Murders in the Rue Morgue

Murders in the Rue Morgue

Director: Robert Florey, Bela Lugosi, Sydney Fox, Leon Waycoff [Ames]

Cast: Robert Florey, Bela Lugosi, Sydney Fox, Leon Waycoff [Ames]

     
 
Having missed the opportunity to direct Frankenstein for Universal, Robert Florey was offered Murders in the Rue Morgue as a consolation, whereupon he transformed a pedestrian property into a minor classic. Owing more to Cabinet of Dr.

Overview

Having missed the opportunity to direct Frankenstein for Universal, Robert Florey was offered Murders in the Rue Morgue as a consolation, whereupon he transformed a pedestrian property into a minor classic. Owing more to Cabinet of Dr. Caligari than to Edgar Allen Poe, the film stars Bela Lugosi as Doctor Mirakle (accent on the second syllable), a carnival sideshow entertainer who doubles as a mad scientist. Kidnapping prostitutes off the Paris streets, Mirakle endeavors to mix their blood with that of his pet gorilla. His experiments will forever be doomed to failure, however, until he is able to obtain the blood of a virgin -- and that's where Camille L'Espanye (Sidney Fox) comes into the picture. When Mirakle's monkey kidnaps Camille and murders her mother, suspicion immediately falls upon the girl's sweetheart, starving artist Pierre Dupin (Leon Waycoff, later known as Leon Ames). But by using the deductive skills displayed in the original story by Poe's master detective C. Auguste Dupin, our hero not only proves his innocence, but rescues the helpless heroine from Mirakle's clutches.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Bela Lugosi in the prime of his horror career delivers a sublimely evil performance that carries this effective thriller released by Universal in the wake of their horror success of Frankenstein and Dracula. Based on a tale by Edgar Allen Poe, Murders in the Rue Morgue strikes a similar feel to some of Tod Browning's pictures: dark and rather sadistic. Lugosi's Dr. Mirakle is an evil doctor whose prize sideshow attraction is a killer gorilla whose blood he wants to mix with that of a woman (Sidney Fox) for some bizarre reason. While Lugosi takes the role to its horrifying limits, his co-stars pale by comparison playing rote characters in corny performances. Leon Waycoff (aka Leon Ames) is the hero, a medical student whose girlfriend (Fox) is abducted by the runaway ape in an exciting rooftop climax. The film's stronger elements -- a woman's death in Mirakle's lab, another who is murdered and left stuffed in a chimney -- come across even more powerfully thanks to the fine cinematography of the masterful Karl Freund (Metropolis). In one particularly noteworthy shot, the sound of a woman's screams are intercut with footage of shocked villagers. Director Robert Florey does a solid job of keeping the action moving and the audience on its toes despite a script that does have its occasional lame points. One notable example of this is when Waycoff's friend becomes overly upset that his pal won't eat. John Huston received credit on the film for adding dialogue.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/05/2014
UPC:
0025192163531
Original Release:
1932
Source:
Universal Mod
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:01:00
Sales rank:
14,909

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bela Lugosi Dr. Mirakle
Sydney Fox Mlle. Camille L'Esponage
Leon Waycoff [Ames] Pierre Dupin
Bert Roach Paul
Brandon Hurst Prefect of Police
Noble Johnson Janos, the Black One
D'Arcy Corrigan Morgue Keeper
Betty Ross Clarke Mme. L'Esponage, The Mother
Herman Bing Actor
Charles Gemora Erik the Ape
Arlene Francis Monette, the Lady of the Streets

Technical Credits
Robert Florey Director
Miton Carruth Editor
Karl W. Freund Cinematographer
John Huston Screenwriter
Carl Laemmle Producer
Tom Reed Screenwriter
Dale Van Every Screenwriter

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