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as of: 6/09/05

House of Wax (1953)



out of 10


André De Toth


Vincent Price .... Prof. Henry Jarrod
Frank Lovejoy .... Lt. Tom Brennan
Phyllis Kirk .... Sue Allen
Carolyn Jones .... Cathy Gray
Paul Picerni .... Scott Andrews
Roy Roberts .... Matthew Burke
Angela Clarke .... Mrs. Andrews
Paul Cavanagh .... Sidney Wallace
Dabbs Greer .... Sgt. Jim Shane
Charles Bronson .... Igor (as Charles Buchinsky)
Reggie Rymal .... The barker


House of Wax, starring Vincent Price, is a remake of the 1933 film The Mystery of the Wax Museum. And it pretty closely follows its predecessor, with the exception of the newspaper reporter contained in the original. Price (playing the role so capably filled by Lionel Atwill in the original) is Professor Henry Jarrod, a man obsessed with making the perfect wax figures of his subjects. These include such historical figures as Joan of Arc, John Wilkes Booth, and others. But his prize figure is that of Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, who were both beheaded during the French Revolution. Jarrod's business partner is Matthew Burke, an impatient businessman intent on turning a profit, and quickly! Due to this love of money, Burke burns down Jarrod's beloved Wax Museum to collect on the insurance, and like in the original movie, the creator of the wax figures is left to perish in the flames. And as in the prior movie, Price escapes to exact his revenge. Phyllis Kirk plays Sue Allen (basically the part Fay Wray played in the original), a girl who witnesses the murder of her friend Cathy Gray (Carolyn Jones). Charles Brosnon even puts in an appearance as Jarrod's deaf-mute assistant Igor. Soon, Jarrod, who had been presumed dead, is opening a new wax museum called the House of Wax. Much to Sue's dismay, the new Joan of Arc looks suspiciously like her friend Cathy. One thing leads to another, and Sue finds herself the center of Jarrod's attention in the role of his new Marie Antoinette. Needless to say, the type of attention he lavishes on people is most unwanted! This was another very good movie, just like The Mystery of the Wax Museum. Although I gave both movies an 8/10, I slightly preferred the original. Price carries the movie (when doesn't he?), and the rest of the cast gives a solid performance. As I mentioned in my review for Mystery, these two films come to you on the same double-sided disc, which to me is a must-buy considering the quality of these two classic horror films.


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