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The Mad Doctor

The Mad Doctor(1941)

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Remind Me

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In the middle of a rainy night, Midbury physician Dr. Charles Downer is awakened and summoned to the home of psychologist George Sebastien to treat Sebastien's wife. When he arrives, however, Sebastien tells Downer that his wife has already died of pneumonia. Downer returns home sadly and considers ordering an autopsy because he is sure that his patient had been recovering. Shortly afterward, Sebastien leaves Midbury for New York, accompanied by his servant and companion, Maurice Gretz. In New York, Sebastien revives his practice as a psychoanalyst and is called upon to treat Linda Boothe, a beautiful young woman who is severely depressed and suicidal. Even though she is engaged to newspaperman Gil Sawyer, Sebastien plots with Maurice to marry Linda, kill her and claim her inheritance, just as he had done with his first two wives. Gil, suspicious of all analysts, publishes articles questioning psychology and conducts his own investigation into Sebastien's past. When Gil questions his ethics in front of Linda, her sister Louise and brother-in-law, Lawrence Watkin, Sebastien hypnotizes Linda into reliving her childhood memory of her father's violent death, and her wish to join him. Sebastien reveals that Linda has been acting on that childhood wish, and now, having relived the incident, is cured. Later, while Gil is in Savannah researching Sebastien's past, Sebastien and Linda fall in love. Gil discovers that Sebastien's first wife also died of pneumonia, and after he reveals this information to Downer, Downer orders the exhumation of Sebastien's second wife's body. In New York, Sebastien has sincerely fallen in love with Linda, and relates to her the story of a Berlin man who murdered his adulterous wife and her lover, and hated all women from that point on until recently, when his bitterness dissolved. Linda never suspects that the murderer in his story is Sebastien. Sebastien later panics when he reads of the exhumation in the newspaper and sends Maurice to Midbury to steal the body. While doing so, Maurice kills the night watchman at the cemetery. Sebastien rushes his wedding to the unsuspecting Linda so that they can immediately leave the country. Downer travels to New York, and while doing research in the public library, discovers a medical yearbook from Vienna which reveals that Sebastien is really Dr. Frederick Langamann and was convicted of a double murder in Austria and escaped from prison. Downer calls Linda and, after revealing Sebastien's sordid past, arranges to meet her at a subway station. Sebastien and Maurice get to him first, however, and push him to his death in front of a subway train. As he tries to leave the station, Maurice is killed by an Austrian policeman, who recognizes him as Langamann's partner in crime. Linda, who saw Sebastien leave the scene of Downer's death, faints after he reveals his true identity. Sebastien carries her to the balcony of her apartment, intending to commit suicide and take her with him, but Gil and the police arrive first. Sebastien leaves Linda resting, then walks out on a narrow ledge of the building. As the police near him, Sebastien falls to his death.