Das Wachsfigurenkabinett (1924)

Germany, 1924
65m, 84m, 93m, reels, 1681 metres, 2018 ft (at 16 fps)
35mm film, black and white, 1.33:1

A German anthology horror film directed by Leo Birinsky and Paul Leni.

Plot Summary

The owner of a waxworks museum hires a writer to pen tales about three models he has also employed. In the first, he casts himself as a baker who is threatened with execution when the smell of his bakery drifts into the Sultan’s palace; the second features Tzar Ivan the Terrible who orders the execution of a chemist; and in the third, the writer casts himself as a young man on the trail of Jack the Ripper.


Director: Leo Birinsky, Paul Leni
Script: Henrik Galeen
Assistant Director: Wilhelm Dieterle
Director of Photography: Helmar Lerski
Costume Designer: Ernst Stern
Art Director: Paul Leni, Fritz Maurischat
Assistant Art Director: Fritz Maurischat

Emil Jannings (Harun al Raschid)
Conrad Veidt (Ivan the Terrible)
Werner Krauss (Jack the Ripper)
Wilhelm Dieterle (the poet/the baker/Russian prince)
Olga Belajeff (Eva/Maimune/nobleman)
John Gottowt (panopticon owner)
Georg John
Ernst Legal

Alternative Titles

El hombre de las figuras de cera – Spanish title
Three Wax Men
The Three Wax Works
Tre amori fantastici
– Italian title



  • The Bioscope vol.76 no.1136 (11 July 1928) p.33 – review
  • Classic Images no.334 (April 2003) p.25 – DVD review (Video views by John Nangle)
  • Film Society History (1938) – note
  • Kine Weekly no.1108 (12 July 1928) p.56 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.46 no.546 (July 1979) p.161 (UK) – credits, synopsis, review (by Tim Pulleine)
  • The Movie p.2400 (UK) – credits


  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror (2nd edition) by Phil Hardy (ed) pp.33-34 – illustrated credits, review
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.17
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.25, 29, 44, 65
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.306
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.492 – credits
  • Serial Killer Cinema: An Analytical Filmography by Robert Cetti p.499

Other Sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide May 2019 p.21 – illustrated listing
  • Film Society Programmes no.1 (25 October 1925) p.25 – note