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The Climax (1944)

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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 391 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 7 critic

A demented physician becomes obsessed with a young singer whose voice sounds similar to his late mistress.



(play), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Climax (1944)

The Climax (1944) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Susanna Foster ...
Turhan Bey ...
Count Seebruck
George Dolenz ...
Amato Roselli
Ludwig Stössel ...
Carl Baumann
Jane Farrar ...
Jarmila Vadek
Ernö Verebes ...
Lotte Stein ...
Mama Hinzl
Scotty Beckett ...
The King
William Edmunds ...
Leon - theater concierge
Maxwell Hayes ...
Count Romburg - King's aide
Dorothy Lawrence ...
Miss Metzger


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

singer | singing | theatre | physician | murder | See more »


Greater than "The PHANTOM of the OPERA" See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 October 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Climax  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was shot on the lavish sets created for Phantom of the Opera (1943) in an attempt to recoup the large budget of that film. The opera house set had been built for the original The Phantom of the Opera (1925) starring Lon Chaney, and this extraordinary set still exists on the Universal Studios lot. It is the oldest surviving movie set in the world. See more »


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 »


Dr. Hohner: You don't want to ruin that voice, do you? It isn't yours, remember? Now tell me, whose voice is it?... Tell me!
Angela: Marcellina's!
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Good production values, but a weak story
25 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Story: Dr. Hohner (Boris Karloff) is a physician of Vienna's Royal Theatre is in love with the stage diva, Marcellina (June Vincent). He kills her because her success threatens to take her away from him. 10 years later a new diva, Angela (Susanna Foster) is at the theater. She sounds just like Marcellina. Dr. Hohner does not want the new diva to sing so he hypnotizes her.

My Review: This movie has very high production values and earned a well deserved Academy Award nomination for Art Direction. The set is wonderful. The set was made for the 1943 version of Phantom of the Opera. They spared no expense for the movie and shot it in Technicolor. The Technicolor brings out the beauty of the bright stage clothes used during the fine theatre performances during the movie. There was also a nice contrast between the brightness and beauty on stage and the darkness of Boris Karloff.

Although the sets, Technicolor, and theatre scenes were done wonderfully, the rest of the movie suffers. The plot is dull and lifeless. The story is very uninteresting and there is a total lack of suspense. The theatre scenes, although masterfully done, detract from the horror of the movie. 1940's horror is very subtle, but this one takes the cake. Boris Karloff's acting was lackluster in this film, and the worst I have seen from him.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this movie. It has a nice wrapper, but the package outweighs the content.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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