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Waxworks (1924)

Das Wachsfigurenkabinett (original title)
Not Rated | | Fantasy, Horror | February 1929 (USA)
A wax museum hires a writer to give the sculptures stories. The writer imagines himself and the museum owner's daughter in the stories.





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Credited cast:
Harun al Raschid
Jack the Ripper / Spring-Heeled Jack
The Poet / Assad the Baker / A Russian Prince (as Wilhelm Dieterle)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olga Belajeff ...
Eva-Maimune-Eine Bojarin
Paul Biensfeldt ...
Grand Vizier
John Gottowt ...
Inhaber der Panoptikums
Ernst Legal ...
Poison-Maker of the Czar


The owner of a Waxmuseum needs for three of his models stories to be told to the audience. For that reason he has hired a writer, who after one look athe owner's pretty daughter, starts writing stories featuring the models, the daughter and himself. In the first, he is a baker, married to the girl, who is a little bit too much flirting with the customers, among them the wezir of sultan Harun Al-Rashid, who has just ordered his execution because the smell from the bakery is drifting to his palce, yet Harun Al-Rashid wants to meet the beautiful girl himself, while an angry baker is trying to get the Sultan's whishing ring to proof he's not a weakling... The second story is about Tzar Ivan the Terrible who likes watching people die together with his court-chemist. When he orders the execution of the chemist, the chemist thinks of a nice revanche, but till the revanche works, a nobleman is murdered, his daughter kidnapped by Ivan and her groom tortured. While writing the third story about... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Fantasy | Horror


Not Rated




Release Date:

February 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Waxworks  »

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Technical Specs


| (restored)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Originally there were four episodes planned, but for the fourth, "Rinaldo Rinaldini," there wasn't any money left. See more »

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User Reviews

Nothing too memorable, but plenty of interesting visuals
3 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

Three stories, perhaps loosely based on those of O'Henry, set within the clever framing device of a man trying to compose the tales of 3 waxwork figures. He imagines himself and the owner's daughter in the stories, one of which is an Arabian Nights-type story in which he is a baker who has angered the Sultan (Jannings). He goes out to steal the Sultan's ring while the Sultan sets out to steal his wife, leaving a waxen copy of himself behind as insurance. The second story, with Veidt as Ivan the Terrible of Russia caught up in his own murderous schemes, is one-dimensional and obvious compared to the relatively witty first story; the last story, which features the hero and his girl being stalked by Jack the Ripper (Krauss) seems like it's over before it's begun. Impressive film techniques, but to me this movie is pretty uninspired compared to the better films in the gothic tradition from the period. The producers were astute in their decision to cast the genre star trio, but they tried too hard to make this movie too much like other films in its class, never letting it breathe its own air.

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