The Crime Doctor drama series featuring Warner Baxter is adapted from a radio drama series of the same name. There were 10 films in the series released between 1943 to 1949.
The radio drama series, known also as Max Marcin’s Crime Doctor, ran from 1940 to 1947. I guess it was popular enough for it to be adapted into film.
The series revolved around a psychiatric doctor called Dr Benjamin Ordway, a criminal mastermind until he lost his memory. After rebuilding his life, he specialized in criminal psychiatry and help reform criminals or prove their innocence by solving the crimes supposedly committed by the people he was trying to help.
The film series also touched on mental health issues such as amnesia, blackouts, dreams, dual personalities, and obsessions although they are more narrative devices than a serious exploration of the issues.
Considering that these made during the Second World War, the quality is admirable.
List of Warner Baxter’s The Crime Doctor
Crime Doctor (1943)
The Crime Doctor’s origin story. How Philip Morgan became Dr Benjamin Ordway. Mental condition featured: amnesia.
The Crime Doctor’s Strangest Case (1943)
A real estate tycoon died from poisoning in his own bedroom. The prime suspect is his personal assistant Trotter who was with him an hour before his death. Trotter is a reformed convict helped by Dr Ordway. Worried that Trotter may be blamed for the crime, Dr Ordway investigates on his behalf.
Shadows in the Night (1944)
A young lady with sleepwalking and incoherent dreams sought help from Dr Ordway. Ordway uncovered a plot against the lady.
Crime Doctor’s Warning (1945)
A young artist worried whether he was the perpetrator of two murders because of his blackouts. Ordway uncovered the connections between the 2 victims and identified the real murderer.
The Crime Doctor’s Courage (1945)
A man suspected of murdering two of his wives was killed. There are a multiple of suspects and motives.
Just Before Dawn (1946)
Who tricked Dr Ordway into giving a lethal injection to a patient? This film is also known as Exposed by the Crime Doctor.
The Crime Doctor’s Man Hunt (1946)
Was the man with dual personalities a murderer?
The Millerson Case (1947)
Dr Ordway finds out who hid a murder behind a typhoid epidemic. This film is also known as The Crime Doctor’s Vacation.
The Crime Doctor’s Gamble (1947)
Dr Ordway investigates the murder of an old man in Paris. Was the killer his son who is not mentally stable?
The Crime Doctor’s Diary (1949)
Dr Ordway tries to help a man framed for arson.
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