72 user 58 critic

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

A mad scientist seeks to mingle human blood with that of an ape, and resorts to kidnapping women for his experiments.


Robert Florey


Edgar Allan Poe (based on the immortal classic by), Robert Florey (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Sidney Fox ... Mlle. Camille L'Espanaye
Bela Lugosi ... Dr. Mirakle
Leon Ames ... Pierre Dupin (as Leon Waycoff)
Bert Roach ... Paul
Betty Ross Clarke ... Mme. L'Espanaye
Brandon Hurst ... Prefect of Police
D'Arcy Corrigan ... Morgue Keeper
Noble Johnson ... Janos The Black One
Arlene Francis ... Woman of the Streets


In 19th Century Paris, the maniacal Dr. Mirakle abducts young women and injects them with ape blood in an attempt to prove ape-human kinship. He constantly meets failure as the abducted women die. Medical student Pierre Dupin discovers what Mirakle is doing too late to prevent the abduction of his girlfriend Camille. Now he desperately tries to enlist the help of the police to get her back. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edgar Allan Poe's dramatic story of the horrors of Paris See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Part of the original Shock Theater package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed a year later by Son of Shock, which added 20 more features. See more »


When Dr. Mirakle takes away the Woman of the Streets, Arlene Francis is very clearly laughing before she and Lugosi go off camera, when she's supposed to be either sobbing or distressed. She covers her mouth after a few seconds of laughing. Bela is also smiling. See more »


Dr. Mirakle: [Responding to an audience member who has accused him of heresy] Heresy? Do they still burn men for heresy? Then burn me monsieur, light the fire! Do you think your little candle will outshine the flame of truth?
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the film, the cast list is shown again with the heading, "A GOOD CAST IS WORTH REPEATING...." See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2020 UK Eureka Entertainment Blu-ray allows one to play the film with an alternate soundtrack. See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Man-Made Monsters (1996) See more »


Swan Lake Overture
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played during the opening credits
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User Reviews

A Fox for the Ape
2 January 2014 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

I wonder if the Laemmles were trying to tell their new young starlet Sidney Fox something by casting her opposite a man in an ape suit, AND unforgivably giving her top billing over the real (human) star, Bela Lugosi. "Murders in the Rue Morgue" has long been considered the low point of the Laemmle era, loads of atmosphere but ludicrous situations and dialogue to match (some of which was credited to future director John Huston). The embarrassing Sidney Fox had debuted opposite Bette Davis (and Bert Roach) in "The Bad Sister" but is so completely out of her depth here that it's a wonder she lasted two more years. Leon Ames (billed under his real name, Waycoff) debuts in this film (along with future television personality Arlene Francis, who had very few movie credits), but obviously preferred character work over playing romantic leads. Lugosi is truly the whole show, but his character's unhealthy harassment of the tiny Sidney makes him look like a real creep; still, it's the first of his many mad scientists, and his sideshow lecture provides his finest showcase. In viewing this film, I restructured it beginning with the fog-shrouded meeting with the prostitute, followed by her death, then Pierre's first visit to D'Arcy Corrigan's morgue, then the carnival (everything did flow much better that way). Director Robert Florey also completely botches the climax, with three ethnics arguing over which of them is right, and a rooftop chase that creates no tension. Apparently, in creating Ames' character of Pierre Dupin, Edgar Allan Poe virtually invented the fictional detective, about 40 years before Sherlock Holmes, presented as a medical student who conducts his own investigation into the Rue Morgue Murders. In 1942, Universal brought back Dupin (now named 'Paul' rather than 'Pierre'), in the person of actor Patric Knowles, in another Poe adaptation, "Mystery of Marie Roget."

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Danish | German

Release Date:

21 February 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murders in the Rue Morgue See more »


Box Office


$190,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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