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The Monster Maker (1944)

J. Carrol Naish (1900–1973) is the “monster maker,” a deranged man who assumes the identity of Dr. Igor Markoff after he murders him for having had a clandestine affair with his wife. Once he assumes Dr. Markoff’s identity, he punishes his wife by injecting her with a chemical that disfigures her and leads her to kill herself. The “monster maker” then falls in love with the daughter of Anthony Laurence (Ralph Morgan, 1883–1956). Laurence is a famous piano composer and his daughter reminds Markoff of his deceased wife.  Markoff ends up injecting Laurence with the disfiguring serum, hoping to get Laurence’s daughter’s hand in marriage in exchange for an antidote.

The movie was directed by Sam Newfield (originally spelled “Neufeld,” 1899–1964) one of the most prolific low-budget B-movie directors in Hollywood, and made at Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC). Newfield directed mostly westerns and was well-known enough that PRC was embarrassed to print his name on many of its B-movie releases. Thus many of Newfield’s movies were released under pseudonyms such as “Peter Stewart” and “Sherman Scott.”  His brother, Sigmund Neufeld (1896–1979) produced the film and was a PRC executive. 

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