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.
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 <email@example.com>
Contrary to Technicolor's edict, United Artists shot a black-and-white version of Doctor X (1932) 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 »
In one scene showing the front of the wax museum you see a man in the back ground walking by, the shot shifts a little bit and you see the same man walking by again. See more »
The beauty of two-strip Technicolor rendering sensual pastel tones and
settings in London (1921) and New York (1933), art direction by legendary
Anton Grot, Orry-Kelly gowns, Lionel Atwill at his maddest and Fay Wray in
all her splendor, make this one of the finest horror films of not only the
30s but of all time. The pace of this film is fast, the comedy relief
enjoyable but not detracting from its story. Atwill imbues his character of
Ivan Igor with all the menace and evil he could muster (and that was
calibrated in tons!) So far superior to its remake (HOUSE OF WAX with
Vincent Price) that it leaves its competitor in the dust. Easily my
film to look at after New Year's Eve parties. Fantastic fun and candy for
the eyes with all that streamlined Art Deco grandeur!
43 of 48 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?