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Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)

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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 585 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 14 critic the turn of the century. Inspector Vidocq investigates a series of unexplained murders at a Grand Guignol-type theatre...where the players have suddenly become real-life victims. Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe.


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Title: Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971) on IMDb 5.3/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cesar Charron
Rene Marot
Madeleine Charron
Inspector Vidocq
Pierre Triboulet
Mrs. Charron
Peter Arne ...
Rosalind Elliot ...
Marshall Jones ...
Luigi Orsini
María Martín ...
Madam Adolphe
Ruth Plattes ...
Orsini's Assistant
Rafael Hernández ...
Member of Repertory Company
Pamela McInnes ...
Member of Repertory Company
Sally Longley ...
Member of Repertory Company

Storyline the turn of the century. Inspector Vidocq investigates a series of unexplained murders at a Grand Guignol-type theatre...where the players have suddenly become real-life victims. Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


LOVE and MURDER are the two consuming passions of the Rue Morgue!

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

September 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Edgar Allan Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue  »

Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nearly all of Lilli Palmer's role was removed in post-production. See more »


When the murderer flees the theatre after the death of Erik at the start, it is obviously a stuntman, rather than Herbert Lom, who jumps over the fence. See more »


Rene Marot: I've come for you, Madeleine. I've had my revenge, but it's not enough. I need... I need love.
See more »


La Marseillaise
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Sung in the theatre
See more »

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User Reviews

Greed, jealousy, revenge ... and Vitriol!
4 April 2012 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Scriptwriter Christopher Wicking and director Gordon Hessler collaborate a number of times in a span of only a few years time and, even though none of their joint ventures can truly be considered as a pure genre classic, they nevertheless always delivered very entertaining and versatile horror efforts, like the atmospheric "The Oblong Box", the rather perverted "Cry of the Banshee" and the (slightly over-)ambitious "Scream and Scream Again". The title of this film makes believe it's their interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe's legendary tale, but the set-up is in fact a bit more creative than that. "Murders in the Rue Morgue" is set at a theater in Paris, where the respectable top artist Cesar Charron and his ensemble depict Poe's oeuvre on stage, but the actual plot of the movie simultaneously borrows elements from that other great and legendary story by Gaston Leroux; "The Phantom of the Opera". Charron's young and beautiful wife Madeleine suffers from recurring nightmares featuring an axe murderer, a falling rope and an old dark house. Meanwhile a masked maniac is brutally killing off Charron's friends and old co-actors with acid. What's the mysterious link between this vengeful killing spree and Madeleine's nightmare? Only Cesar Charron knows… This version of "Murders in the Rue Morge", the second one I watch after the 30's version starring Bela Lugosi, contains a number of horror elements that I absolutely worship, so don't expect an overly critical analysis from my side! First and foremost, the era as well as the setting is sublime. Presumably taking place in the early 1900's, (though the original story was published in 1841) the recreation of Paris around that time is magical. The theater, although exclusively performing harrowing and extremely violent plays, is always sold out entirely and outside on the streets there are non-stop carnivals going on, full of weird people and prostitutes. What a blast of a period and place to live! Furthermore the film benefices from marvelous period decors, costumes and scenery, and there are a number of righteously cast eccentric supportive characters, like a truly eerie dwarf, a bombastic carnival artist specializing in the "art" of faking his own death and an archetypal French police inspector. The murders and the make-up effects are fantastically "Grand Guignol" to boot! Acid - more specifically Vitriol – has a horrible effect on human skin and director Hessler doesn't leave any opportunity unused to show burning faces and mutilated corpses. The plot is engaging and fairly suspenseful, albeit predictable and rather obvious as soon as you gradually get to know the main characters and their personalities. The undeniable highlight of "Murders in the Rue Morgue" are Madeleine's vividly illustrated dreams, as they're hauntingly surreal, colorful and guided by ominous music. It's during these sequences especially that I thought a couple of times that Gordon Hessler and Christopher Wicking are quite underrated names in a horror era primarily dominated by the British Hammer, Tigon and Amicus studios. Jason Robards appears a bit uncomfortable in the horror surrounding, but he nonetheless remains a brilliant actor of course, while Herbert Lom shines in another – for him – familiar role of masked anti-heroic avenger.

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