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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


Beautiful girl- giant ape... both under the mysterious power of the mad Dr. Mirackle! (Print Ad- Evening Recorder, ((Amsterdam NY)) 5 April 1932) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In Poe's short stories, C. Auguste Dupin is a man in Paris who solves the mystery of the brutal murders, not Pierre Dupin. Dupin appeared in three of Poe's short stories, "The Murders of the Rue Morgue", "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt" and "The Purloined Letter". See more »


In many scenes, the close-up of a chimpanzee is used for the gorilla. See more »


Prefect of Police: [interviewing the first witness] So, your name is Victor Albert Adolph Jules Hugo Louis Dupont?
Victor Albert Adolph Jules Hugo Louis Dupont, the Landlord: Yes, sir.
Prefect of Police: Why did you not investigate when you heard the first scream?
Victor Albert Adolph Jules Hugo Louis Dupont, the Landlord: I... I was afraid.
Prefect of Police: Stupid, incredibly stupid.
Franz Odenheimer: [the next person approaches the Prefect, talking German] Habe die Ehre, Herr Prefekt.
[It's my honor, Mr. Prefect.]
Prefect of Police: What is your name and business?
Franz Odenheimer: I am Franz Odenheimer. I own a restaurant.
Prefect of Police: Odenheimer, in your own way, tell us what happened.
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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 »


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

Alas, poor Edgar...and poor C. Auguste D.....
26 August 2006 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

It's a bearable film. It has some nice atmospheric effects due to Karl Freund. The scene of the duel between Arlene Francis' two "Johns" or lovers or whatever is stylized to look like two men slowly draining each other of life, until they stab each other to death. But such moments are rare ones. The screenplay is horrible. And that does not mean that it is horrible in the sense that it will benefit a "horror" film.

Edgar Allen Poe, like most 19th Century writers, constructed his stories to be read - he was good at descriptions, but he was better at mood, particularly by his brilliant ear for words and language. Like in his short story "THE TELL-TALE HEART", where he makes the words force the reader into hearing the beat of a hidden heart. His story THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE was the first of a trilogy about an amateur reasoner who aids the police (a prototype for Sherlock Holmes) named C. Auguste Dupin. The tales were Poe's way of showing off his high intellect by inventing his version of Conan Doyle's "deductive reasoning" ("ratiocination").

I won't go into the exact plot, except that it does deal with murders carried out by a non-human agent. It has nothing to do with Pre-Darwinian evolutionary crap, like that supposedly being pursued by Bela Lugosi's "Dr. Mirakle" (a name stolen from E.T.A. Hoffman's odd tales, or at least from the Offenbach opera). As such, although it would be really hard to believe such a tragedy could happen in a suburb of a major city, it is a fascinating story. But most of Poe's best stories are just that, fascinating.

Aside from Freund's cinematography, Lugosi's acting (it is one of his best roles actually), and some curiosity about the fake gorilla, there is not much going for this film. Leon Waycoff (as pointed out on this thread) later achieved acting success in less heated roles at MGM like in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and YOLANDA AND THE THIEF. But he was Leon Ames then, and as such he is remembered. Sidney Fox was pushed in the early talkie period, but petered out, and died a forgotten suicide in 1945. Oddly enough, if you are into criminal history, her name has a sinister position. A young man named Sidney Fox murdered his mother in an English hotel in 1930, trying to cover it up as death by misadventure in a fire. For every true crime fan who recalls that Sidney Fox there are not that many film fans who recall the other one.

Finally a comment about the director. Robert Florey had a long career in film and movie direction, and is best recalled for being the director of the first Marx Brother comedy (or co-director) THE COCOANUTS. Groucho was dismissive of Florey, because he was French and seemed at sea dealing with the brothers, but their first film is among their best - and dealing with Groucho and his three siblings was quite difficult. Even Leo McCarey had problems with them. In the early sound period, Florey appears to have directed some of the French language movies that came out of Hollywood. Even someone with a language problem could be still useful. Unfortunately, whatever strengths Florey developed as a director are not obvious from this film.

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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)
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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
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