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The Man with Nine Lives (1940)

Boris Karloff , Roger Pryor , Nick Grinde  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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The Man with Nine Lives + The Devil Commands + Icons of Horror Collection: Boris Karloff (The Boogie Man Will Get You / The Black Room / The Man They Could Not Hang / Before I Hang)
Price for all three: $32.58

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Product Details

  • Actors: Boris Karloff, Roger Pryor, Jo Ann Sayers, Stanley Brown, John Dilson
  • Directors: Nick Grinde
  • Writers: Harold Shumate, Karl Brown
  • Producers: Irving Briskin, Wallace MacDonald
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2005
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AM6OEY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,006 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Man with Nine Lives" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

To save many, he'll sacrifice a few. Missing for ten years, Dr. Leon Kravaal (Boris Karloff) has been found! Frozen solid in a block of ice, Kravaal was conducting forbidden experiments in human cryogenics when he became trapped within his own freezer. Thawed out by Tim Morgan (Roger Pryor) and Judy Blair (Jo Ann Sayers), Kravaal vows to continue his research, using his enemies as guinea pigs. But with the death of his last human "volunteer," Kravaal decides it's time for Time and Judy to sacrifice their lives for science, in this chilling tale of cold-blooded murder.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Karloff Rarity Makes it to DVD October 14, 2005
By mackjay
**May Contain Mild Spoilers**

This issue of THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES (1940) is another in what looks like it might be a DVD series of the horror films Karloff made for Columbia. For fans of the actor, it's more than welcome. Karloff gets to play a couple of nicely chilling scenes, which he does very well, and his Dr. Kravaal is the saving grace in what would otherwise be just another B programmer. He's the only real standout in the cast, but the general level of acting is above average. As Dr. Kravaal's foils, Roger Pryor and Jo Ann Sayers are convincing and sympathetic. The often-seen character actor Byron Foulger has some nicely intense moments as one of Kravaal's victims, and there is Bruce Bennett as policeman in the film's climax. It's a fine example of a good B picture: concise and never dull. Director Grinde creates a sense of doom and foreboding as Pryor and Sayers begin their journey in search of Dr. Kravaal's documents, which leads to a variation on the haunted house motif. The main section of the film has an effectively creepy atmosphere, without being exactly horrific. Karloff and the rest deliver for 74 minutes that should not disappoint.

The Columbia Tristar DVD has a very good looking transfer, and the film appears to be uncut. Up until the final 10 minutes, the image is as clear and sharp as we could expect. For some reason, the final minutes do look more worn, but it's not really a problem.
The disc has only trailers of recent films as a supplement. The most attractive feature of the DVD is the main menu page, and the scene selection menu, which both have a beautiful sepia-toned look. This is fully the equal of Columbia's previous DVD of THE DEVIL COMMANDS, and it's a lot less expensive.

Highly recommended.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, what a good Karloff film! November 15, 2006
By tpm1800
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I recently purchased the "Icons of Horror - Boris Karloff Collection" featuring his Columbia films of the 30s and 40s. That set contained four films. Two of his Columbia horror titles were missing, "The Devil Commands" and "The Man with Nine Lives," because Sony had previously released them separately. I decided to buy the separate DVD releases. I am really glad I did as this film, "The Man with Nine Lives," was a great surprise.

After seeing Karloff recently in a lot of mad scientist roles that all seemed to be similar, I wasn't too sure about watching him in yet another mad scientist flick. Would he be on death row again? Would he be a widower and have the obligatory 18-25 year-old daughter? Would he be seeking vengeance against those who scorned him? Wow, imagine my surprise to see him in a very different mad scientist role.

"The Man with Nine Lives" has Karloff as a misunderstood genius who has perfected a way of using cryogenics (a term that is never actually used in the film) to cure disease in the human body. You don't even see Karloff for the first 10-15 minutes of the film. His eventual appearance is dramatically built up as a cryogenics research doctor and his nurse/fiancee search for answers to the mysterious disappearance of Karloff's character and five other people 10 years earlier. When his character is finally revealed it answers quite a few questions and sets the next chapter of the film into motion (I don't want to reveal too much here).

What I loved about this film was the way it weaved in profound questions about scientific ethics (anyone who has seen it will understand what I mean) in a way no other Karloff mad scientist film ever has. Is it right to experiment on unwilling human guinea pigs even if the knowledge gained could save millions?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Karloff on Ice November 2, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Cryogenics...what the heck is that, you ask? The online dictionary defines it as "The production of low temperatures or the study of low-temperature phenomena." Hardball fans got a crash course, in terms of its use on humans, back in 2002 when Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ted Williams had his head separated from his body (post mortem, of course), the two parts now frozen in cold storage somewhere in Arizona, I lies Ted, there lies his head...but back to my point, it seems the legendary Boris Karloff, as a movie character, had been a pioneer of the process back in 1940 (actually the process, in one form or another, had been around since the turn of the century, although I'm unsure when they actually began freezing humans or their parts) in the film The Man with Nine Lives (1940). Directed by Nick Grinde (The Man They Could Not Hang, Before I Hang), the film stars Boris Karloff (Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, Bride of Frankenstein), Roger Pryor (Bullets for O'Hara, I Live on Danger), and Jo Ann Sayers (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn). Also appearing is Stanley Brown (Island of Doomed Men), John Dilson (Drums of Fu Manchu), Wally Wales (The Sea Hornet), Byron `Wendell Gibbs' Foulger ("Petticoat Junction"), and Ernie Adams (The Devil Commands).

As the film begins we're witnessing a demonstration the miracle of `frozen therapy' as performed by Dr. Tim Mason (Pryor), assisted by his fiancée Judith Blair (Sayers), who also happens to be a nurse. The process seems to involve covering a patient in ice, bringing their body temperature way, way down, and then reviving them by administering a hot coffee enema.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very intelligent Boris Karloff Movie
Boris Karloff is not a monster here, he has gone through many trials and tribulations in this movie to achieve the benefits for mankind. Truly a great movie.
Published 4 months ago by hdknowledge
5.0 out of 5 stars Comedy, b movie awesomness
Very funny. I love the gravy boat with coffee used to wake the patients from the dead. Very dry wit at times.
Published 11 months ago by adrienne
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man With Nine Lives - DVD review.
The Man With Nine Lives, starring Boris Karloff, as a good guy / bad guy is a curious black and white movie from well before I was born. I don't want to include any spoilers here. Read more
Published on June 11, 2012 by R Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Coffee brings the dead back to life!
Classic queso! This little sci fi chiller (pun intended) moves right along. We open with a young buck scientist exploring the boundaries of science in the eternal fight against... Read more
Published on April 5, 2011 by The Queen of Noirs
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, Two Lives Anyway...
Boris Karloff plays Dr. Kravaal to perfection. No one portrays a mad scientist like Boris! Where Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price would go (splendidly) over-the-top, Karloff downplays... Read more
Published on March 28, 2011 by Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein
4.0 out of 5 stars Doctor K & Cryogenics!
Although the DVD was nothing to brag about (previews of horror films -- Frankenfish, et al! Frankenfish) the film itself was creepy and disturbing as mad scientist Kravaal... Read more
Published on November 5, 2010 by Scotman's Critic's Corner
3.0 out of 5 stars Simply a mediocre film
Boris Karloff is one of my favorite movie stars, but this film's weak script wasted the actor's talents. Read more
Published on August 5, 2008 by John L. Lyons
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