Undercover Doctor


1h 7m 1939

Film Details

Also Known As
Criminal Doctor, Federal Offense, Parole Fixer, Persons in Hiding
Release Date
Jun 9, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Persons in Hiding by J. Edgar Hoover (Boston, 1938).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

In the small town of Midburg, alcoholic surgeon Dr. Bartley Morgan is ordered by Eddie Krator, "Public Enemy Number One," to remove a bullet from gangster Johnny Franklin. Reluctant to go against the law, but desperate for patients, Bart performs the surgery. The next day, Bart's faithful nurse, Margaret Hopkins, who secretly loves him, walks out after making Bart promise to stop drinking. Bart keeps his promise and uses Krator's substantial payoff to open a doctor's office in Manhattan, where he continues to operate on Krator's gang whenever there is a shootout, but refuses to help Krator's enemies and even turns them in to the police. At the same time, Bart builds up a clientele of New York's wealthy and becomes involved with Cynthia Weld, whom he plans to marry her for money. The F.B.I. gets involved in fighting Krator's gang and becomes suspicious when Monk Jackson, whom they believed they had fatally wounded, is picked up during a raid, completely healed. One night, Bayview Hospital calls Bart in to operate on a G-man at the same time that Krator needs him to save one of his men. Bart saves only the G-man and then sees Margaret at the hospital and rehires her as his assistant. An angry Krator issues Bart an ultimatum, but he blackmails Krator with information on his gang in order to be released from his commitment as the gang surgeon. Elmer Porter, ostensibly a harmless stamp collector, but really an agent for Krator who uses the name Evans, threatens to expose Bart to the Weld family, but Bart is undaunted, until his stocks drop and he needs $10,000 immediately. Meanwhile, F.B.I. agent Robert Anders asks Margaret to dinner, but is detained when Krator robs the Federal Reserve Bank. Krator escapes, but Franklin is wounded again. Bart accepts the medical job for a clean $25,000 and removes Franklin's bullet, but Franklin remains in critical condition. Meanwhile, a wounded guard identifies Krator and Franklin to Anders, and their names make the front page. Margaret finally realizes Bart's double life, and when Bart returns to the office drunk after the surgery, she again threatens to leave unless he returns Krator's money to him. Bart promises to return the money in the morning, but switches envelopes to deceive her. Margaret then calls the F.B.I. with an anonymous tip that Krator's hideout is the Ace Inn. Anders and his men raid the place and apprehend Franklin, on a stretcher, but Krator escapes. Franklin dies in the hospital without revealing who operated on him, but Anders notices that Franklin's old scar matches the scar Anders himself has from an operation performed by Bart. The next day, Anders finds his F.B.I. phone number on a memo pad on Margaret's desk and, when she swears she didn't call him, becomes suspicious. Anders then locates Krator in a small fishing town, and a statewide chase ensues until Anders, sure Krator cannot possibly escape New York, predicts that he will order Bart to perform a facelift. Krator arrives at Bart's office, and he agrees to do the plastic surgery with Margaret assisting, but she refuses and is tied up. Anders and his men arrest Bart and Krator, who is under anaesthetic, and Anders handcuffs Margaret to him for a dinner date.

Film Details

Also Known As
Criminal Doctor, Federal Offense, Parole Fixer, Persons in Hiding
Release Date
Jun 9, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Persons in Hiding by J. Edgar Hoover (Boston, 1938).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were Federal Offense, Persons in Hiding, Criminal Doctor and Parole Fixer. Although onscreen credits list George Meeker in the role of Monk Jackson, Motion Picture Herald credits Paul Fix in the part. According to contemporary reviews, this was the second in the J. Edgar Hoover series of G-Men films in which Hoover exercised approval over the stories, completed production and advertising. The films Parole Fixer and Queen of the Mob and Persons in Hiding were also based on Hoover's book Persons in Hiding. According to files in the MPAAPCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Joseph I. Breen, director of the Hays Office, warned Paramount producer Luigi Luraschi in a letter dated January 9, 1939 that the political censor boards were opposed to "the suggestion that crime, even temporarily, is profitable," adding that scenes showing large sums of money in the hands of criminals would be deleted by censors. The Hays Office later suggested that the film suggest rather than show bound packets of money. Breen also objected to the film's depiction of "the activities of American gangsters armed, and in violent conflict with the law." Although onscreen credits list George Meeker in the role of Monk Jackson, Motion Picture Herald credits Paul Fix in the part.