Before I Hang (1940)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 1940.  .  Story by , , Screenplay by Robert Hardy Andrews.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by Charles Nelson.  

Diverting B picture that shows getting the rare opportunity to display his poetic voice and intelligent speech. Not playing the usual monosyllabic monsters in his Mummy movies or other creature features, Karloff here appears as an aged medical researcher who is being condemned to death in a court of law for having euthanized a patient.

While in the klink he continues his experimental research and has a breakthrough: his newfound ability to make people young again occurs at the exact time that his sentence is commuted and, himself now much more youthful thanks to his having experimented on himself, he is set free. Unfortunately, there’s a hitch in this flawless plan, the blood he used to create the serum that made him young came from a condemned murderer, one whose homicidal tendencies now compel Karloff to strangle people with his long, white hankie.

It barely rises above its class except for the lead’s performance and some gorgeously deep-shadowed photography.


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