3 April 2011 | AlsExGal
You have to ignore the names of most of these Crime Doctor films...
... because they usually have nothing to do with the actual subject of the film. You also have to make sure you don't blink during these short fast-paced films or else you'll miss something important. Here the film opens on a young man stumbling around an amusement park in a fog of amnesia. He's had several of these spells lately and goes to Dr. Robert Ordway (Warner Baxter in the title role) for help. Ordway goes to the place where the young man says he found himself stumbling about. After walking around awhile what does he see but a couple of men coming out of a boarding house carrying the body of the young amnesiac man who came to see him that day, a bullet wound to his head. The bad guys spot Ordway so he has to feign drunkenness and pretend that he thinks the dead body they are carrying is actually another drunk or he's afraid that he'll share the young man's fate. The henchmen buy the act and let Ordway go. Ordway goes straight to the police and together they raid the boarding house. Nobody has ever seen the men Ordway saw, nobody every heard a shot, and no sign of violence is to be found anywhere in the boarding house. Police Inspector Harry B. Manning (William Frawley) obviously respects Ordway from his past help in solving crimes, but this time thinks maybe the good doctor is imagining things.
Ordway knows that he saw what he thought he saw, so he first has to prove there was a crime then find the criminals. In the process Ordway runs across the young man's fiancée, a mousy and wealthy girl who's so meek she's almost invisible, a boarded up old mansion that for some reason has a master bedroom that is still completely furnished, and the dead bodies of the two henchmen Ordway saw carrying the young man's body. They've been asphyxiated in their sleep by gas, only they're not in their own apartment at the time of their deaths. Who is going about causing all of this mayhem? Watch and find out.
William Castle directed several Crime Doctor films, and they always have that touch of the macabre. Thus this film has not only the well constructed mystery typical of the Crime Doctor films, it has lots of atmosphere as well. Highly recommended.