6.9/10
3,648
93 user 34 critic

Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

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

Director:

Writers:

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

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

House of Wax (1953)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An associate burns down a wax museum with the owner inside, but he survives only to become vengeful and murderous.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk
Doctor X (1932)
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A wisecracking New York reporter intrudes on a research scientist's quest to unmask The Moon Killer.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Lee Tracy
Mad Love (1935)
Certificate: Passed Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In France, an insane surgeon's obsession with an actress from England leads him to replace her pianist husband's hands that got mangled in an accident with the hands of a late knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.

Director: Karl Freund
Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive
Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When a nobleman is murdered, a professor of the occult blames vampires; but not all is what it seems.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mad scientist seeks to mingle human blood with that of an ape, and resorts to kidnapping women for his experiments.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames
Adventure | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An insane hunter arranges for a ship to be wrecked on an island where he can indulge in some sort of hunting and killing of the passengers.

Directors: Irving Pichel, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Leslie Banks
The Raven (1935)
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska seeks the aid of a noted psychiatrist, hoping to free herself of a mysterious evil influence.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill
White Zombie (1932)
Certificate: Passed Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiancé, but instead turns her into a zombie slave.

Director: Victor Halperin
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The juice of a rare Tibetan flower is the only thing that keeps Dr. Glendon from turning into a werewolf during a full moon.

Director: Stuart Walker
Stars: Henry Hull, Warner Oland, Valerie Hobson
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Jim
...
...
...
...
Dr. Rasmussen
Claude King ...
Mr. Galatalin
Arthur Edmund Carewe ...
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Detective (as Thomas Jackson)
...
Police Captain
...
Hugo
...
Joan Gale
Edit

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

Taglines:

Images of wax that throbbed with human passion! Almost woman....what did they lack? See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Mystery of the Wax Museum  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone)

Color:

(2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

If you look closely at Ivan Igors burned hands you can tell that he's wearing gloves. See more »

Quotes

Florence: [to her boss] I'm gonna make you eat dirt, you soap bubble, I'm gonna make you beg for somebody to help you let go. You may mean the world to your mother but you're a...
[walks away without finishing her sentence]
See more »

Connections

Edited into Mame (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Agitato
(uncredited)
Music by Bernhard Kaun
Stock cue played over main titles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Enjoyable Horror Mystery
7 November 2002 | by (Newfoundland, Canada) – See all my reviews

This film is full of unexpected twists and turns as should be any good mystery. When bodies begin disappearing, a desperate reporter finally hopes to get the break she needs to keep her job by attempting to unravel the mystery. She soon finds herself investigating a new wax museum which just happens to have a woman figurine of Joan of Arc which greatly resembles one of the missing bodies named Joan Gale. From there things continue to unravel and conclude in surprisingly horrific fashion for the time and era.

The Horror is there in terms of the mysterious burnt figure we see snatching the bodies as well as many other strange figures often seen only in menacing shadow.

The acting is superb. Lionel Atwill is outstanding in the role of Ivan Igor-the owner of the new wax museum who is trying to recapture his past loss. Fay Wray is stunningly beautiful in her short role as Charlotte who finds herself in a whole lot of unexpected trouble. Glenda Farrell also adds considerable energy as the female reporter--a character which unfortunately became much too common and stereotypical in this period of film. Nonetheless Farrell is quite competent in the role and definitely adds her own stamp to it.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page