In London, a sculptor of wax figures for a museum is horrified when his employer proposes setting fire to the unpopular museum in order to collect the insurance money. As the wax figures melt amid the blaze, the two men have a fight. After knocking out the sculptor, the owner leaves him to “perish” among the flames. Thirteen years later, the sculptor resurfaces in New York City for the launch of his own wax museum. The opening coincides with the sudden disappearance of some dead bodies from the city morgue. A determined reporter begins to suspect the deranged museum owner of stealing the corpses and using them for the wax figures in his exhibits.—IMDb
Michael Curtiz was one of Hollywood’s most prolific and colorful directors. Born to a well-to-do Jewish family in Budapest, he ran away from home at age 17 to join a circus, then trained for an acting career at the Royal Academy for Theater and Art. He worked as a leading man at the Hungarian Theatre before directing stage plays and then films. His first cinematic effort was Az Utolsó Bohém (1912), which was also the first feature-length film ever made in Hungary. Curtiz soon moved on to the more progressive Danish film industry, returning to his homeland in 1914 and serving a year in the Austro-Hungarian infantry before resuming his film career. While it may be arguable that Curtiz was Hungary’s finest director, he was certainly its busiest, making no fewer than 14 films in 1917, most of which starred his first wife, actress Lucy Dorraine. When the Hungarian film industry was nationalized by the new communist government in 1919, Curtiz packed his bags and headed for Sweden… read more
How do I like this film ! It was released in 1933 but it has a so quick pace that it seems to have been shot 20 years later. When you hear Fay Wray shouting to a policeman : "Hey, how's your sex life", you understand in a second that you're still in that blessed pre-code Hays period that produced so many great movies just before Hollywood lapsed into a 35 years coma. Masterpiece.
Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray’s second teaming with director Michael Curtiz is not nearly as fun as their first, the horror classic ‘Doctor X’, but its a decent, if routine, old-fashioned mystery helped along considerably by the presence of Glenda Farrell as a plucky gal reporter. Classic horror fans may find it entertaining enough, but not all that memorable.