Matt Hough

Director
Reviewer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
21,924
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
Glorious looking now with its two-color Technicolor in full bloom and its juicy performances and outstanding production design present for all to see, The Mystery of the Wax Museum is nevertheless fully worthy of one’s attention.



Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)



Released: 18 Feb 1933
Rated: Passed
Runtime: 77 min




Director: Michael Curtiz
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller



Cast: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell, Frank McHugh
Writer(s): Don Mullaly (screen play), Carl Erickson (screen play), Charles Belden (from the story by)



Plot: The disappearance of people and corpses leads a reporter to a wax museum and a sinister sculptor.



IMDB rating: 6.9
MetaScore: N/A





Disc Information



Studio: Warner Brothers...
Continue reading...
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Glenn C.

OLDTIMER

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
112
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
Ken S-B
I’ve just placed my order! This movie fulfills my enjoyment of pre-code Warner’s dramas plus the joy of watching two-color Technicolor as it was meant to be seen.

According to my “Dawn of Technicolor” book, the movie was released in Hollywood on Feb 9, 1933 and in New York on Feb 16. Technicolor made 389 IB prints of 7184 ft (8 reels) each. Apparently blue filters were placed over the lights in the morgue scenes to give the desired effect.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Will Krupp

JeffT.

Screenwriter
Joined
May 14, 2004
Messages
1,122
mystery01.jpg


It is interesting that MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (1933) occurs in more contemporary times (circa the 1930s) while its remake HOUSE OF WAX (1953) takes place (presumably) in the late 1800s.

The characters of the heroine (Fay Wray) and snoopy female newspaper reporter (Glenda Farrell) in MYSTERY have been merged into the single heroine (Phyllis Kirk) in HOUSE. This explains just why the latter is so unconvincingly overly suspicious of the wax figure of Joan of Arc (Carolyn Jones) displayed in Jarrod's (Vincent Price) museum. Something that I've never been comfortable with.

Lionel Atwill generally gives an unrelentingly highly theatric bravura performance as Ivan Igor while Vincent Price is much more subdued by comparison as Henry Jarrod.

One thing both have in common is that the facial appearance of the malformed terror at large featured in MYSTERY and HOUSE betray the fiend's true identity so that the climatic revelation comes as no real surprise at all.

Albeit the makeup application in MYSTERY is superior to HOUSE.

Fay Wray was certainly a very attractive female in her youthful prime (to be sure) and her character is much more likeable and better performed than Phyllis Kirk's the latter who comes across mostly as a wet blanket.

Both films have their enthusiastic and vocal supporters so it becomes a matter of personal preference as to which is (ultimately) the better film.

One thing is for certain on the basis of the samplers of the restoration work done on MYSTERY it has truly been vastly improved upon.

wax01.jpg


:)
 
Last edited:

TJPC

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2016
Messages
3,792
Location
Hamilton Ontario
Real Name
Terry Carroll
Ok. “Mystery” in colour, “House” in 3D, what about the next re-make? Wide screen feel-a-vision or “smell-a-vision”?
 

Johnny Angell

Played With Dinosaurs Member
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 13, 1998
Messages
12,253
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Johnny Angell
The characters of the heroine (Fay Wray) and snoopy female newspaper reporter (Glenda Farrell) in MYSTERY have been merged into the single heroine (Phyllis Kirk) in HOUSE. This explains just why the latter is so unconvincingly overly suspicious of the wax figure of Joan of Arc (Carolyn Jones) displayed in Jarrod's (Vincent Price) museum. Something that I've never been comfortable with
Didn’t Phyllis Kirk ”know” the wax figure victim? My memory is that I bought into her reaction. Of course movies like these two do require some suspension of disbelief.
 

Stephen_J_H

All Things Film Junkie
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2003
Messages
6,309
Location
North of the 49th
Real Name
Stephen J. Hill
Ok. “Mystery” in colour, “House” in 3D, what about the next re-make? Wide screen feel-a-vision or “smell-a-vision”?
There was a 2005 version (though not actually a remake per se) with Paris Hilton. And yes, it DID smell!
Though I will say that the death of Ms. Hilton is immensely satisfying and pretty much the only reason to watch the remake.
 

warnerbro

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
756
Location
Burbank, California
Real Name
Darrell
It looks nice, but... it seems like there was a little too much digital clean up and it looks a little smeared. I wish they had given the option to watch un-digitalized raw version as well. In the comparisons, it does look a bit scratched up, but you can see much more detail.
 

Matt Hough

Director
Reviewer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
21,924
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
I watched Doctor X off the TCM app today. Because it stars Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray and was filmed in two-color Technicolor right before Wax Museum, it was discussed in the special features of this disc, and since I had never seen it before, I took advantage of it today. Very entertaining though not as good as Wax Museum.
 

lark144

Screenwriter
Premium
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
1,060
Real Name
mark gross
And also the image that goes with that line. I was first fascinated by that image as a black and white still in the pages of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" when I was a precocious tween. I never imagined that some day I would be able to see it in garish color. What I also found intriguing about that still were the words underneath, "make-up by Max Factor." Am I the only person who finds that an oxymoron?
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,102
Messages
4,700,322
Members
141,164
Latest member
Therma123