos, weds and murders several of his wealthy women patients for their fortunes. Aided by his demented manservant (Martin Kosleck, House of Horrors), he sets up a Park Avenue psychiatry practice and effects an apparently miraculous cure for troubled heiress Linda Boothe (Ellen Drew, Isle of the Dead), whom he makes his fourth wife. Can the suspicious Dr. Downer (Ralph Morgan, Strange Interlude) and Linda’s ex-fiancé Gil (John Howard, The Undying Monster) foil Sebastien’s schemes and save Linda before it’s too late? Rathbone is splendid as the diabolically debonair doctor in this psychological chiller from director Tim Whelan (The Murder Man, The Thief of Bagdad) and cinematographer Ted Tetzlaff (My Man Godfrey, Notorious).

***

A sophisticated but murderous physician (Basil Rathbone) woos, weds, and murders several of his wealthy women patients for their fortunes. The women appear to have died prematurely, with their above-suspicion doctor husband diagnosing their deaths as coming as a result of disease. The doctor's loyal male assistant (Martin Kosleck) tampers with the victims buried bodies in order to hide the incriminating evidence. The ex-fiancé of the doctor's latest bride (Ellen Drew) is able to save her from suffering the same fate of her predecessors, while also informing the authorities of just how the women died.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 20th, 1940

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:31:01.622        
Video

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,223,737,014 bytes

Feature: 21,006,317,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1968 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1968 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,223,737,014 bytes

Feature: 21,006,317,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian David Del Valle
Theatrical Trailer (2:09)


Blu-ray Release Date:
November 2nd, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (October 2021): Kino have transferred Tim Whelan's The Mad Doctor to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "Brand New 2K Master". There are plenty of speckles and light marks and the image has an inconsistency generally looking very thick, soft and film-like. Contrast is appealing with rich black levels and there are textures evident. I must say it looked quite pleasing on my system despite the age-related imperfections. 

NOTE: We have added 50 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. The Mad Doctor  has few aggressive moments that come through with modest depth and score by Victor Young (Union Pacific, Arise My Love, Union Pacific, The Accused, Strategic Air Command, The Sun Shines Bright, Johnny Guitar, China Gate etc.)  sounding clean with consistent dialogue in the lossless transfer. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a new commentary by David Del Valle. He has become a favorite commentarist showing all at once intense knowledge of the production, filmmakers and performers - with personal interviews to recollect - and a genuine enthusiasm for vintage era films. In The Mad Doctor he finds plenty of plot holes and silliness - he discusses the unspoken homosexuality between Basil Rathbone's character of Dr. Frederick Langamann and his cohort in murder Maurice Gretz (played by Martin Kosleck), he references celebrity 'lavender marriages', Rathbone's lavish parties, his wife, writer Ouida Bergère - who has a decidedly negative impact on some of his career choices. David was not keen on Whelan's direction in The Mad Doctor. He's always filled with details and stories - well-read in Hollywood lore - and I enjoyed it very much... more, it seems, than he does the film. There is also a trailer for The Mad Doctor.  

Tim Whelan's The Mad Doctor  is a bit of a throwaway with less-forgiving critics but fans loved Rathbone's suave, sophisticated murderous, Langamann and his Svengali-like hold over the Linda Boothe character, played with wide-eyed enthusiasm by lovely Ellen Drew. Eventually our villain protectively succumbs to her dark innocence. Maurice Gretz informs him: "You're like all the other clever ones, clever until they meet a woman, and then they suddenly become fools." While no masterpiece, I enjoyed The Mad Doctor, seeing some nice touches in the second spin. The Kino Blu-ray has the film in 1080P and a rewarding Del Valle commentary. Interested parties are encouraged to indulge.

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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