The Climax (1944)

Unrated  |   |  Horror, Musical, Thriller  |  20 October 1944 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 464 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 9 critic

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Charles Laughton, Boris Karloff, Sally Forrest


Complete credited cast:
Susanna Foster ...
George Dolenz ...
Amato Roselli
Ludwig Stössel ...
Carl Baumann
Jane Farrar ...
Jarmila Vadek
Ernö Verebes ...
Brunn (as Erno 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


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


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 October 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Climax  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 »


Three Marches Militaires
(opus 51)
Composed by Franz Schubert
See more »

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User Reviews

Technicolor can't do everything for a film!!
3 September 2000 | by (Parkersburg, West Virginia) – See all my reviews

From the opening music to the final scene, this has got to be one of the most beautiful horror films ever made. Unfortunately, as I said before, technicolor can't do everything for a film. While it is visually stunning in every way, it lacks a credible storyline, and that is what drags the film down. I guess one shouldn't call it a horror film, rather it might a psychological type film, as there is only one murder( and a rather mild one at that). I thought that the opera singing was a bit too much, but what did I expect when the film is about an opera singer!! But I found it to be just like "The Shadow", they are beautiful to look at, but there isn't anything else for the film to succeed.

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