The Climax (1944)

35mm film, Technicolor, 1.37:1
mono, English

An American horror film directed George Waggner.

Plot Summary

Driven mad by , Dr Hohner, the resident physician at the Vienna Royal Theatre, murders his lover, the star soprano. Ten years later, another young singer Angela, joins the theatre and reminds Hohner so much of his former love that his old rage resurfaces.


Directed by: George Waggner
Copyright MCMXLIV [1944] by Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Universal presents a Universal picture
Produced by: George Waggner
Screenplay by: Curt Siodmak and Lynn Starling
Adaptated by Curt Siodmak from the play by Edward Locke
Dialogue Director: Gene Lewis
Assistant Director: Charles S. Gould
Directors of Photography: Hal Mohr, W. Howard Greene
Technicolor Color Director: Natalie Kalmus
Associate: William Fritzsche
Film Editor: Russell Schoengarth
Musical Score and Direction: Edward Ward
Librettos by: George Waggner
Operettas Staged by: Lester Horton
Vocal Direction: William Tyroler
Orchestration: Harold Zweifel
Director of Sound: Bernard B. Brown
Technician: William Fox
Western Electric Recording
Costumes: Vera West
Make-up-Artist: Jack Pierce
Art Direction: John B. Goodman, Alexander Golitzen
Set Decorations: Russell A. Gausman, Ira S. Webb

Boris Karloff (Dr Hohner)
Susanna Foster (Angela)
Turhan Bey (Franz)
Gale Sondergaard (Luise)
Thomas Gomez (Count Seebruck)
June Vincent (Marcellina)
George Dolenz (Amato Roselli)
Ludwig Stossel (Carl Baumann)
Jane Farrar (Jarmila Vadek)
Erno Verebes (Brunn)
Lotte Stein (Mama Hinzel)
Scotty Beckett (the King)
William Edmunds (Leon)
Maxwell Hayes (King's ride)
Dorothy Lawrence (Miss Metzger)

Alternative Titles

Vaarallinen rakkaus – Finland
La voce magica – Italy

Remake of
The Climax (1930)

See also
Opera (1987)
Phantom of the Opera (1943)



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.8 p.39


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.84
  • Boris Karloff: A Critical Account of His Screen, Stage, Radio, Television, and Recording Work by Scott Allen Nollen pp.243-246; 384-385
  • Feature Films, 1940-1949: A United States Filmography by Alan G. Fetrow p.86
  • The Horror Factory by Bruce Dettman and Michael Bedford pp.149-150 – article
  • by Walt Lee p.69 – credits
  • Universal Horrors – article (by Michael Brunas, John Brunas and Tom Weaver)
  • The Vampire in Science Fiction Film and Literature by Paul Meehan pp.4, 127-128, 130, 138