The mystery from the wax museum

Films in BOLD will Air on TCM *


Mr. Igor’s artistically accomplished but poorly attended wax museum working in london is placed burning by his backer, who would like to collect the insurance coverage money to be able to recoup his losses. Trapped inside, Igor (Lionel Atwill) watches his priceless work melt off. Twelve years later, he’s relocated to New You are able to and is getting ready to open a brand new museum, though he’s now motorized wheel chair-bound and the hands are crippled. On New Year’s Eve, the gorgeous Joan Gale (Monica Bannister) is located dead from your overdose of opiates. Her wealthy boyfriend George Winton (Gavin Gordon) is charged with the crime, however the sharp-tongued reporter Florence Dempsey (Glenda Farrell) sets to prove his innocence when Joan Gale’s body disappears in the morgue. Her roommate Charlotte now (Fay Wray) is actually the fiancée of Rob Burton (Allen Vincent), a sculptor employed in Mr. Igor’s new museum. When Florence notices that among the new sculptures within the museum bears a suspicious resemblance to Joan Gale, she decides to research further and enlists the aid of Winton. They uncover a lurid realm of junkies, disfigured human monsters and maniacal schemes behind the walls from the wax museum.

Created in nov 1932 and released in Feb 1933, Mystery from the Wax Museum was the final feature film to become shot within the Technicolor two-color process, also it represents probably the most effective purposes of it when it comes to visual design. The sunlight by master cinematographer Ray Rennahan and also the frequently abstract set designs by Anton Grot, combined with restricted tonalities natural towards the color process, create an eerie atmosphere similar to German Expressionism. Even though it is frequently known as "two-strip Technicolor," the particular photo taking process, that was coded in 1920, used a single black-and-white-colored negative. The show camera recorded two adjacent frames concurrently on one strip of film, one frame filtered to capture the eco-friendly color record and yet another filtered to capture the red. The procedure needed very vibrant lights, leading to hot temperatures around the set as well as damage to the eyes to a lot of actors in that period. In Mystery from the Wax Museum, heat necessitated using real people instead of wax sculptures, because the wax might have melted. Should you look carefully, you are able to from time to time place very slight eye movements within the actors pretending to be the sculptures.

The colour printing process utilized by Technicolor from 1920 to 1927 involved printing the 2 color records on separate strips of film: most generally, one with blue-eco-friendly dye and something with red-orange. The 2 strips of film were half the thickness of ordinary film stock and were reversed in relationship to one another, so they might be cemented into just one strip of film. Even though the process provided consistent color reproduction inside the limits of the two-color system, the prints were built with a inclination to separate due to the heat generated through the projector’s arc lamp and therefore frequently needed to be delivered back towards the lab for repair. The very first feature film while using Technicolor two-color process was The Toll from the Ocean (1922). Since the process was costly, its use were rather restricted to isolated sequences within films, including major productions for example The Phantom from the Opera (1925), The Large Parade (1925) and Ben-Hur (1925). The most known feature using two-color process throughout was the Douglas Fairbanks adventure The Black Pirate (1926).

In 1928, Technicolor developed the dye imbibition film printing technique, which enabled several layer of dye to be relevant to just one strip of film, thus eliminating the requirement for cemented prints. Some features by using this improved process incorporated The King of Jazz (1930), Whoopee! (1930), Physician X (1932) and, finally, Mystery from the Wax Museum. In 1932, Technicolor created a three-color system that may finally photograph the entire color spectrum. This time around, it used three separate rolls of black-and-white-colored film running via a single camera to capture the red, blue and eco-friendly color records. The printing stage used the dye imbibition tactic to combine the separate color records onto one strip of film. The end result was the highly saturated color that Technicolor is becoming renowned for. This latest process was initially combined with the Disney animated short Flowers and Trees (1932). The very first live action short filmed within the three-strip Technicolor process was La Cucaracha (1934) and also the first feature film was Becky Sharp (1935), each of which were photographed by Ray Rennahan, who’d right now lengthy enjoyed a status like a leading expert colored cinematography. Other significant Technicolor films which Rennahan labored include: the very first Technicolor feature created in great britan, Wings from the Morning (1937), Drums Across the Mohawk (1939), Gone Using the Wind (1939), Bloodstream and Sand (1941) and To Whom the Bell Tolls (1943). To learn more about Technicolor color processes, begin to see the excellent American Widescreen Museum website ( and also the book Technicolor Movies by Richard W. Haines.

Mystery from the Wax Museum, sometimes known simply as Wax Museum, was created by Warner Siblings to take advantage of the trend for horror films in those days, varying in the now-legendary Universal franchise of horror films to low-budget independent productions like White-colored Zombie (1932). This specific film reunited they of director Michael Curtiz, professional photographer Rennahan, art director Grot, lead actor Lionel Atwill, leading lady Fay Wray and supporting actor Arthur Edmund Carewe, who’d all led to the prosperity of Physician X the prior year. An essential accessory for the formula was the comic performance of Glenda Farrell, who plays the cynical, fast-speaking reporter–a personality type she’d revisit in Warner Brothers’ popular "Torchy Blaine" number of the late Thirties.

The squeamish critic Mordaunt Hall from the New You are able to Occasions found Mystery from the Wax Museum to become "too ghastly for comfort." He authored: "It’s all perfectly in the way to possess a mad researcher performing operations in well-told tales, however when a melodrama is determined by the glimpses of covered physiques inside a morgue and also the stealing of a number of them by a crazy modeler in wax, it’s going too much.Inch He did, however, praise the comic relief provided by Glenda Farrell and Frank McHugh because the reporter and her newspaper editor. The reviewer for Variety authored that "makeups have to do with the final word in gruesomeness," but complained it were built with a "loose and unconvincing story," adding: "Loose ends never quite jell but it is certainly one of individuals artificial things whose sole retrospection inspires an unpleasant sense of the physically misshapen and very little else. However it does not bore and really should match the B-grade houses and nabes." Even though the film switched a handsome profit–roughly 800,00 dollars–it had been more effective in Europe compared to the U.S., based on Curtiz biographer James C. Robertson.

The show was considered "lost" for several years until a print was discovered in Jack Warner’s private vault. Even so, it had been usually proven on tv in black-and-white-colored prints paper proven on TCM is incorporated in the original two-color Technicolor process. While no masterpiece when compared to best Universal horror films, Mystery from the Wax Museum remains quickly entertaining and most importantly, striking to check out.

Producer: Henry Blanke

Director: Michael Curtiz

Screenplay: Don Mullaly and Carl Erickson, with different story by Charles S. Belden

Photography: Ray Rennahan

Art Direction: Anton Grot

Editing: George Amy

Costumes: Orry-Kelly

Principal cast: Lionel Atwill (Mr. Igor) Glenda Farrell (Florence Dempsey) Fay Wray (Charlotte now Duncan) Frank McHugh (Editor) Allen Vincent (Rob Burton) Gavin Gordon (George Winton) Edwin Maxwell (Joe Worth) Holmes Herbert (Dr. Rasmussen) Arthur Edmund Carewe (Sparrow).

C-78m. Closed captioning.

by James Steffen



"Mystery of the Wax Museum" clip 3.mp4


Conscript ANRSSAWS: I'd like to see this in restored version.I'd like to see 2 strip technicolor in beautiful film.