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The Devil Doll Review

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Unjustly imprisoned Lionel Barrymore escapes from Devil's Island with a dying mad scientist who shares with him a secret process for miniaturising human beings.

★★★★

Unjustly imprisoned Lionel Barrymore escapes from Devil's Island with a dying mad scientist who shares with him a secret process for miniaturising human beings.

In Paris, disguised as a little old lady, the ex-con tries to re-establish a relationship with his estranged daughter (Maureen O'Sullivan), but more importantly uses the doll people in his revenge against those who did him wrong.

Another freakish melodrama from Tod Browning, this was the first great shrinking people effects movie. The sequences of the killer dolls in action - escaping from Christmas trees and making their way across huge living rooms to commit murder - remain fascinating and unsettling. Barrymore is a bit of a softie as megalomaniac masterminds go, but there's some high quality fiendishness from Rafaela Ottiano as a crippled minion who loves playing with the dancing dolls.

The first great shrinking people effects movie - some chilling sequences and a fiendish performance by Ottiano make up for Barrymore's slightly soft megalomaniac.