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
The alcoholic sculptor was a heroin addict in the original version of the film, Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), but that had to be changed for the remake because the Production Code forbade any mention of drug addiction. ( a character played by Vincent Price had got away with confessing to drug addiction in Dragonwyck (1946), filmed in 1945, eight years before "House of Wax.") See more »
After inspecting the wax Joan of Arc, Sue tells the police that she thinks it is her dead friend because the figure has only the right ear pierced. It is clear from the earlier scene that Sue only saw the figure's right ear, and could not have seen whether the left ear was pierced. See more »
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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