The Mystery of the Wax Museum

Watch The Mystery of the Wax Museum

"Warner Bros.' Supreme Thriller"
  • Passed
  • 1933
  • 1 hr 17 min
  • 6.8  (6,248)

The Mystery of the Wax Museum is a 1933 horror film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, and Glenda Farrell. The film is set in New York City and follows the story of a reporter and a sculptor who become embroiled in a mystery surrounding a wax museum that has recently opened in the city. At the opening of the wax museum, several of the wax figures are revealed to be missing, which sparks suspicion among the attendees. Among them is Florence Dempsey (Fay Wray), a young reporter who is assigned to cover the story. She meets the museum's owner, Ivan Igor (Lionel Atwill), and his assistant, Joe Worth (Edwin Maxwell), who tell her that the missing figures are simply being repaired.

However, as Florence continues her investigation, she begins to suspect that something more sinister is going on. She teams up with her ex-boyfriend, Jim (Glenda Farrell), to uncover the truth. Together, they discover a plot to replace living people with wax figures, and soon become the targets of the museum's owner, who will stop at nothing to keep his secret safe.

One of the most notable aspects of The Mystery of the Wax Museum is its use of two-strip Technicolor, which gives the film a unique visual style. The colors are muted and sepia-toned, which adds to the film's overall eerie atmosphere. This technique was relatively new at the time, and this film is one of the earliest examples of its use in a full-length feature.

Another standout feature of the film is the performance of Lionel Atwill as Ivan Igor. His portrayal of a mad sculptor is both menacing and sympathetic, as it becomes clear that he is driven to his actions by his passion for creating lifelike wax figures. Fay Wray also delivers a strong performance as the resourceful reporter who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth.

The film's set design is also noteworthy, as it features an intricately detailed wax museum that serves as the film's primary location. The museum is filled with lifelike wax figures, which are both impressive and creepy, especially as the film's plot begins to unfold.

Overall, The Mystery of the Wax Museum is a well-executed horror film that holds up well to this day. Its use of color, strong performances, and eerie atmosphere make it a must-watch for fans of classic horror.

The Mystery of the Wax Museum
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 17 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (6,248)