The Man They Could Not Hang

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The Man They Could Not Hang
Themantheycouldnothangposter.jpg
Genre: Horror
Suspense
Thriller
Comedy
Dark Comedy
Science Fiction
Drama
Starring: Lorna Gray
Borris Karloff
Release Date: August 17, 1939 (North America)
November 1947 (North American Rerelease)
Country: United States


The Man They Could Not Hang is a 1939 horror, thriller, suspense, black comedy, drama, science fiction movie.  It was directed by Nick Grinde, written by Karl Brown, George Wallace Syre, and Leslie T. White, produced by Wallace McDonald, distributed by Columbia Pictures, and starring Lorna Gray and Boris Karloff.

Why It Rocks

  1. Spectacular performance by Boris Karloff as Dr. Henryk Savaard.  He's depicted as intelligent, evil, cunning, yet also entertaining.  
  2. Speeking of Savaard, his speech that he gives during his trial is incredibly creepy and haunting.  It's one of the best Borris Karloff moments.  
  3. The Man They Could Not Hang took the formula established in The Old Dark House from 1932 and expanded upon it, creating the idea of putting tones of people in a house and having traps to kill them off.  This idea has become a cliche in normal films, and has even been parodied a lot, for years to come.  
  4. While he never got a chance to use it on the original person he killed, Savaard's invention to revive the dead was a success, due to it being used to revive himself.

Bad Qualities

  1. It was never explained why the female student at the beginning allowed Savaard to kill her.  While the invention did work, neither of them knew it at that point.

Reception

The Man They Could Not Hang has a 80% critic score and 71% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, a 3.3/5 on Letterboxd, and a 6.9/10 on IMDB.  It's considered a cult classic today.

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