Director: Phil Rosen
Producer: A.W. Hackel (producer)
Writer: Joseph Hoffman
Starring: Edward Norris, Marlo Dwyer, Eleanor Lawson, Frederick Burton, Addison Richards, and Edward Keane
Release Date: March 13th, 1942
Man with Two Lives is a low-budget sci-fi, horror, gangster picture directed by Phil Rosen and written by Joseph Hoffman. It was released on the 13th of March, 1942 by A.W. Hackel Productions. The movie stars Edward Norris, Marlo Dwyer, Eleanor Lawson, Frederick Burton, Addison Richards, and Edward Keane. All of them were budget actors and actresses that did a pretty decent job.
Phillip Bennett and Louise Hammond are a happy young couple who are engaged to be married. However, one fateful evening saw Phillip get into an auto-accident, flipping his car, killing him instantly. The house he crashes outside of just so happens to have two scientists in it. One of which has been experimenting with bringing dead creatures back-to-life, or transmigration of the soul. After experimenting with young Phillip, something happens. The soul of a recently executed gangster has found its way into our heroes body. Possessing him and making him act in a seriously troubled way.
The Man with Two Lives is a good movie that breathes some originality into the old Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde formula. It’s a tired plot device that had been done to death in the years prior. However, this movie’s macabre plot adds interest and entertainment. It’s a good thing the story is so interesting since the acting isn’t the best. Some of the actors appear to be in a constant state of shock. Wide eyed with their mouths hanging open. But no matter how rough the acting, it doesn’t detract from the story. It’s a shame that this isn’t more widely known. Sure it has issues, but it’s better than a lot of big productions that were coming out around the same time.