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

Director:

André De Toth (as Andre de Toth)

Writers:

Crane Wilbur (screenplay), Charles Belden (story)
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Prof. Henry Jarrod
Frank Lovejoy ... Det. Lt. Tom Brennan
Phyllis Kirk ... Sue Allen
Carolyn Jones ... Cathy Gray
Paul Picerni ... Scott Andrews
Roy Roberts ... Matthew Burke
Angela Clarke ... Mrs. Andrews
Paul Cavanagh ... Sidney Wallace
Dabbs Greer ... Sgt. Jim Shane
Charles Bronson ... Igor (as Charles Buchinsky)
Reggie Rymal ... The Barker
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Storyline

Professor Henry Jarrod is a true artist whose wax sculptures are lifelike. He specializes in historical tableau's such a Marie Antoinette or Joan of Arc. His business partner, Matthew Burke, needs some of his investment returned to him and pushes Jarrod to have more lurid exposes like a chamber of horrors. When Jarrod refuses, Burke set the place alight destroying all of his beautiful work in the hope of claiming the insurance. Jarrod is believed to have died in the fire but he unexpectedly reappears some 18 months later when he opens a new exhibit. This time, his displays focus on the macabre but he has yet to reproduce his most cherished work, Marie Antoinette. When he meets his new assistant's beautiful friend, Sue Allen, he knows he's found the perfect model - only unbeknown to anyone, he has a very particular way of making his wax creations. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Beauty and Terror meet in your seat...as every thrill of its story comes off the screen right at you in NaturalVision 3 dimension See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Since the film was to be shot in both Technicolor and 3D, great pains were taken to ensure that Vincent Price's makeup looked as convincing as possible. The result was a patchwork of hideous burns that shocked audiences-and nauseated a lot of Warner Bros. employees. "I was banished from the studio commissary," Price later recalled. "This cold shoulder treatment started when I walked [in there] for lunch for the first time and the girl at the register turned green and almost fainted. Then the patrons got up and headed for the door. It was a bad day for business." See more »

Goofs

In the final fight between Professor Jarret and the police above the boiling wax cauldron. As the final blow sends Jarret over the balustrade into the cauldron the blow dislodges the stunt double's whole head mask and you glimpse a dark haired. clean shaven face fall into the "wax" See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Jim Shane: [looking at the wax figure of Joan Of Arc who resembles Cathy Gray] That's a copy of her face alright, but she didn't look that way the night we saw her at Ma Flannigan's rooming house.
Lt. Tom Brennan: Not so composed, huh.
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Alternate Versions

Released in Japan in the short-lived VHD format in 3-D. This disc has been widely copied to make bootleg tapes and DVDs. See more »

Connections

Featured in Stars of the Silver Screen: Charles Bronson (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Rue de la Paix
(uncredited)
Music by Werner R. Heymann
Danced by the can-can dancers
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User Reviews

 
The House of Wax is a true horror classic!
16 July 2000 | by filmLove-2See all my reviews

The House of Wax is a true horror classic! I saw it for the first time in 1953 at a local theatre in 3-D.

I have seen it many times since on video. It never ceases to entertain.

While watching it today I noticed something for the very first time: a most interesting anachronism.

This film takes place in old New York circa 1900. Every indoor scene has a gaslight in it, and the fire department responds with a horse-drawn wagon. Well, in one of the early scenes in the film Prof. Jarrod(Vincent Price)is conducting a prospective investor, Sidney Wallace(Paul Cavanagh), on a tour of his wax museum. There are gas lights everywhere. They arrive at an exhibit and Prof. Jarrod flips a wall switch, and presto the exhibit is illuminated in light. Somebody goofed!

If you've never seen The House of Wax, watch it. You'll love it.

One more interesting note. Dabbs Greer who plays Sergeant Jim Shane in this film also plays old Paul Edgecomb in the 1999 thriller The Green Mile.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wax Works See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$23,750,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,750,000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo (WarnerPhonic/RCA) (3 channels)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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