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Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

The disappearance of people and corpses leads a reporter to a wax museum and a sinister sculptor.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »


Airs Wed. Apr. 04, 5:00 PM on TCM



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Complete credited cast:
Dr. Rasmussen
Mr. Galatalin
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Detective (as Thomas Jackson)
Police Captain
Joan Gale


In London, sculptor Ivan Igor struggles in vain to prevent his partner Worth from burning his wax museum...and his 'children.' Years later, Igor starts a new museum in New York, but his maimed hands confine him to directing lesser artists. People begin disappearing (including a corpse from the morgue); Igor takes a sinister interest in Charlotte Duncan, fiancée of his assistant Ralph, but arouses the suspicions of Charlotte's roommate, wisecracking reporter Florence. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


IS SHE WOMAN OR WAX??? Solve it -- if you dare! See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 February 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Mystery of the Wax Museum  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



(2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although the title had been changed to "Mystery of the Wax Museum", the leaders on the original release prints still gave the title as "Wax Museum". See more »


The bottle of whiskey that the officer picks up is clearly not leaking in the long shot, but in the close up shot, it shows the liquid practically pouring from the bottom. See more »


Charlotte Duncan: Ready, Florence?
Florence: Well, you two will have to struggle along without me, I've got a heavy date. No fouling in the clinches...
See more »


Referenced in Vincent Price: The Sinister Image (1987) See more »


Music by Bernhard Kaun
Stock cue played over main titles
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Remember this forgotten masterpiece
10 June 1999 | by See all my reviews

A genuinely frightening film from Michael Curtiz, jack of no trades and master of all. Many of the tricks of classic 1930's horror are here, including the opening scene set in a dark, rainy London street, the long shadows on the wall, lengthy periods of silence, and all timed to perfection. Only the faster-than-the-speed-of-sound dialogue of Glenda Farrell truly lets the film down. But other than that it is a gothic masterpiece, an underrated movie probably due to the fact that it lay undiscovered, thought lost, for over half a century. Far more inventive and imaginative than the majority of horror films made today.

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