THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (1933) C 73m dir: Michael Curtiz
w/Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell, Frank McHugh, Gavin Gordon, Edwin Maxwell, Holmes Herbert, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Allen Vincent, Monica Bannister
Historic color "talkie" about a mad wax sculptor, whose London museum burns down, leaving his fingers crippled, which prompts him to find an alternative sculpting method in New York.
From The Movie Guide: "Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray are teamed here for the second time in a Michael Curtiz-directed, Warner Brothers-produced two-strip Technicolor horror film (their first pairing was in DR. X in 1932). ...
"Feared to be lost for many years, THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM gained a mighty reputation when film historians' memories of the movie were jogged by the 1953 3-D remake, HOUSE OF WAX. When a print of the original film surfaced in the late 1960s, however, many critics were disappointed with it, shrugging it off as a silly mystery picture, though their initial reaction was entirely unfounded. An amazing film filled with stunning sets (by Anton Grot), exceptional moments, and perhaps Atwill's greatest performance, THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM is also a very adult film that deals explicitly with drug addiction, necrophelia, and insanity. Notable for its wonderful use of color, it was also one of the first horror films to be set in the everyday reality of modern-day New York and not in a mystical foreign land."