Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

USA,
75m
35mm film, black and white
mono, English

An American horror film directed by Robert Florey.

Plot Summary

Paris, the 19th century: to prove his theories on the relationship between Man and Ape, the mad Dr Mirakle takes to abducting young women and injecting them with ape . But his experiments invariably end with the deaths of his subjects. When he abducts Camille, Mirakle comes to the attention of medical student Pierre Dupin who joins forces with the police to try to find her before it's too late.

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Directed by: Robert Florey
Copyright MCMXXXII [1932] by Universal Pictures Corp., Carl Laemmle pres.
Carl Laemmle presents
Produced by: Carl Laemmle Jr
Associate Producer: E.M. Asher
Adaptation: Robert Florey
Screen Play: Tom Reed, Dale Van Every
Based on the immortal classic by Edgar Allan Poe
Added Dialogue: John Huston
Scenario Editor: Richard Schayer
Cinematographer: Karl Freund
Supervising Film Editor: Maurice Pivar
Film Editor: Milton Carruth
Musical Director: Heinz Roemheld *
Music: Heinz Roemheld *
Recording Supervisor: C. Roy Hunter
Western Electric Sound System
Make Up: Jack P. Pierce *
Special Effects: John Fulton
Special Processes: Frank D. Williams *
Art Director: Charles D. Hall

Cast
Sidney Fox (Mlle Camille L'Espanaye)
Bela Lugosi (Doctor Mirakle)
Leon Waycoff [real name Leon Ames] (Pierre Dupin)
Bert Roach (Paul)
Betty Ross Clarke (Madame L'Espanaye)
Brandon Hurst (prefect of police)
D'Arcy Corrigan (morgue keeper)
Noble Johnson (Janos, the black one)
Arlene Francis (woman of the streets)
Edna Marion [Mignette] *
Charlotte Henry, Polly Ann Young [girls] *
Herman Bing [Franz Odenheimer] *
Agostino Borgato [Alberto Montani] *
Harry Holman [landlord] *
Torben Meyer [the Dane] *
John T. Murray, Christian J. Frank [gendarmes] *
Dorothy Vernon [tenant] *
Michael Visaroff, Ted Billings [men] *
Charles T. Millsfield [bearded man at sideshow] *
Monte Montague [workman/gendarme] *
Charles Gemora [Erik the ape] *

Alternative Titles

Il Dottor Miracolo – Italy

Extracts included in
Universal Horror (1998)

Press

1932
The New York Times 11 February 1932
This synthetic blood curdler, with its crazy scientist and its shadowy ape, is not in any important respect to be confused with Poe's ratiocinative detective story […] The entire production suffers from an over-zealous effort at terrorization, and the cast, inspired by the general hysteria, succumbs to the temptation to overact.”

The New York Daily News
It's an artificial story […] nevertheless Bela Lugosi's Dr Mirakle does make you shrink back a little in your seat and the ape Eric [sic] sends your thumping heart up into your throat when he […] carries his lovely victim over the rooftops of Paris. Lugosi's suggestion of the insanely criminal doctor is effective. Sidney Fox gives the necessary touch of beauty to the macabre tale.

References

Periodicals

  • Famous Monsters of Filmland no.64 (April 1970) pp.34-41 – illustrated review
  • Hollywood Spectator vol.12 no.12 (March 1932) p.49 – review
  • Phantasma 1 no.3 (1981) pp.33-35; 35-41 – illustrated article (Robert Florey's Murders in the Rue Morgue: Almost a classic of the Poe Cinema by Don G. Smith); review, article, synopsis, credits
  • Video Watchdog no.14 p.12 – review

Newspapers

  • The New York Times 11 February 1932 – review

Books

  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror (2nd edition) pp.53-54 – illustrated review, credits
  • Golden Horrors: An Illustrated Filmography of Terror Cinema, 1931-1939 by Bryan Senn pp.43-52 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Horror Factory by Bruce Dettman and Michael Bedford pp.23-25 – article
  • Of Gods and Monsters by John T. Soister pp.126-132 – illustrated credits, article
  • by Walt Lee p.320 – credits
  • Universal Horrors – article (by Michael Brunas, John Brunas and Tom Weaver)
  • Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror by Michael Mallory pp.176, 178-180 – illustrated article
  • Unsung Horrors by Eric McNaughton & Darrell Buxton (eds) pp.298-300 – illustrated review (by Matthew E. Banks)