6.8/10
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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
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 ... Prof. Darcy
Thomas E. Jackson ... Detective (as Thomas Jackson)
DeWitt Jennings ... Police Captain
Matthew Betz ... Hugo
Monica Bannister ... Joan Gale
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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:

Images of wax that throbbed with human passion! Almost woman....what did they lack? 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

Although the title had been changed to "Mystery of the Wax Museum", the leaders on the original release prints still gave the title as "Wax Museum". See more »

Goofs

The bottle of whiskey that the officer picks up is clearly not leaking in the long shot, but in the close up shot, it shows the liquid practically pouring from the bottom. See more »

Quotes

Florence: [describing the disfigured man's appearance] And that face, it was like an African war mask.
Detective: You mean he was colored?
Florence: I don't know what he was, but he made Frankenstein look like a lily.
See more »


Soundtracks

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