The Mysterious Doctor (1943)

Genres - Crime, Horror, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller  |   Run Time - 57 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Richard Gilliam

Far more derivative of the Sherlock Holmes movies of 20th Century Fox than it is of Universal's horror films, there's little that's either really good or really bad about Warner Bros.' The Mysterious Doctor. Neither as atmospheric as the latter nor as clever as the former, the story marches through its 57 minutes with little deviation from formula. Made during World War II, there are numerous propaganda elements, most notably the unsurprising revelation that the villain (John Loder) is a Nazi. The performances of the supporting cast are mostly pedestrian. Matt Willis, who plays the village simpleton, seems to be striving for the sort of sympathy Lon Chaney Jr. evoked in Of Mice and Men, but his erudite Ronald Colman accent destroys any credibility for the role. Lester Matthews as the hero is unremarkable. It's no coincidence that his character's name is Dr. Frederick Holmes. Alas, Matthews isn't Basil Rathbone, and The Mysterious Doctor is far less mysterious than The Hound of the Baskervilles.