Murders in the Rue Morgue

Overview

The fourth film to explore Edgar Allan Poe's classic tale, this clever adaptation takes some rather broad liberties with the source material. A flamboyant Jason Robards plays Cesar Charron, owner of a Grand Guignol theatre in 19th-century Paris, who is launching a stage adaptation of "Murders in the Rue Morgue" -- much to the dismay of his young daughter Madeleine Christine Kaufmann, who is tormented by nightmares filled with images from the play. A spate of gruesome murders among the theatre's regular stable of ...
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In 19th Century Paris, the maniacal Dr. Mirakle abducts young women and injects them with ape blood in an attempt to prove ape-human kinship. He constantly meets failure as the ... abducted women die. Medical student Pierre Dupin discovers what Mirakle is doing too late to prevent the abduction of his girlfriend Camille. Now he desperately tries to enlist the help of the police to get her back. Director: Robert Florey. Writers: Edgar Allan Poe (story), Robert Florey (adaptation). Video is in great condition. Starring Sidney Fox as Mlle. Camille L'Espanaye, Bela Lugosi as Dr. Mirakle, Leon Ames as Pierre Dupin, Bert Roach as Paul, Betty Ross Clarke as Mme. L'Espanaye, Brandon Hurst as Prefect of Police, D'Arcy Corrigan as Morgue Keeper, Noble Johnson as Janos The Black One, Arlene Francis as Woman of the Streets. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The fourth film to explore Edgar Allan Poe's classic tale, this clever adaptation takes some rather broad liberties with the source material. A flamboyant Jason Robards plays Cesar Charron, owner of a Grand Guignol theatre in 19th-century Paris, who is launching a stage adaptation of "Murders in the Rue Morgue" -- much to the dismay of his young daughter Madeleine Christine Kaufmann, who is tormented by nightmares filled with images from the play. A spate of gruesome murders among the theatre's regular stable of actors leads Charron to suspect the return of his deranged, disfigured former partner René Marot Herbert Lom, who had been presumed dead after the murder of Charron's wife. Madeleine's nightmares eventually come true when Marot makes his presence known and reveals his intentions to her on the eve of the production's opening night. Director Gordon Hessler's creative handling of the dreams-vs.reality premise is rendered a bit confusing thanks to AIP's sloppy re-editing, but the overall production is still effectively chilling.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This riff on the famous Edgar Allen Poe story has an intriguing, experimental edge to it but is not fully successful at reinventing the Poe subgenre. The script is an imaginative affair, using the title story as a play-within-the-film and borrowing elements from various other Poe stories to flesh out its meta-storytelling concept. Unfortunately, the plotting becomes convoluted as the story rolls on and it never builds to the kind of fever-dream peaks it is obviously reaching for. Gordon Hessler's direction has plenty of visual style, making effective use of the film's Spanish locations, but his pacing is substandard and the film lacks the tension it needs. In fairness, he does manage some effective setpieces along the way, like an unnerving scene where the villain's attack on a prostitute is intercut with a frantic can-can dance routine going on downstairs. Another problem is the performances, which are a mixed bag: Herbert Lom is compelling as the tortured villain of the film but Jason Robards is fatally miscast as the head of the grand-guignol theater. Simply put, his school of acting is at odds with the gothic material being explored here and he often seems disinterested. In short, Murders In The Rue Morgue is an interesting misfire. Students of Poe-themed films might find worth a look to check out the elements that work but other horror fans will want to approach with caution.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/16/1997
  • UPC: 096898130134
  • Original Release: 1971
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Christine Kaufmann Madeleine
Herbert Lom Marot
Peter Arne Aubert
Xan Das Bolas Orsini's Assistant
José Calvo Hunchback
Adolfo Celi Vidocq
Michael Dunn Pierre
Rosalind Elliot Gabrielle
Rafael Hernández Member of Repertory Company
Marshall Jones Luigi Orsini
Maria Martin Mme. Adolphe
Lilli Palmer Madeleine's Mother
Maria Perschy Genevre
Luis Rivera Member of Repertory Company
Jason Robards Jr. Cesar Charron
Dean Selmier Jacques, Member of Repertory Company
Edward Woodward
Technical Credits
Gordon Hessler Director
Samuel Z. Arkoff Producer
Max Benedict Editor
Manuel Berenguer Cinematographer
Jose Luis Galicia Production Designer
Louis M. Heyward Producer
Tony Pueo Costumes/Costume Designer
Waldo de los Rios Score Composer
Juan Carlos Lopez Rodero Asst. Director
Henry Slesar Screenwriter
Christopher Wicking Screenwriter
Jack H. Young Makeup
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