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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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Franz Munzer
Count Seebruck
Amato Roselli
Carl Baumann
Jarmila Vadek
Brunn (as Erno Verebes)
Lotte Stein ...
Mama Hinzl
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 <am082@ccn.cs.dal.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Horror | Music | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 October 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El ruiseñor y el cuervo  »

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?


Although he had been appearing in motion pictures for 25 years, this 1944 release was Boris Karloff's first film in color. 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: [after strangling Marcellina] We'll always be together now. Your voice will never come between us again.
See more »


Version of The Climax (1930) See more »


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

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User Reviews

I actually liked it...
26 December 2011 | by See all my reviews

I understand that "The Climax" isn't necessarily a well received" movie among Boris Karloff fans. The plot isn't much, i'll admit that, and some of the musical number "particularly the one in which Jane Farrar was the prima donna) were quite painful. But Susanna Foster's voice saves the day. This movies is no "Phantom of the Opera", but it was fun to watch. The Technicolor was magnificent, and the set design was gorgeous. Turhan Bey was an alright leading man for Foster. But he didn't seem "strong" enough, I suppose. Boris Karloff is fantastic as a menacing figure, hovering over Foster in an aura of mystery and horror. The film isn't scary enough to be considered a horror film, but too ominous to be considered a musical. There isn't a real genre for it. But it's enjoyable to watch and I liked it. I'm a big Susanna Foster fan, so it was joy to hear her sing, and I'm becoming a Boris Karloff fan, after seeing "Frankenstein" and "The Climax".

So, all in all, "The Climax" is good enough, but it could be better.

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