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  • Ralph Bellamy is one of those unheralded but famous actors who managed to be a part of a large contributor to a lot of very good movies, many of them, like this one, lost over time. The plot (hence the writing) is what really made this a one of a kind and breakthrough movie. Unfortunately, not enough people know of it to let the plot break through, but few, if any, movies ever had this bizarre, yet believable plot. Without spoiling the movie, I'll just say that a young well to do doctor-researcher from high society joins a pair of less glamorous researchers in the jungle and they attempt to discover the cure for a deadly disease. Isolated from civilization, certain events take place, not because anyone is a maniac, but for other reasons, and a visit from a lady visiting one of the doctors presents a problem. Great atmosphere, acting, directing, and writing make this a film you'll be glad you saw, and wonder why isn't a mainstay in movie history.
  • 1938's "The Crime of Doctor Hallet," like 1934's "The Crosby Case" and 1945's "The Crimson Canary," was a non horror Universal that appeared with some frequency on Creature Features across the nation, despite its absence from the studio's popular SHOCK! television package of the late 50's. Pittsburgh's CHILLER THEATER aired the film on 3 occasions, as part of a triple bill (May 10 1975, with 1931's "Dracula" and 1959's "Curse of the Undead"), double bill (June 18 1977, with 1969's "Eye of the Cat"), and solo feature (April 30 1983). Made between the Laemmle regime and the comeback of horror generated by "Son of Frankenstein," this underrated feature stars Ralph Bellamy as Dr. Paul Hallet, working in the jungles of Sumatra with associate Jack Murray (William Gargan), experimenting on monkeys in search of a cure for red fever. Enter a much younger doctor, Phillip Saunders (John "Dusty" King), whose arrival is met with disapproval by the much older Hallet, who consigns the newcomer to a life of cleaning test tubes. Accidentally stumbling on a possible cure, Saunders tries to share his discovery with the unresponsive Hallet, then decides to conduct his own private research without the others' knowledge. When Hallet arrives at his own solution, the eager Saunders inoculates himself with red fever, trusting that Hallet's cure will save him, but it fails. Learning that funds have dried up, and that the late Saunders had $4000 in travelers checks, the repentant, guilt ridden Hallet decides to carry on, forging his colleague's name after burying Saunders as Paul Hallet. Complications ensue with the arrivals of replacement doctor Mary Reynolds (Josephine Hutchinson, "Son of Frankenstein"), plus the widowed wife of the late Saunders (Barbara Read, "The Man Who Cried Wolf"), both unaware of what has transpired in the remote jungle. Unusual Universal fare, and criminally obscure, one of the studio's most unheralded efforts. Brief snatches can be heard of music from both "The Invisible Ray" and "Dracula's Daughter," with unbilled early appearances from William Lundigan, Constance Moore, and Frances Robinson.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Scientific experiments in the middle of the jungle in an effort to find cures for various diseases leads to the accidental death of one of the doctors and that doctor's estranged wife's effort to cash in on the tragedy. Ralph Bellamy stars as the titled character, so guilty over the death of novice doctor John "Dusty" King that he decides to fake his own death and take King's identity so he can attribute the discovery of the cure to King. Earlier in the film, he snubbed King for simply being a Yale man (guess where Bellamy graduated from), assigning him to being nothing but an inconsequential handyman. King's replacement, Josephine Hutchinson, is unaware of the fraud until King's estranged wife Barbara Read shows up, when all sorts of chaos breaks loose.

    I agree with the analogy of this as "sci-fi light", certainly not in the league as Universal's "The Invisible Ray" (released the same year), but a good film regardless in spite of some obvious plot holes. Bellamy, very good as a rather dour character, is ably supported by William Gargan as his more level headed partner, and in her limited amount of screen time, Hutchinson proves that she has what it takes to be just as strong as the men. One conversation between Hutchinson, Bellamy and Gargan is definitely ahead of its time as far as promoting women's equality in a way that even male audiences can cheer. It's a nice tribute to the dedication of the men and women who often risk their own health to benefit all of humanity even if a few cute monkeys had to be sacrificed.