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Mystery of the Wax Museum

1933 1h 17m Horror List
92% Tomatometer 13 Reviews 63% Audience Score 500+ Ratings
Ivan Igor (Lionel Atwill) is the sculptor at a famous wax museum in London. When his partner, Joe Worth (Edwin Maxwell), burns down the museum for the insurance money, Igor is trapped inside. Years later he re-emerges in New York as the curator of a new wax museum, which boasts incredibly lifelike statues. When model Joan Gale (Monica Bannister) goes missing, however, reporter Florence Dempsey (Glenda Farrell) follows the clues to Igor's museum, where she discovers a terrible secret. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (13) Critics Reviews
Brian Eggert Deep Focus Review However shocking the film may have been at the time, it has grown not only as a cult object to be cherished by genre aficionados, but as a work that improves with the addition of contexts that underscore its distinct place in film history. Rated: 3.5/4 Feb 18, 2022 Full Review Mattie Lucas From the Front Row With no musical score to guide the audience, we're often left adrift in Igor's madhouse, conjuring up some truly haunting imagery that has been beautifully restored on the new Blu-Ray from Warner Archive. Rated: 3/4 Jun 17, 2020 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Mystery of the Wax Museum is notable for a handful of reasons, including the involvement of director Michael Curtiz before he became Warner's top go-to guy (Casablanca, Yankee Doodle Dandy). Rated: 3/4 May 30, 2020 Full Review Pare Lorentz Vanity Fair Had the director kept his story under control The Wax Museum might have been a good horror production. Jun 5, 2019 Full Review Tim Brayton Antagony & Ecstasy One of the punchiest, most watchable '30s horror films made anywhere outside of Universal. Rated: 7/10 Oct 25, 2014 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews A fun weirdo classic pulp horror tale from the 1930s. Rated: A- Oct 20, 2008 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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S R An impressive early horror movie that set standards for the genre. I saw it reference to TCM's highlighting it as influential. It was a bit cheesy, but entertaining. Saw on DM. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 06/02/24 Full Review Matt B Excellent early 30s horror thriller, done in a 2 strip technicolor process that gives the film an eerie atmosphere. Atwill is an excellent warped antagonist and highly prolific and talented Michael Curtiz does a commendable job directing. Watch it!! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/31/24 Full Review Alec B Wonderfully creepy and I appreciate that the fast talking dame reporter is the actual hero of the movie. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/10/24 Full Review CodyZamboni Movie is a fun, compelling genre mashup. Part horror, part newspaper story. I was surprised that the big epic showcase sequence, the wax museum fire meltdown happens at the beginning of movie. The newspaper detective story that follows has the right amount of comic tone. Movie has a strong cast, and lots of surprising pre - code dialogue, drug abuse, and gruseome images. But the MVP is Fay Wray. So appealing, so attractive, charming, and sexy. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 12/04/23 Full Review Dallas H It is interesting how the story for this movie was repurposed into the 1953 remake starring Vincent Price, which is the version I prefer over all the others. Don't forget there is also a 2005 remake of House of Wax. I enjoyed Mystery of the Wax Museum on its merit. It's a decent movie and an exciting look at hearing the bold dialogue in an era before the Hays Code was shortly enforced. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 12/03/23 Full Review Audience Member Rating: 6/10. 65/100 Rated 3 out of 5 stars 10/26/22 Full Review Read all reviews
Mystery of the Wax Museum

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Ivan Igor (Lionel Atwill) is the sculptor at a famous wax museum in London. When his partner, Joe Worth (Edwin Maxwell), burns down the museum for the insurance money, Igor is trapped inside. Years later he re-emerges in New York as the curator of a new wax museum, which boasts incredibly lifelike statues. When model Joan Gale (Monica Bannister) goes missing, however, reporter Florence Dempsey (Glenda Farrell) follows the clues to Igor's museum, where she discovers a terrible secret.
Director
Michael Curtiz
Producer
Henry Blanke
Screenwriter
Don Mullaly, Carl Erickson
Production Co
Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
Genre
Horror
Original Language
English
Runtime
1h 17m