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16 user 26 critic

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)

Paris...at the turn of the century. Inspector Vidocq investigates a series of unexplained murders at a Grand Guignol-type theatre...where the players have suddenly become real-life victims. Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe.

Director:

Gordon Hessler
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Robards ... Cesar Charron
Herbert Lom ... Rene Marot
Christine Kaufmann ... Madeleine Charron
Adolfo Celi ... Inspector Vidocq
Maria Perschy ... Genevre
Michael Dunn ... Pierre Triboulet
Lilli Palmer ... Mrs. Charron
Peter Arne ... Aubert
Rosalind Elliot Rosalind Elliot ... Gabrielle (as Rosalind Elliott)
Marshall Jones ... Luigi Orsini
María Martín ... Madam Adolphe (as Maria Martin)
Ruth Plattes ... Orsini's Assistant
Rafael Hernández ... Member of Repertory Company (as Rafael Hernandez)
Pamela McInnes Pamela McInnes ... Member of Repertory Company
Sally Longley Sally Longley ... Member of Repertory Company
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Storyline

In Paris, in the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Cesar Charron owns a theater at the Rue Morgue where he performs the play "Murders in the Rue Morgue" with his wife Madeleine Charron, who has dreadful nightmares. When there are several murders by acid of people connected to Cesar, the prime suspect of Inspector Vidocq would be Cesar's former partner Rene Marot. But Marot murdered Madeleine's mother many years ago and committed suicide immediately after. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

LOVE and MURDER are the two consuming passions of the Rue Morgue! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Edgar Allan Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's closing credits declare that this motion picture was: "Filmed entirely on location in Spain". See more »

Goofs

The use of a stunt-double for Lom is also obvious in the fight-scene with Robards in which Robards punches Lom and sends him crashing into a table. See more »

Quotes

Rene Marot: Yes, Madeleine. There stands the axe-man of your dreams.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Bloody Ape (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Sung in the theatre
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User Reviews

Odd but entertaining Poe tale...sort of
13 October 2003 | by squeezeboxSee all my reviews

Gordon Hessler's MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE is not, as the title would suggest, really an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's short story. In fact, it has next to nothing to do with Poe's tale, basically using it as little more than a starting off point. This is odd, as MURDERS is one of Poe's few stories that actually lends itself to being expanded into a feature film. It's a Sherlock Holmes-esque mystery, the bulk of which is about the method of solving the murders as opposed to the murders themselves.

Hessler's MURDERS plays much more like a remake of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA than anything Poe ever wrote. And, although many of Poe's themes are present (e.g. murder, paranoia, vengeance), the movie lacks the sense of irony and macabre which drove Roger Corman's Poe adaptations, or even Hessler's own CRY OF THE BANSHEE.

Jason Robards is oddly cast as the director and lead actor of a theatre troupe whose specialty is a production of Poe's story. His actors and people with whom he has relationships are being murdered by a mysterious masked man (Herbert Lom). The police are at a loss, and Robards does what he can to help them out...or so it would seem. Somehow mixed in with this is a vindictive dwarf (the wonderful Michael Dunn), who seems to have his own beef with Robards.

As with Hessler's other movies, it's somewhat convoluted and hard to follow, but it does come to an interesting conclusion. His writers (on previous Poe films as well) seem to be attempting to emulate Richard Matheson's technique of taking Poe's work and expanding it, rearranging it, or even changing it, but keeping it's flavor rich and alive throughout. They don't quite manage that here, but the movie still works on it's own terms.

MURDERS is a decent thriller, with good performances, moody photography and a lush music score. It has the same grindhouse quality as Hessler's previous Poe "adaptations", but the director boasts a much more noticeable sense of style this time around. While it's never as creepy as CRY OF THE BANSHEE or bizarre as SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN, it manages a fair degree of suspense and intensity, and is at the very least fun and fast paced.


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