“Do you know what it’s like to play God?”
An atmospheric, Pre-Code nightmare, dampened a bit by a couple of flawed elements.
Arlen, Hyams, Hohl, Fields and Hurst do good with the material they’re given, but the choices of Laughton, Burke and Lugosi are brilliantly inspired. A year before he won an Oscar for Henry VIII, Laughton’s refined charm and natural menace elevate what could have been a stock mad scientist. Burke really gives the sensation of a being trapped between human and animal desires. Lugosi gives one of his most manic, genuinely horrific performances, albeit one that’s severely underused.
Amid gorgeous compositions and a flowing, moving camera, the film moves along at a brisk pace (its only 70 minutes!),…