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Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954)

 -  Crime | Horror | Mystery  -  27 March 1954 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 474 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 6 critic

After several women are murdered, the police are baffled who the suspect is. All evidence points to Dupin, but soon it becomes apparent that it is something that is stronger and more deadlier than man.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dr. Marais
Claude Dauphin ...
Insp. Bonnard
...
Jeanette
...
Prof. Paul Dupin
...
Yvonne (as Allyn McLerie)
...
Jacques the One-Eyed
Veola Vonn ...
Arlette
Dolores Dorn ...
Camille
...
Georges Brevert
...
Rene the Knife-thrower
Rolfe Sedan ...
LeBon (as Rolphe Sedan)
Erin O'Brien-Moore ...
Wardrobe Woman
The Flying Zacchinis ...
Acrobatic Act
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Storyline

After several women are murdered, the police are baffled who the suspect is. All evidence points to Dupin, but soon it becomes apparent that it is something that is stronger and more deadlier than man.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mad passions, madder deeds in the Edgar Allan Poe chiller!

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Würger von Paris  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Charles Gemora (Sultan the ape) suffered a heart attack in 1943 which limited his screen time in the ape costume. He performed in his suit for closeups and any strenuous work was completed by a stuntman. See more »

Goofs

Although set in turn-of-the-century Paris, there's a scene in the movie, when the police inspector and Paul Dupin visit the fair to watch the acrobats at work, where you can see the famous Warner Studios water tower in the background for a brief moment. See more »

Connections

Version of The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Künstlerleben, Op.316
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Phantom Of The Rue Morgue (Roy Del Ruth, 1954) ***
23 January 2010 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I recall watching this as a kid, though not the opinion I had made of it back then. With this in mind, I am baffled by its maligned reputation (the "Leonard Maltin Film Guide" gives it a measly **); mind you, I would not say that I prefer it to the classic 1932 Bela Lugosi version but it is more readily enjoyable (and faithful to its source). The film, in fact, is quite stylish in color – with special care given to the art direction – and a worthy follow-up to Warners' success of the previous year HOUSE OF WAX (1953); like that one, it was one of the numerous genre efforts from the early 1950s to be made in 3-D (though, typically, it was used gratuitously more often than judiciously). The cast is effective, too: Karl Malden adds an Actor's Method sensibility to the lead role of biologist/misogynist, Claude Dauphin is fine as the Police Inspector investigating the various gorilla slayings, Steve Forrest ideal as the handsome hero/accused and Anthony Caruso as Malden's loutish henchman/gorilla keeper. The murders are well-done, suggesting the animal's brutish strength without actually showing it – even the 3-D process comes in handy here as one of the victims throws something at the ape in defense and the latter responds by throwing a chair back at the girl!; there is, however, a goof in the scene depicting the killing of the circus performer (assisting her jealous husband in a knife-throwing act) as she is seen taking off the tell-tale bracelet but is then unaccountably back at her hand in a shot of the mangled (albeit conveniently covered) body! On a personal note, Malta's name comes up a number of times throughout the film: the Maltese cross on a sailor's (eventually revealed to be Caruso) scarf and his inopportune meeting in a dingy tavern with a drunken former 'colleague' (sealing his fate by unwisely disclosing his knowledge of the ape's existence). The latter stages, veering from the Poe tale, actually feel closest to Universal's earlier adaptation – as Malden cannot hold back his obsession with heroine Patricia Medina (engaged to his former student, and presently incarcerated, Forrest), an impulsive move which can only lead to the expected poetic justice of the climax in which the villain meets his own grisly come-uppance at the hands of the trained (read: abused) gorilla. By the way, having included a handful of films during this challenge in which this type of animal was featured as a menace (two more followed in quick succession), I came to realize just how many were made over the years. Finally, as I said in the beginning, this is pretty much underrated both as horror/monster movie and as adaptation of a highly-influential literary work.


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