Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

Unrated  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  18 February 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,159 users  
Reviews: 86 user | 45 critic

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



(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Glenda Farrell ...
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 ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


Women of FLESH become WAX in his hands... women of wax become flesh! 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?


The morgue set was recycled from the laboratory set in the earlier "Doctor X," also a two-strip Technicolor horror film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray. See more »


When Ivan is preparing to lower Joan Gale's body out the window, you can see that her feet are still uncovered, but as she is being lowered her feet are suddenly covered. See more »


Jim: [after Florence blows a raspberry in the phone] A cow does that and gives milk besides.
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Remade as House of Wax (1953) 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

A horror and color masterpiece. . .
7 August 2003 | by (Orlando, FL) – See all my reviews

But one must consider its time period. 1933. Not a really sophisticated period in our history, nor particularly graphic. But the cast does a wonderful job, and the script is good--again, considering the year it was made. One cannot compare this movie to anything made even at the end of the 30s (SON OF FRANKENTSTEIN, for example.) It's a product of its time, and it succeeds as such. For my taste, it is far superior to any number of the no-plot slasher pics made in the past 25 years, the original HALLOWEEN being the exception. MYSTERY is not for everyone--but for fans of genre films of years past, this one ranks right up there with FRANKENSTEIN, KING KONG, and DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE--all of the same era.

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