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Murders in the Rue Morgue
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Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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Edgar Allan Poe (story)
Robert Florey (adaptation)
View company contact information for Murders in the Rue Morgue on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 February 1932 (USA) See more »
Innocent Beauty - this was her wedding eve. On the wall a shadow . . the beast was at large grinning horribly-cruelly. What was Her Fate ? See more »
A mad scientist seeks to mingle human blood with that of an ape, and resorts to kidnapping women for his experiments. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
(51 articles)
Blood and Black Lace
 (From Trailers from Hell. 2 July 2016, 1:14 PM, PDT)

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 10
 (From Trailers from Hell. 25 June 2016, 7:43 PM, PDT)

Blu-ray Review: Murders In The Rue Morgue/The Dunwich Horror
 (From shocktillyoudrop. 4 April 2016, 7:44 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
An appreciated but underrated Universal and Lugosi short triumph See more (62 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sidney Fox ... Mlle. Camille L'Espanaye

Bela Lugosi ... Dr. Mirakle

Leon Ames ... Pierre Dupin (as Leon Waycoff)

Bert Roach ... Paul

Betty Ross Clarke ... Mme. L'Espanaye
Brandon Hurst ... Prefect of Police
D'Arcy Corrigan ... Morgue Keeper
Noble Johnson ... Janos The Black One

Arlene Francis ... Woman of the Streets
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ted Billings ... Sideshow Spectator (uncredited)
Herman Bing ... Franz Odenheimer (uncredited)
Agostino Borgato ... Alberto Montani (uncredited)

Iron Eyes Cody ... Indian at Sideshow (uncredited)
Christian J. Frank ... Gendarme Using Snuff (uncredited)
Charles Gemora ... Erik, the Gorilla (uncredited)
Harrison Greene ... Sideshow Barker (uncredited)

Charlotte Henry ... Blonde Girl in Sideshow Audience (uncredited)
Harry Holman ... Victor Albert Adolph Jules Hugo Louis Dupont, the Landlord (uncredited)
Edna Marion ... Mignette (uncredited)
Torben Meyer ... The Dane (uncredited)
Charles Millsfield ... Bearded Man at Sideshow (uncredited)
Monte Montague ... Workman / Gendarme (uncredited)
John T. Murray ... Gendarme (uncredited)
Tempe Pigott ... Crone (uncredited)

Dorothy Vernon ... Tenant (uncredited)
Michael Visaroff ... Mirakle's Sideshow Barker (uncredited)
Polly Ann Young ... Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Florey 
Writing credits
Edgar Allan Poe (story)

Robert Florey (adaptation)

Tom Reed (screenplay) &
Dale Van Every (screenplay)

John Huston (additional dialogue)

Ethel M. Kelly  uncredited

Produced by
E.M. Asher .... associate producer
Carl Laemmle Jr. .... producer
Cinematography by
Karl Freund 
Film Editing by
Milton Carruth 
Art Direction by
Charles D. Hall 
Makeup Department
Jack P. Pierce .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Scott R. Beal .... assistant director (uncredited)
Charles S. Gould .... assistant director (uncredited)
Joseph A. McDonough .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Herman Rosse .... set designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
C. Roy Hunter .... recording supervisor
Special Effects by
John P. Fulton .... special effects
Joe Bonomo .... stunt double: Charles Gemora (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank D. Williams .... special process photographer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Maurice Pivar .... supervising editor
Music Department
Heinz Roemheld .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Carl Laemmle .... presenter
Carl Laemmle .... president: Universal Pictures Corp.
Richard Schayer .... scenario editor
Howard Salemson .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
61 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)
Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1932) (heavily cut) | UK:12 (2001) (cut) | USA:Unrated

Did You Know?

Part of the original Shock Theater package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed a year later by Son of Shock, which added 20 more features.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When the ape is carrying the heroine over the rooftops, in one shot a shop sign in the background is reversed, indicating this shot was "flipped" in editing.See more »
Dr. Mirakle:[Responding to an audience member who has accused him of heresy] Heresy? Do they still burn men for heresy? Then burn me monsieur, light the fire! Do you think your little candle will outshine the flame of truth?See more »
Movie Connections:
Swan Lake OvertureSee more »


Is Poe's short story available to read online?
Was Eric played by a real ape?
Was Dr. Mirakle a real scientist or just a lunatic with a monkey and a knowledge of scientific jargon?
See more »
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
An appreciated but underrated Universal and Lugosi short triumph, 6 March 2010
Author: secondtake from United States

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

King Kong was released by RKO in 1933, a story of an ape captured by white hairless apes and brought to a foreign land. And this is exactly the beginning of the 1932 Rue Morgue, as Bela Lugosi, playing Dr. Mirakle, appears as flamboyant sideshow impresario with an ape in a cage. His trick (if it is one) is knowing how to translate ape talk to English (or French, maybe, since we are in Paris). His point is that the apes are us, that evolution is true. "Can you understand what he says? Or have you forgotten?" Not the most honorable spokesman for science, no doubt, but he is a mad scientist, and is setting out to create some kind of unexplained human/ape hybrid.

The movie is filled with dramatic innovations, and a very high technical standard (for Universal, a minor studio player until this time). And the transfer to DVD is terrific. Ten minutes into the film, Lugosi breaks the fourth wall and looks into the camera to challenge the viewer to accept evolution and its consequences.. (The Scopes trial was 1925, so this is a hot topic.) Watch for the camera attached to the swing about 32 minutes in. There are echoes of Frankenstein (1931) with the madman and his doltish assistant, as well as the angry mobs. And there is Lugosi himself, with all the aura carrying over from his breakthrough in Dracula (also 1931).

The cinematography by Karl Freund is totally amazing. There are not astonishing tricks, just consistent, brilliant framing and lighting, scene after scene. (If only he had shot Dracula--oh, he did! Yes...check that out, too.) 1920s German Expressionist films find a true expression here (not Caligari, for sure, but a high water mark for American movies of the time). Simple things like shadows and angles, of course, but also moving camera in subtle ways (the camera falling slightly when approaching someone in a window, for example). Completely first rate.

It's common in these movies to have eccentric villains, grotesque monsters, and Gothic settings with wild special effects. And to have the common person as a balance to all this madness. These apply a little comic relief but in a silly way from our perspective. (The "common" person at the time in other movies was far more vivid and timeless, like Crawford or Cagney, but that would overwhelm the villains as well as the budget). In this case, one of the common folk is a resourceful doctor, and this search for the bad guy takes on a larger role than in the other monster movies.

The movie isn't a sparkling masterpiece. The acting throughout (even by Lugosi, really) isn't always spot on, but it works overall, and is consistent. There is a comic moment near the end (when we are most anxious for action) where the character have an argument in different languages, and it's so perky I'm assuming they felt they couldn't take it out, but it doesn't advance the plot. It does deal with Logosi's characteristic odd accent. And for fun, there is an anachronism, half an hour in, when a bicycle rides through the little town, decades before they were made like that.

It won't matter if you don't believe in evolution. The movie plays loose with the concept, and Dr. Mirakle says at one point, with his beady eyes: "Do you think your little candle can outshine the truth?"

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