6.9/10
4,049
93 user 37 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 »
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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 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:

Women of FLESH become WAX in his hands... women of wax become flesh! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The shot of the 'monster' lifting up the sheet in the morgue was, along with many other Warner Bros. films of the early 1930s, incorporated into the opening credits of their 1974 musical MAME. See more »

Goofs

During the opening sequence when Igor is showing off his "children," he points out a tableau entitled 'Mother Love' which features a woman nursing an infant surrounded by several children. In long shots the figure of the mother wears a head scarf pulled back exposing her shoulder, while in the close-up the scarf is pulled forward over her bosom (presumably to deemphasize the fact that she is breast feeding). See more »

Quotes

Ivan Igor: You know, I might have felt a little discouraged tonight, but now everything is exactly as it should be.
Charlotte Duncan: I'm glad.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Nutcracker (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Agitato
(uncredited)
Music by Bernhard Kaun
Stock cue played over main titles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Remember this forgotten masterpiece
10 June 1999 | by Elvis-53See all my reviews

A genuinely frightening film from Michael Curtiz, jack of no trades and master of all. Many of the tricks of classic 1930's horror are here, including the opening scene set in a dark, rainy London street, the long shadows on the wall, lengthy periods of silence, and all timed to perfection. Only the faster-than-the-speed-of-sound dialogue of Glenda Farrell truly lets the film down. But other than that it is a gothic masterpiece, an underrated movie probably due to the fact that it lay undiscovered, thought lost, for over half a century. Far more inventive and imaginative than the majority of horror films made today.


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