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House of Wax (1953)

 -  Horror  -  25 April 1953 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 9,851 users  
Reviews: 111 user | 78 critic

An associate burns down a wax museum with the owner inside, but he survives only to become vengeful and murderous.

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(as Andre de Toth)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Title: House of Wax (1953)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Frank Lovejoy ...
Det. Lt. Tom Brennan
...
...
Cathy Gray
...
Scott Andrews
...
Matthew Burke
Angela Clarke ...
Mrs. Andrews
Paul Cavanagh ...
Sidney Wallace
...
Sgt. Jim Shane
...
Igor (as Charles Buchinsky)
Reggie Rymal ...
The Barker
Edit

Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wax | sculptor | fire | wax museum | morgue | See All (37) »

Taglines:

Beauty and Terror meet in your seat...as every thrill of its story comes off the screen right at you in NaturalVision 3 dimension See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wax Works  »

Box Office

Budget:

$658,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$23,750,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (WarnerPhonic/RCA)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first 3-D color movie ever to be produced by a major American studio. Filming took only 33 days, (from Monday, January 19th, 1953 to Saturday, February 21st, 1953), for its release on Wednesday, April 9th, 1953. See more »

Goofs

After inspecting the wax Joan of Arc, Sue tells the police that she thinks it is her dead friend because the figure has only the right ear pierced. It is clear from the earlier scene that Sue only saw the figure's right ear, and could not have seen whether the left ear was pierced. See more »

Quotes

Scott Andrews: [to Sue, as they watch the can can dancers] You never saw a show like this in Provincetown!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited)
Written by Julia Ward Howe
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

When horror films were fun for everybody!
8 February 2004 | by (Huntington, NY) – See all my reviews

HOUSE OF WAX established Vincent Price as a horror film icon. He's never hammy here. He's best when describing gruesome details (like torture or murder) with a slight grin, as if he's building to a punchline. Crane Wilbur's screenplay has well researched details (regarding how wax sculpting works, the effects of chemical burns for example) improves on the 1933 original. Here Vincent Price plays Henry Jerrod, a wax sculptor whose first try at a wax museum meets the same infernal end as Atwill's museum in the first film. 12 years later, Jerrod opens a new museum. One of his intern sculptors dates a model, Sue (Phyllis Kirk) who is hounded by a mysterious man with a distorted face. In the original film version, made in 1933, Fay Wray plays a beautiful, but uninteresting damsel in distress. Phyllis Kirk fills Fay Wray's part here, and man, is she even more boring! But don't worry, you have plenty of Vincent to make this DVD worthwhile. It's easy to find in a bit part, young Charles Bronson (billed here as Charles Buchinsky) as one of Jerrod's s interns. HOUSE OF WAX's most famous element is that it was made in 3-D. This new gimmick, meant to lure television viewers back to the box office was novel, but it had it's kinks. (Warner Brothers improved the process a year later with the 3-D release of Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR MURDER, and yet another period horror film, PHANTOM OF THE RUE MORGUE.) The most amusing 3-D moment in HOUSE OF WAX has almost nothing to do with the story. A carnival barker, (played with crowd-pleasing energy by Reggie Rymal) constantly whacks a paddle-ball outside the wax museum, while heralding the museum's opening night thrills. He faces the camera (meaning us) and says `You! With the popcorn. Hold still.' and he proceeds to repeatingly whack the ball at the camera. HOUSE OF WAX is a lot of fun, and was a big hit at the time. The DVD does not come with a 3-D Process, but it does come with coverage of HOUSE OF WAX's Hollywood Premier. It's attended by Bela Lugosi and friend, Jack Warner, and Ronald Reagan (See, even Presidents watch horror movies!)


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