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Professor Henry Jarrod is a true artist whose wax sculptures are lifelike. He specializes in historical tableau's such a Marie Antoinette or Joan of Arc. His business partner, Matthew Burke, needs some of his investment returned to him and pushes Jarrod to have more lurid exposes like a chamber of horrors. When Jarrod refuses, Burke set the place alight destroying all of his beautiful work in the hope of claiming the insurance. Jarrod is believed to have died in the fire but he unexpectedly reappears some 18 months later when he opens a new exhibit. This time, his displays focus on the macabre but he has yet to reproduce his most cherished work, Marie Antoinette. When he meets his new assistant's beautiful friend, Sue Allen, he knows he's found the perfect model - only unbeknown to anyone, he has a very particular way of making his wax creations. Written by
The alcoholic sculptor was a heroin addict in the original version of the film, Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), but that had to be changed for the remake because the Production Code forbade any mention of drug addiction. (Ironically, a character played by Vincent Price had got away with confessing to drug addiction in Dragonwyck (1946), filmed in 1945, eight years before "House of Wax.") See more »
When the original wax museum is on fire, wires can be seen pulling some of the wax figures down. The wire attached to the Joan of Arc figure is particularly evident, pulling it down at the end of the sequence. See more »
Prof. Henry Jarrod:
I'm afraid that the visit of a such distinguished critic may cause my children to become conceited. To you they are wax, but to me their creator, they live and breathe.
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In 1900, in New York, Prof. Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) is an artist, sculpting masterpieces in wax and exposing them in a small and non-profitable museum. When his partner Matthew Burke (Roy Roberts) proposes a criminal fire to receive the insurance, Henry does not accept and fights with him. Henry is knocked out, left in the burning place and considered dead by the insurance company. When Matthew receives the insurance money, a disfigured man kills him, and later many corpses vanish from the city morgue. The crippled Prof. Henry Jarrod reappears in a wheelchair and destroyed hands, preparing the grand-opening of his wax museum. Meanwhile, Sue Allen (Phyllis Kirk) is impressed with the resemblance of statue of Joan of Arc with her friend Cathy Gray (Carolyn Jones), who was killed and her corpse was missing, and she suspects that her body was covered by wax.
"House of Wax" is good, but also an absolutely unnecessary remake of Michael Curtiz's "Mystery of the Wax Museum", which is better resolved. There are many scenes and dialogs that are identical, and this remake does not add any value to the original movie. Vincent Price performs a creepy character and the movement of his body is one of the greatest differences in this remake. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Museu de Cera" ("Wax Museum")
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