Before Ruth Vincent, daughter of a state governor, and state attorney general Robert Sheldon can announce their marriage, the governor is accused of bribe-taking. To avoid the appearance of... See full summary »
In France, an insane surgeon's obsession with an actress from England leads him to replace her pianist husband's hands that got mangled in an accident with the hands of a late knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.
In London, sculptor Ivan Igor struggles in vain to prevent his partner Worth from burning his wax museum...and his 'children.' Years later, Igor starts a new museum in New York, but his maimed hands confine him to directing lesser artists. People begin disappearing (including a corpse from the morgue); Igor takes a sinister interest in Charlotte Duncan, fiancée of his assistant Ralph, but arouses the suspicions of Charlotte's roommate, wisecracking reporter Florence.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To emphasize the similarities between the wax figures and the characters, some names are alike. For example, the suicidal Joan Gale inspires the statue of Joan of Arc. Charlotte, who should have been killed to recreate the figure of Marie Antoinette, was also the real name of the young lady who killed Marat, from the 'Assassination of Marat' depicted in the museum. See more »
Florence's scarf goes from being buttoned in the editors office to unbuttoned in the police station, and the button on her scarf changes sides at least once. See more »
London after dark. A gallery of life-like wax figures. An argument, a fight & a fire. A man left to die in the flames. And as they melt, the figures seem to weep at their own destruction.
So starts MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM, credited as the first horror film with a modern urban setting - New York City. Glenda Farrell is the brash, blonde reporter trying to help her pal Fay Wray discover the secrets of a new wax museum just about to open, and those of its director Lionel Atwill, who is confined to a wheelchair due to a past accident. Murder & mayhem & wax-covered flesh will all figure into the plot before the mystery is solved.
This was one of Atwill's best roles, playing an artist driven to dementia by the destruction of the only things he ever really loved. His is a very special, nuanced performance.
Like DOCTOR X the year before, MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM benefits from wonderful Anton Grot sets (especially the wax bath) and from having been filmed in early two-strip Technicolor, which makes all the ghastly figures seem to come alive...
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