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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Michael Curtiz
USA 1932

 

Is there a (mad) doctor in the house? Yes! shrieks Doctor X, filmed in rare two strip Technicolor®. An eminent scientist aims to solve a murder spree by recreating the crimes in a lab filled with all the dials, gizmos, bubbling beakers and crackling electrostatic charges essential to the genre. Lionel Atwill is Doctor Xavier, pre King Kong scream queen Fay Wray is a distressed damsel and Lee Tracy snaps newshound patter, all under the direction of renowned Michael Curtiz. Also includes the separately filmed B&W version, originally intended for small U.S. markets and International distribution, which has been unavailable for over 30 years.

***

A monster lurks as New York newspaperman Lee Taylor investigates one of the "Moon Killer" murders, in which the victims are strangled, cannibalized and surgically incised under the light of the full moon. The trail leads to the cliffside mansion of Dr. Xavier, where the doctor and his colleagues conduct a strange experiment.

***

A wisecracking New York reporter intrudes on a research scientist's quest to unmask The Moon Killer...

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 3rd, 1932

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime

Color Version: 1:16:33.630

Black and White Version: 1:17:03.660

Video

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,615,153,234 bytes

Color Version: 24,855,840,768 bytes

Black and White Version: 19,375,491,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps / 29.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Color Blu-ray:

Bitrate Black and White Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1958 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1958 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries (on color version):

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1807 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1807 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1908 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1908 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Warner Archive

 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,615,153,234 bytes

Color Version: 24,855,840,768 bytes

Black and White Version: 19,375,491,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps / 29.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Commentary on Color Version by Alan K. Rode
Commentary on Color Version by Scott MacQueen
Madness and Mystery: The Horror Films of Michael Curtiz (27:39)
Doctor X: Before and After the Restoration - Comments by Scott MacQueen (7:40)
Theatrical Trailer (Black and White) (2:15)


Blu-ray Release Date:
April 13th, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 43 / 33

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Warner Archive Blu-ray (May 2021): Warner Archive have transferred Michael Curtiz's 1932 Doctor X to Blu-ray. They include the simultaneously shot black and white version as an extra. IMDb tells us: This film was shot in two versions. One camera unit, under Ray Rennahan, shot the film in two-color Technicolor. A second camera unit, under Richard Towers, shot the scenes at the same time in black and white. The black and white version, unavailable for over 30 years, was meant for foreign territories and small U.S. markets where Technicolor did not have facilities. The color version was available on the 2006 Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection DVD Boxset, reviewed HERE. The restored color version (UCLA and Film Foundation - funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation) looks very impressive on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. The Technicolor image exposes strong greens filters and the higher resolution accentuates detail to surprising levels considering the production limitations. It maintains a consistent film-like heaviness and looks extremely pleasing as compared to the SD version from 15-years before. There are plenty of dark sequences dimly lit producing intentional shadows. It looks solid in-motion without damage nor persistent speckles. The black and white version is a notch below but still looking impressive with the 1080P exporting desirable contrast.      

NOTE: We have added 80 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Warner Archive use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It is another advancement in the film's audio and uncredited score with music by Bernhard Kaun (Internes Can't Take Money, The Story of Temple Drake, Dangerous, 1931's Frankenstein), plus some Sergei Rachmaninoff (Prelude in C Sharp Minor, Op.3 No.2) and other stock pieces. It can sound, authentically, flat and hollow with a weaker high-end but is consistent supporting the film as good as could be expected. Warner Archive offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Warner Archive Blu-ray offers two commentaries on the color version. The first is by  by Alan K. Rode author of Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film. He mentions mostly negative comments on the director - his difficulty to work with and general indifference to star's demands and problems. The second commentary on the color version is by Scott MacQueen. He has done commentaries for Bride of Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera and other vintage horror films this is a continuation of his in-depth discussion on 2020's Mystery of the Wax Museum Blu-ray by Warner Archive. It is detailed identifying cast and crew sharing voice impressions associated with anecdotal stories. Like Rode's - it is excellent. Also included is Constantine Nasr's 2021 Madness & Mystery: The Horror Films of Michael Curtiz with comments by MacQueen and Rode. It runs shy of 28-minutes and gives a detailed overview of the director's horror output. There is also a 7-minute piece on Doctor X: Before and After the Restoration with Scott MacQueen. Lastly, is a black and white trailer.    

Michael Curtiz's Doctor X has delightful horror conventions (the elaborate laboratory) that vintage genre fans love but is hampered by the unnecessary humor and slapstick unnaturally infused within it. It's a remarkable film with the Technicolor and history. The restoration and transfer will impress many familiar with the film and era. The thriller aspects of Doctor X are expertly realized by Curtiz and is well cast with Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Lee Taylor, Preston Foster etc. The Warner Archive Blu-ray has the immensely valuable commentaries and the other extras. Certainly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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