Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Murders In The Rue Morgue (1932)

Starring Sidney Fox, Bela Lugosi, Leon Waycoff, Bert Roach, Betty Ross Clarke
Directed by Robert Florey
(actor & director credits courtesy

A medical student and his girlfriend attend the carnival sideshow of Dr. Mirakle and his giant ape, not realizing that Mirakle is a mad scientist with designs on her as the subject of his next experiment.

Although an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's famous short story of the same name, this isn't a faithful one, refashioned as a horror vehicle for Bela Lugosi, fresh off his memorable performance in the classic Dracula.  Made up with a bushy unibrow, Lugosi again has a striking screen presence, but doesn't have a great deal to do.  The real star of the film is the cinematography by Karl Freund, who creates some genuine chills by shooting the actor in the ape suit in silhouette, and perfectly frames the climactic rooftop chase of the ape by Waycoff's young hero.

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