Dr. Cadman’s Secret; Black Sleep, The

2565. DR. CADMAN’S SECRET (The Black Sleep) (1956-USA). With BASIL RATHBONE, AKIM TAMIROFF, LON CHANEY JR., JOHN CARRADINE, BELA LUGOSI, TOR JOHNSON. A parade of Hollywood’s top horror stars appears in this fast-paced and exciting tale of a mad doctor who performs brain surgery on unwilling victims. The story begins in a dark cell of Newgate Prison in London of 1872. Sir Joel Cadman is an eminent surgeon who is visiting Dr. Gordon Ramsey, a farmer student who has been condemned to death by hanging for murder. The execution is set for the following morning. Cadman puts a potion called “the black sleep” into a cup and instructs Ramsey to take the drug early the next morning. The drug suspends Ramsey’s life functions and he is declared legally dead. With the help of a conniving gypsy named Odo, Ramsey’s “corpse” is delivered to Cadman’s offices where he is revived. In appreciation of this gift of life, Ramsey agrees to assist Cadman in a series of experimental brain surgeries. They travel to a remote gothic castle where Cadman introduces his new associate to a most fearful bunch of characters. There is a deranged cretin (acted with all the right moves by Lon Chaney) and a frail mute servant (played by a weakened and elderly Bela Lugosi just a few months before his death). Another resident (played by John Carradine at his most outrageous) is a raving lunatic who thinks he is fighting the Crusades. One scream follows another as some of these unfortunates find themselves the unwilling subjects of Cadman’s inhuman endeavors in this unholy house of terror. 82 minutes. Horror