The Walking Dead

1936

Michael Curtiz
Director
Warner Brothers
Studio

Racketeers murder an incorruptible judge and frame ex-con Karloff for the deed. Karloff is executed for his supposed crime, but is brought back to life by kindly and eccentric doctor Gwenn. He comes back with a new purpose -- revenge.

Excellent little B-picture that, thanks to Curtiz's direction and Hal Mohr's cinematography, manages to have more substance in its 66 minutes than many films twice as long. Though it is never outrightly stated, it is pretty obvious that Karloff has been brought back with a divine purpose, namely to strike down the sinners who brought about his death. And though it was made in 1936, this film is quite clearly a film noir, and not just because of the moody visuals. Ellman is as much a victim of fate as Tom Neal in Detour, or any one of a hundred other poor schmucks that littered the screen in that genre's heyday. One of Karloff's best "minor" films.

Note: Karloff's character name is spelled "Elman" in the credits, but "Ellmann" in newspapers and teletypes seen on screen. Similarly, Kenneth Harlan's character is named "Stephen Martin" but called "Paul Martin" at least once by Ricardo Cortez. Some scenes must have been deleted, as several uncredited roles don't appear on scren anywhere.

-Dave W.



14th March 1936
CInema



66 mins
1.37:1


6th October 2009
DVD




1.33:1




"
Boris Karloff
John Ellman
(see note)
Ricardo Cortez
Nolan
Edmund Gwenn
Dr. Evan Beaumont
Marguerite Churchill
Nancy
Warren Hull
Jimmy
Barton MacLane
Loder
Henry O'Neill
District Attorney Werner
Joe King
Judge Roger Shaw
(as Joseph King)
Addison Richards
Prison Warden
Paul Harvey
Blackstone
Robert Strange
Merritt
Joe Sawyer
'Trigger' Smith
Eddie Acuff
'Betcha'
Kenneth Harlan
Stephen Martin
(see note)
Miki Morita
Sako
Ruth Robinson
Mrs. Shaw
Milton Kibbee
Reporter
Earle Hodgins
Reporter
Lucille Collins
Tough Girl in Courtroom
John J. Richardson
Man in Courtroom
Leo White
Man in Courtroom
Charles Sherlock
Man in Courtroom Dodging 'Betcha'
Unknown 20773-01
Reporter
Unknown 20773-02
Reporter
Richard Kipling
Court Clerk
William H. O'Brien
Juror
Sam Rice
Mike, Counterman
Spec O'Donnell
Copy Boy
Paul Panzer
Man in Courtroom
Unknown 20773-03
Man at Ellman's Trial
Unknown 20773-04
Man at Ellman's Trial
Unknown 20773-05
Man at Ellman's Trial
George Beranger
Nolan's Butler
Wade Boteler
Cellist's Guard
Nick Moro
Convict Playing Cello
Edgar Sherrod
Prison Chaplain
Edward Gargan
Guard Sitting Outside Warden's Office
James P. Burtis
Guard Answering Phone
Bill Elliott
American Radio Announcer
Crauford Kent
British Radio Announcer
Jean Perry
French Radio Announcer
Unknown 20773-06
Party Guest
Unknown 20773-07
Party Guest
Sarah Edwards
Party Guest
(listed as 'female doctor" in cast lists)
Adrian Rosley
Party Guest
Alphonse Martell
Florist
John Kelly
Joe - Merritt's Bodyguard
Unknown 20773-08
Merritt's Bodyguard
Frank Darien
Cemetery Caretaker
Unknown 20773-09
Laboratory Assistant
Brandon Beach
Second Guest
Tom Brower
Baliff
Edwin J. Carlie
Prisoner
Glen Cavender
Man in Courtroom
Cris Corporal
Black Prisoner
Carl Faulkner
Warden at Execution
Malcolm Graham
Third Guest
Harry Hollingsworth
Baliff
Fred Hueston
Fourth Guest
Paul Irving
First Guest
Boyd Irwin
British Doctor
Larry Kent
Reporter
Nicholas Kobliansky
Russian Doctor
Isabel La Mal
Sob Sister
Charles Marsh
Reporter
Edward Peil Sr.
Train Engineer
Lee Phelps
Bailiff
James Pierce
Prisoner
Lee Prather
Bailiff
Harrington Reynolds
English Doctor
Syd Saylor
Courtroom Reporter
Tom Schamp
Prisoner
Eddie Shubert
Reporter
Billy Wayne
Trusty

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes
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