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House of Wax (1953)

 -  Horror  -  25 April 1953 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 8,960 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 75 critic

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

Director:

(as Andre de Toth)

Writers:

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

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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Frank Lovejoy ...
Det. Lt. Tom Brennan
...
Sue Allen
...
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 more »

Taglines:

UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU'VE SEEN BEFORE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Phyllis Kirk said that she had "no fond memories" of working with Charles Bronson. See more »

Goofs

During the majority of the film Prof. Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) looks normal and the skin of his face moves naturally. Near the end, when Sue Allen (Phyllis Kirk) strikes him in the face the wax mask he is wearing shatters, showing that it is hard and inflexible. See more »

Quotes

Cathy Gray: [Sue is helping Cathy get ready] Pull it tighter Sue, pull it tighter, I want a waist like Anna Held.
Sue Allen: If I pull it any tighter you're not going to be able to breath.
Cathy Gray: Oh that's alright, I don't need much breath anyway, as my late friend Matty used to say, if a girl don't watch her figure the men won't.
Sue Allen: Matty? Wasn't that the man you were going to marry?
Cathy Gray: Yes but he hung himself instead.
[giggling]
Cathy Gray: Oh Matty was such a card.
Sue Allen: Well where's your new friend going to take you tonight?
Cathy Gray: To the Hauffman ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Mad Magician (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Rue de la Paix
(uncredited)
Music by Werner R. Heymann
Danced by the can-can dancers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The House of Wax is a true horror classic!
16 July 2000 | by (Wilton, Connecticut) – See all my reviews

The House of Wax is a true horror classic! I saw it for the first time in 1953 at a local theatre in 3-D.

I have seen it many times since on video. It never ceases to entertain.

While watching it today I noticed something for the very first time: a most interesting anachronism.

This film takes place in old New York circa 1900. Every indoor scene has a gaslight in it, and the fire department responds with a horse-drawn wagon. Well, in one of the early scenes in the film Prof. Jarrod(Vincent Price)is conducting a prospective investor, Sidney Wallace(Paul Cavanagh), on a tour of his wax museum. There are gas lights everywhere. They arrive at an exhibit and Prof. Jarrod flips a wall switch, and presto the exhibit is illuminated in light. Somebody goofed!

If you've never seen The House of Wax, watch it. You'll love it.

One more interesting note. Dabbs Greer who plays Sergeant Jim Shane in this film also plays old Paul Edgecomb in the 1999 thriller The Green Mile.


19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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