Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

Director: Michael Curtiz
Starring: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell

A reporter pursues a possible murder case that lead her to a wax museum with uncannily lifelike figures.

I've only seen Michael Curtiz's swashbucklers up until now, so I was completely unaware of his rather diverse repertoire. While the 1953 remake House of Wax is likely better known, the original is still worth checking out. People may dispute which is better, but I think they're roughly equivalent. While I prefer Vincent Price, Lionel Atwill is good as the mad sculptor. I particularly liked Glenda Farrell as the brash and brassy reporter Florence. Fay Wray's character by comparison was rather bland, but she does show off her scream queen chops. The dialog can be rather snappy (especially when Florence is on the stage), which adds a lot of entertainment value. Also, as a pre-Code film, there's a lot of stuff you wouldn't normally expect to see in movies from the 30s and 40s. That can be an added point of interest. The use of two-strip Technicolor also gives the movie a rather particular look that some people really dig. Anyway, it's worth a watch, so give it a try.

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