The Devil-Doll

Synopsis: Paul Lavond was a respected banker in Paris when he was framed for robbery and murder by crooked associates and sent to prison. Years later, he escapes with a friend, a scientist who was working on a method to reduce humans to a height of mere inches (all for the good of humanity, of course). Lavond however is consumed with hatred for the men who betrayed him, and takes the scientist's methods back to Paris to exact painful revenge.
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Director(s): Tod Browning
Production: MGM
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
78 min

Turn off your motor.

Hold the light up in those trees.

We'll get them

before they leave the island.

- Lavond, my friend, will we make it?

- Yes.

The dogs lost our scent

when we crossed that river. Come on.

Yes, I've work to do.

I've dreamt only of my work.

Well, my work is no dream.

I've been awake for 17 years.

But you have only hatred in your heart.

My work will help the world to live.

My work will help three men die.

What is it, Prince?

What're you trying to tell me?

What's wrong?

Lachna. Go away. Go away, Prince.

Lachna, Lachna,

see what's wrong with the dogs.

It's Marcel, my husband!

Call off the dogs, Lachna.

Call off the dogs, quickly!

Come here, Prince. Quickly!

Go to the shed. Go to the shed.

- Here. Help me.

- We're safe.

Easy now. Easy, old friend. Come along.


- Marcel, my husband.

- Malita.

So you've come.

How did you get here?

Did they pardon you?

- We escaped.

- But the police. They'll be following you.

No. They lost our trail, weeks ago.

Come, let's get inside.

Malita, I knew you'd come here

as we planned.

I knew you'd be waiting.

Oh, Marcel. Marcel.

You've been working.

I knew it by the howling of the dogs.

But you've failed, you've failed again.

I can see it in your face.

Now, now, don't excite yourself, Marcel.

He's weak, madame.

- He's been ill a long time.

- Who is he? Is he...

I know our mistake now.

It came to me one night

in that cesspool of stupid minds.

- Marcel. Marcel.

- No more failures, Malita.

The next one will have a perfect brain.


But we're not alone.

Oh, Paul.

- Malita, this is my friend, Paul Lavond.

- Madame.

We escaped together.

- He saved my life more than once.

- I am grateful, monsieur.

We need have no secrets from him.

Now, Malita, where are they?

- I've thought, I've planned so long.

- They're in the next room.

Malita, help me. Help me.

Malita, shut off the tanks.




Malita, some of the others, quick.

Careful. Careful, Marcel,

you might hurt them.

No. Just as I thought.

They're all alike.

They might as well

not have any brain at all!

What is it?

Is this the great work you've been

dreaming of so long? Toy dogs?


Forgive me, Lavond. Have you been

locked away from life so long

you don't recognize

a prisoner of life itself?

Why, it feels warm.

Almost flesh and bone.

- Like the real animal.

- It is.

Eight hours ago

it was a full-grown Saint Bernard.

You think I'm mad.

The world would think so, too,

if they knew what I was going to do.

Lavond, my friend, millions of years ago

the creatures that roamed

this world were gigantic.

As they multiplied,

the earth could no longer

produce enough food.

Think of it, Lavond, every living creature

reduced to one-sixth its size,

one-sixth its physical need!

Food for six times all of us!

Lavond, you know that all matter

is composed of atoms?

- Yes, yes, of course, I know.

- And all atoms are made of electrons.

- Yes, I know.

- Well, I've found a way

to reduce all atoms

in a body simultaneously

to any desired degree and still

maintain life, as in this little dog.

Well, then, the dog should be alive.

It is! It is. Only, in reducing the brain,

all records are wiped off, no memory left,

no will of its own.

A creature capable of responding only

to the force of another will.

Malita, place it on the table.

Now, watch.

Malita, a piece of bread.

Lavond, watch the others.

Watch them.

See, Lavond, only a few crumbs

is all they need.

Napoleon, Napoleon.

Get down. Get down. Get down.

That's a nice dog.

See, Paul? See?

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Garrett Fort

Garrett Elsden Fort (June 5, 1900 - October 26, 1945) was an American short story writer, playwright, and Hollywood screenwriter. He was also a close follower of Meher Baba. Fort made his screenwriting debut with the silent film, One of the Finest (1917). Early in his career, Fort co-wrote the Broadway play Jarnegan (1928), based on the novel by Jim Tully. Fort's first talkie effort was the ground-breaking Rouben Mamoulian production Applause (1929). In 2006 Applause was recognized as a culturally, historically and aesthetically significant film by the National Film Registry.Fort was adept at alternating horrific highlights with bits of unexpected humor. As a screenwriter he is best remembered for his work on the original screen adaptations of such horror / melodrama films as Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Dracula's Daughter (1936), and The Mark of Zorro (1940). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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