6.0/10
1,311
46 user 32 critic

Bluebeard (1944)

Approved | | Crime, Horror, Thriller | 11 November 1944 (USA)
In Paris, an artist hires portrait models, and after he finishes their portraits, he strangles them.

Director:

Writers:

(story) (as Arnold Phillips), (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Doomed to Die (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Mr. Wong and a girl reporter investigate a shipping magnate's murder.

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Boris Karloff, Marjorie Reynolds, Grant Withers
Bluebeard (1972)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A World War I pilot whom everybody envies as a "ladykiller" actually is one - after he beds the women he's after, he murders them.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, Virna Lisi
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Paul, a young man whose father was once lieutenant Governor of California before his untimely death, has a strange, recurring dream in which his mother falls in love with a dangerous man (... See full summary »

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Jimmy Lydon, Sally Eilers, Warren William
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.4/10 X  

A crook decides to bump off members of his inept crew and blame their deaths on a legendary sea creature. What he doesn't know is that the creature is real.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Antony Carbone, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Robert Towne
The Ape (1940)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Dr. Bernard Adrian is a kindly mad scientist who seeks to cure a young woman's polio. He needs spinal fluid from a human to complete the formula for his experimental serum. Meanwhile, a ... See full summary »

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Boris Karloff, Maris Wrixon, Gene O'Donnell
Black Dragons (1942)
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A cabal of American industrialists, all fifth-columnists intent on sabotaging the war effort, are methodically murdered by the malevolent Monsieur Colomb. It is only until detective Dick ... See full summary »

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Joan Barclay, George Pembroke
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A scientist, aided by an old hag and her two sons, kills virginal brides, steals their bodies, and extracts gland fluid to keep his ancient wife alive and young.

Director: Wallace Fox
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Luana Walters, Tristram Coffin
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

A stripper is horribly disfigured in a car accident. A brilliant scientist develops a treatment that restores her beauty and falls in love with her. To preserve her appearance the doctor ... See full summary »

Director: Anton Giulio Majano
Stars: Alberto Lupo, Susanne Loret, Sergio Fantoni
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Pat Morgan and Ted Kord are rival newspaper reporters always trying to outscoop each other. They join together to solve a series of murders being committed in an apartment building.

Director: Albert Ray
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Lyle Talbot, Harvey Clark
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

The town's leading citizen becomes a homicidal maniac after his wife deserts him.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Polly Ann Young, John McGuire
Dead Men Walk (1943)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

The twin of a kindly small-town physician returns from the grave for vengeance against his brother, who secretly killed him because the twin served Satan.

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: George Zucco, Mary Carlisle, Nedrick Young
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When corpses drained of blood begin to show up in a European village, vampirism is suspected to be responsible.

Director: Frank R. Strayer
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Jean Lamarte (as Ludwig Stossel)
George Pembroke ...
Inspector Renard
...
Francine Lutien
Sonia Sorel ...
Renee Claremont
...
Deschamps
...
Le Soldat
...
Mimi Robert
Patti McCarty ...
Babette
Carrie Devan ...
Constance
Anne Sterling ...
Jeanette Le Beau
Edit

Storyline

A killer of young women, dubbed Bluebeard, is loose in Paris. Lucille and her friends meet Gaston Morrell, a puppeteer. He invites them to a show the next night; they go. Afterwards, he walks with Lucille; she offers to make costumes for his next show, he accepts, and feelings develop that may lead to love. She suspects he has a tragic past. Meanwhile, his leaving the show with Lucille prompts the jealousy of Renee, Gaston's sometime lover. Lucille's younger sister, Francine, comes back to Paris - her boyfriend is Inspector Lefebre, who's hunting for Bluebeard. Some clues point toward Lamart, a greedy art dealer. Who is in danger, and can Gaston be trusted? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror Strikes! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barba Azul  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Sonia Sorel (Mrs. John Carradine). She went on to do several more titles for director Edgar G. Ulmer. See more »

Goofs

A cravat with which Bluebeard supposedly strangles his victims features prominently in the plot, but every time we actually see Bluebeard strangle someone, he does so with his bare hands. See more »

Quotes

Gaston Morrell: Lucille, I want to tell you something no other living person knows...
See more »

Connections

Version of Bluebeard (1901) See more »

Soundtracks

Faust
(1859)
Written by Charles Gounod
Excerpts played and sung in English at the marionette show
Excerpts played often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Underrated Masterpiece
21 January 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Set in 19th Century France, Bluebeard in some ways resembles a French Jack the Ripper tale. It is centered on Gaston Morrell (John Carradine), an eccentric visual artist and owner of a marionette show.

Although I remained perplexed as to why Morrell was referred to as Bluebeard, I can't say it bothered me much, as this is an excellent, captivating horror/thriller with fine performances, great direction, cinematography and set design, and a well written, taut script. It earned a 10 out of 10 from me.

The Parisian setting worked well, with the Seine playing a crucial role throughout the film. Carradine was fantastic--twisted yet debonair ala Vincent Price's best work, and even the most minor cast members were a joy to watch.

Another aspect that helped push the film up to a 10 for me was the score. Although consisting of various source-music, it made perfect, prominent usage of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. It enhanced the tension and atmosphere of the film, and the programmatic aspect of Mussorgsky's piece is appropriate.

Also worth noting are the countless references to the German expressionistic style in Bluebeard's set design and cinematography. There are strong shadows throughout most of the film. At times, the angles in the sets are as exaggerated as those in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), and the climactic chase across Parisian rooftops was particularly reminiscent of Caligari.

But the film wouldn't succeed without a great script. Bluebeard has one. There are no loose threads. The story is economical yet satisfying, finely woven, suspenseful and complex. This is an underrated film that deserves more attention.


17 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?