The iconic Berwyn/Chicago-based horror host will be presenting the first film in the studio’s “Inner Sanctum” adaptations, “Calling Dr. Death” this Sat., July 29 at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central on Me-TV.
This will be Sven’s second showing of the 1943 Universal mystery feature. He previously showcased “Calling Dr. Death” in May 2016 on Me-TV.
Who was in “Calling Dr. Death?”
The players who appeared in “Calling Dr. Death” were Lon Chaney, Jr. (as Dr. Steele), Patricia Morison (as Stella), J. Carrol Naish (as Inspector Gregg), David Bruce (as Robert Duval), Ramsay Ames (as Maria Steele), Fay Helm (as Mrs. Duval), Holmes Herbert (as a Butler), Alec Craig (as the Watchman) and David Hoffman (as the “Inner Sanctum” head, Hoffman was not credited in the film).
David Bruce appeared in another Universal horror film that was made the same year as “Calling Dr. Death,” “The Mad Ghoul” (in the role of Ted Allison).
Universal and the “Inner Sanctum” mysteries
According to the American Film Institute’s database entry on “Calling Dr. Death,” Universal Studios licensed the rights to the “Inner Sanctum” name from publishing giant Simon & Schuster in June 1943. The studio did not receive the screen rights to any of the mystery novels in the “Inner Sanctum” series.
Additional “Inner Sanctum” films
After the release of “Calling Dr. Death,” Universal produced five more films in the “Inner Sanctum” series with Lon Chaney, Jr.; including “Weird Woman,” “Dead Man’s Eyes” (both 1944), “The Frozen Ghost,” “Strange Confession,” and “Pillow of Death” (the three latter films were made in 1945). Many of the “Inner Sanctum” features have been previously showcased on Sven’s show.
Radio and TV adaptations of the “Inner Sanctum” mysteries
The radio adaptation of the “Inner Sanctum” mystery series premiered on NBC’s “Blue” network in Jan. 1941, two years before Universal released “Calling Dr. Death.” The “Inner Sanctum” radio series would move to CBS Radio in Sep. 1943 and would move to ABC Radio in 1950. The series would return to CBS for the final network radio run in 1952, according to AFI’s database.
In 1954, the “Inner Sanctum” TV series premiered on local television stations throughout the United States. The syndicated television adaptation of the mystery novelizations was distributed to stations by NBC, according to IMDB.
Be sure to watch or record Svengoolie’s showcase of “Calling Dr. Death” (1943, this Sat. on Me-TV)!
With Lon Chaney, Jr. and an ensemble cast of players (including Sven’s additional facts, Doug’s song of the night and Kerwyn’s mail call segment), you will not be disappointed in Svengoolie’s presentation of “Calling Dr. Death” this Sat. on Me-TV!
Svengoolie presents: “Calling Dr. Death” (1943)
Sat., July 29 at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central on Me-TV
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/Fios 489
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208 (“Svengoolie” is time-delayed to 11 p.m. due to TV-11’s 10 p.m. newscast on their Me-TV sub-channel)
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248 (Sven is also time-delayed on WGAL-TV 8 due to their 10 p.m. newscast on their Me-TV sub-channel)
Live-tweet (during Svengoolie’s telecast) with fellow Sven fans from coast-to-coast (by using “#Svengoolie” on Twitter)!
To Berwyn/Chicago readers of “Silver Screen Reflections:” Be sure to see the PM&L Theatre production of Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein,” beginning this Fri., July 28 at 8 p.m. local time (featuring super Sven fan Jamie Lee as Elizabeth Benning) in Antioch, Illinois! Performances will be taking place from Fri., July 28 to Sun., Aug. 13 (Fri. and Sat. evening performances will begin at 8 p.m. and Sun. afternoon performances will begin at 2:30 p.m. local time). The management of “Silver Screen Reflections” has added a widget (as a direct link) to the PM&L/”Young Frankenstein” site on the front page! More information and online ticket purchasing is available on the official PM&L site. Fellow fans of Svengoolie throughout the nation are rooting for Jamie and the PM&L players! -C.H.
In relation to the “Inner Sanctum” series:
The Lon Chaney, Jr. “Inner Sanctum” films (including “Calling Dr. Death”) are available on Universal’s “Inner Sanctum Complete Mysteries Collection” DVD set
All rights acknowledged.