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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.

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

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Glenda Farrell ...
...
Jim
Allen Vincent ...
Gavin Gordon ...
...
Holmes Herbert ...
Dr. Rasmussen
Claude King ...
Mr. Galatalin
Arthur Edmund Carewe ...
Sparrow - Professor Darcy
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Detective (as Thomas Jackson)
DeWitt Jennings ...
Police Captain
Matthew Betz ...
Hugo
...
Joan Gale
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Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

wax | sculptor | reporter | money | corpse | See All (151) »

Taglines:

You might as well know the truth as suspect it!---Here's every nerve-shattering fact laid before your startled eyes! The love riddle the police were afraid to solve brought under the lens of public scrutiny in a picture made behind bolted doors! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone)

Color:

(2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to Technicolor's edict, UA shot a black-and-white version of "Doctor X" and "Mystery of the Wax Museum". At least two scenes in the black-and-white version use different takes than the color one: the scene with Lee Tracy and Mae Busch in the house of prostitution scene and the sequence with Tracy in the skeleton room. See more »

Goofs

Ivan Igor says that Jean Paul Marat's assassin, Charlotte Corday, was his mistress. Not so - they had never met until she came to his office posing as a courier and quickly stabbed him to death. After her execution a few days later, she was found to be virgo intacta. See more »

Quotes

Florence: [describing the disfigured man's appearance] And that face, it was like an African war mask.
Detective: You mean he was colored?
Florence: I don't know what he was, but he made Frankenstein look like a lily.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Batman (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Agitato
(uncredited)
Music by Bernhard Kaun
Stock cue played over main titles
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Landmark horror film that should not be missed
9 February 2004 | by (Huntington, NY) – See all my reviews

In the early 1930's Jack Warner was under contract to use the Two-strip technicolor process on a Warner Brothers film. Unfortunately, this primitive form of color cinematography had a limited pallet of colors. Everything had an unnatural pastel look. Warner wisely choose a genre not dependent on reality- the horror film. Their first color horror film was DOCTOR X, a wild and macabre who-dunnit complete with scary murders, truly mad doctors and a cannibal. DOCTOR X, released in 1932, was enough of a success, that Warner Brothers reunited it's director, Michael Curtiz, the two leads, Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray, and the two strip Technicolor process for yet another horror film. The new film, simply titled WAX MUSEUM during production was a fast moving creepy chiller that mixed the gloom of Depression era New York with the creepy going-ons of a wax museum. The film begins in 1921. Sculptor Ivan Igor (a bohemian looking Lionel Atwill), so obsessed creating his wax museum, that he ignores that he and his partner, Worth (Edwin Maxwell) are in deep financial trouble. Worth sets fire to the museum to collect on a fire insurance policy. The museum is destroyed, and Igor is left a cripple with useless hands.

Twelve years later, in Manhattan, Igor opens a new wax museum. At the same time, a wisecracking reporter, Florence (Glenda Farrell) tracks a hot case of the corpse of a recently murdered socialite stolen from the morgue. She begins to suspect that creepy wax museum downtown of stealing bodies and posing them as wax statues. What makes things worse, is that her best friend, Ruth (Fay Wray) is dating the most innocent of the questionable wax-workers. THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM is a DVD shelf must-have.


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2-strip technicolor fluffhead34
As Good as 1953 version? mmpabbott
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