Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) (Blu-ray) Available for Preorder

3 Stars

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Ronald Epstein

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24 Comments

  1. This movie makes me sad — as a huge Bela Lugosi fan, it was the under-performance of this movie that I associate with his different path from Boris Karloff. I think Bela was a singular talent, and his 1930's films are great, but for some reason he couldn't quite catch a break career-wise. Still flabbergasted that we got 5 Frankenstein movies but only one Lugosi Dracula (not counting Abbott and Costello).

  2. Race Bannon

    This movie makes me sad — as a huge Bela Lugosi fan, it was the under-performance of this movie that I associate with his different path from Boris Karloff. I think Bela was a singular talent, and his 1930's films are great, but for some reason he couldn't quite catch a break career-wise. Still flabbergasted that we got 5 Frankenstein movies but only one Lugosi Dracula (not counting Abbott and Costello).

    Yes. I agree.

  3. JoeDoakes

    Does the longer version exist?

    that is one of the questions of the ages, understanding that this a serious pre-code film, this would need an answer from an archivist to verify any thing short of a rumor, and i have never heard a rumor of the cut footage being shown,

    Do i wish it was possible to see the original cut, OH HELL YES that shouldn't even be a question. Seriously, it was cut because of excessive violence, oh my how time have changed, but if it ever comes to the point that the original cut is available, maybe whom ever found that missing footage , could look around a little harder, and see what other surprises might be there.

    And yes Karloff's star was definitely on the rise, but then Lugosi ended up making some "great" films during this period, it depended on the director and source material, White Zombie, Island Of Lost Souls, The Black Cat (Ulmer) which all push boundaries for that time.

  4. dana martin

    that is one of the questions of the ages, understanding that this a serious pre-code film, this would need an answer from an archivist to verify any thing short of a rumor, and i have never heard a rumor of the cut footage being shown,

    Do i wish it was possible to see the original cut, OH HELL YES that shouldn't even be a question. Seriously, it was cut because of excessive violence, oh my how time have changed, but if it ever comes to the point that the original cut is available, maybe whom ever found that missing footage , could look around a little harder, and see what other surprises might be there.

    And yes Karloff's star was definitely on the rise, but then Lugosi ended up making some "great" films during this period, it depended on the director and source material, White Zombie, Island Of Lost Souls, The Black Cat (Ulmer) which all push boundaries for that time.

    Cut footage didn't get save too much back then. It looks like this edition is likely to be the best we'll ever have from this title.

  5. true, but lately , and pleasantly i must say Uni has doing a decent job in there restoration efforts, the up side is that some really great releases have come because of this, granted that they have gone and made deals to have these released through licensing deals, but hey we got King of Jazz (Criterion ), two Leni classics, The Man Who Laughs and The Last Warning (Flicker Alley) plus the added three Universal Horror Archives (Shout) and i do hope there will be a 4th . And if we can get a restored The Cat and the Canary (1927) , that would just be icing on the cake. still i am waiting to see Bela during my time off during the holidays.

    the question then would the footage exist, 3 possible scenarios,

    1. it does exist, but know one knows where it is,
    2. it was destroyed in a fire ( possibly)
    3. it was part of the purge during Universal -International.

  6. I believe the only version that exists today is the 61 minute version. There was a beautiful French blu ray but they added electronic music that you couldn’t get rid of! Also, Amazon has had a streaming version that is beautiful. I’m also wondering why they didn’t add it to one of the other collections. 23 bucks for an hour-long movie seems a bit much and there’s no mention of any extras at all.

  7. warnerbro

    I believe the only version that exists today is the 61 minute version. There was a beautiful French blu ray but they added electronic music that you couldn't get rid of! Also, Amazon has had a streaming version that is beautiful. I'm also wondering why they didn't add it to one of the other collections. 23 bucks for an hour-long movie seems a bit much and there's no mention of any extras at all.

    My recollection is that the PQ of this title was one of the worst on the Lugosi set. Universal may have spent a lot more restoring it, and together with the Edgar Allen Poe connection, they may have thought a separate release was justified.

  8. Only the review from Film Daily indicated the running time was 75 minutes. Variety, Hollywood Reporter, New York Times and Motion Picture Herald published the running time of 62 minutes. The censor board in New York City only requested that the female screaming be cut down, not cut out. (Per AFI)

  9. Jack Theakston

    There was never any 80-minute version. Some sources cite 75, but even that is suspect and probably a preview cut length. All period reviews and continuities state 62 min.

    For some reason, Wiki mentioned the longer version was 80 minutes.

  10. The story goes that originally the film opened with the scene where the two pimps are fighting over the hooker on the waterfront and ran until Lugosi dumped Arlene Francis in the sewer then cut to the carnival. But it was too dark an opening and the sequences were switched.

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