6.8/10
4,208
94 user 44 critic

Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

The disappearance of people and corpses leads a reporter to a wax museum and a sinister sculptor.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Don Mullaly (screen play), Carl Erickson (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Doctor X (1932)
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A wisecracking New York reporter intrudes on a research scientist's quest to unmask The Moon Killer.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Lee Tracy
House of Wax (1953)
Certificate: GP Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An associate burns down a wax museum with the owner inside, but he survives only to become vengeful and murderous.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk
Mad Love (1935)
Certificate: Passed Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Karl Freund
Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After hapless pianist and ex-con John Elman is framed for murder, he is resurrected by a scientist after his execution.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ricardo Cortez, Edmund Gwenn
Certificate: Passed Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames
Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An escaped convict uses miniaturized humans to wreak vengeance on those that framed him.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O'Sullivan, Frank Lawton
Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When a nobleman is murdered, a professor of the occult blames vampires; but not all is what it seems.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi
Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When corpses drained of blood begin to show up in a European village, vampirism is suspected to be responsible.

Director: Frank R. Strayer
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An insane hunter arranges for a ship to be wrecked on an island where he can indulge in some sort of hunting and killing of the passengers.

Directors: Irving Pichel, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Leslie Banks
The Raven (1935)
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews
Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Twenty years after 3 murders occur in a castle's "blue room", three men who each want to marry a beautiful girl decide to spend a night in the room to prove their bravery to her.

Director: Kurt Neumann
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Gloria Stuart, Paul Lukas
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lionel Atwill ... Ivan Igor
Fay Wray ... Charlotte Duncan
Glenda Farrell ... Florence Dempsey
Frank McHugh ... Jim
Allen Vincent ... Ralph Burton
Gavin Gordon ... George Winton
Edwin Maxwell ... Joe Worth
Holmes Herbert ... Dr. Rasmussen
Claude King ... Mr. Galatalin
Arthur Edmund Carewe ... Sparrow - Professor Darcy
Thomas E. Jackson ... Detective (as Thomas Jackson)
DeWitt Jennings ... Police Captain
Matthew Betz ... Hugo
Monica Bannister ... Joan Gale
Edit

Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You might as well know the truth as suspect it!---Here's every nerve-shattering fact laid before your startled eyes! The love riddle the police were afraid to solve brought under the lens of public scrutiny in a picture made behind bolted doors! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mystery of the Wax Museum See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Ivan is preparing to lower Joan Gale's body out the window, you can see that her feet are still uncovered, but as she is being lowered her feet are suddenly covered. See more »

Quotes

Florence: Listen, Joan Gale's body was swiped from the morgue, have you ever heard of such a thing as a death mask?
Jim: I used to be married to one.
Florence: Then it came to life and divorced you, I know all about that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in House of Wax (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Prisoner's Song
(1925)(uncredited)
Written by Guy Massey
Sung a cappella by Glenda Farrell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Enjoyable Horror Mystery
7 November 2002 | by Space_MafuneSee all my reviews

This film is full of unexpected twists and turns as should be any good mystery. When bodies begin disappearing, a desperate reporter finally hopes to get the break she needs to keep her job by attempting to unravel the mystery. She soon finds herself investigating a new wax museum which just happens to have a woman figurine of Joan of Arc which greatly resembles one of the missing bodies named Joan Gale. From there things continue to unravel and conclude in surprisingly horrific fashion for the time and era.

The Horror is there in terms of the mysterious burnt figure we see snatching the bodies as well as many other strange figures often seen only in menacing shadow.

The acting is superb. Lionel Atwill is outstanding in the role of Ivan Igor-the owner of the new wax museum who is trying to recapture his past loss. Fay Wray is stunningly beautiful in her short role as Charlotte who finds herself in a whole lot of unexpected trouble. Glenda Farrell also adds considerable energy as the female reporter--a character which unfortunately became much too common and stereotypical in this period of film. Nonetheless Farrell is quite competent in the role and definitely adds her own stamp to it.


19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 94 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed