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The Climax (1944)

Unrated | | Horror, Music, Thriller | 20 October 1944 (USA)
A demented physician becomes obsessed with a young singer whose voice sounds similar to his late mistress.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Marcellina
...
Amato Roselli
...
Carl Baumann
Jane Farrar ...
Jarmila Vadek
...
Brunn (as Erno Verebes)
Lotte Stein ...
Mama Hinzl
...
The King
William Edmunds ...
Leon - theater concierge
Maxwell Hayes ...
Count Romburg - King's aide
Dorothy Lawrence ...
Miss Metzger
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Storyline

Dr. Hohner (Karloff), theatre physician at the Vienna Royal Theatre, murders his mistress, the star soprano when his jealousy drives him to the point of mad obsession. Ten years later, another young singer (Foster) reminds Hohner of the late diva, and his old mania kicks in. Hohner wants to prevent her from singing for anyone but him, even if it means silencing her forever. The singer's fiancée (Bey) rushes to save her in the film's climax. Written by Stephen Cooke <am082@ccn.cs.dal.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

IT TOPS THEM ALL IN SPECTACLE, THRILLS, MYSTERY, ROMANCE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Music | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Climax  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although he had been appearing in motion pictures for 25 years, this 1944 release was Boris Karloff's first film in color. See more »

Goofs

In the rehearsal sequence in which Angela loses her voice at the sight of Dr. Hohner, she closes her mouth a split second before the playback of her voice stops. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Hohner: [after strangling Marcellina] We'll always be together now. Your voice will never come between us again.
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Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Boris Karloff (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Three Marches Militaires
(opus 51)
Composed by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

 
Obsessed With A Soprano
15 January 2015 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Without being told so it is fairly obvious that The Climax was a film made by Universal to get some more use out of the set built for Phantom Of The Opera. I do mean both versions too.

Boris Karloff takes the place of Claude Rains as the man obsessed with a soprano. Unlike the pitiable Rains who went mad at the thought that someone was stealing concerto, Karloff is the house physician who is the paramour of soprano June Vincent. But the deeper he's involved the more jealous he becomes. When she gives him the brush finally he strangles her and hides the body. He's got quite the shrine to her, think of Lenin's tomb.

Ten years after Karloff did the deed young music students Susanna Foster and Turhan Bey audition for Thomas Gomez the head of the opera company. Karloff hears Foster sing and she reminds him so much of Vincent he's determined to halt her career. No one should sing like Vincent or sing any of her material. Karloff embarks on a campaign of psychological intimidation against Foster.

Karloff's menace Foster's soprano are the main reasons to see The Climax. Films like this and Phantom Of The Opera combine the music and horror genre well and remain popular to this day. There's also a nice performance by Gale Sondergaard as Vincent's maid who has been waiting for years to finally get the goods on the good Dr. Karloff.

And the music is swell. English is used instead of the foreign languages that we of the English speaking world enjoy classic opera. I suspect that opera fans would have put down their theater admission to hear Susanna Foster sing the Erie County Phone Directory of 1944.


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