The Climax

Watch The Climax

"The screen's classic of suspense!"
  • Passed
  • 1944
  • 1 hr 26 min
  • 5.4  (983)

The Climax is a 1944 musical horror film that stars Boris Karloff, Susanna Foster, and Turhan Bey. Directed by George Waggner, the movie is set in 19th century Vienna and centers around the tragic love story of an aspiring opera singer and her mysterious, malevolent mentor. The film opens with a thrilling prologue featuring the renowned opera singer Marcellina (played by Susanna Foster) delivering an electrifying performance to a packed theater. As she triumphantly finishes her aria, the camera pans to the audience and we meet Baron Zoltan (Turhan Bey), a handsome and mysterious nobleman who is taken with Marcellina's talent.

The action then cuts to the backstage area where Marcellina is greeted by her mentor, the diabolical Dr. Hohner (Boris Karloff). A former opera singer himself, Hohner recognizes Marcellina's potential and takes her under his wing, promising to make her the greatest opera singer in the world. Marcellina is elated and immediately agrees to work with him.

It quickly becomes clear, however, that Hohner is not simply a benevolent mentor. Underneath his charming facade, he's a jealous and manipulative man who begins to scheme against Marcellina as soon as she starts to attract the attention of Baron Zoltan. Hohner sets in motion a plot to ruin Marcellina's career, using his powers of hypnotism to create a shadowy doppleganger that he uses to sabotage her performances.

As the plot thickens, Marcellina grows increasingly desperate to understand what is happening to her voice and why she's suddenly struggling to perform. She turns to Baron Zoltan for help, quickly developing a deep and passionate connection with him. Meanwhile, Hohner grows more and more unhinged, culminating in a thrilling climax that sees him unleashing his wrath on Marcellina and Baron Zoltan.

The Climax was one of the first horror films from Universal Studios to integrate musical elements into the story, and the results are spectacular. Susanna Foster delivers several stunning performances, showcasing her incredible voice and stage presence. The musical sequences are beautifully choreographed and shot, creating a sense of grandeur and spectacle that perfectly complements the thrilling story.

Of course, no description of The Climax would be complete without discussing the incredible performance of Boris Karloff. The legendary horror actor is at the top of his game here, delivering a deliciously malevolent portrayal of the evil Dr. Hohner. Karloff's presence dominates every scene he's in, and his scenes with Foster crackle with tension and menace.

Ultimately, The Climax is a thrilling and entertaining movie that showcases the talent of its cast and crew. The mix of horror and musical elements may seem odd on paper, but in practice, it works wonderfully. Fans of classic horror movies and musicals alike will find much to enjoy here, and the film remains a beloved classic to this day.

The Climax
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 26 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.4  (983)