Waxworks (1926) - Rotten Tomatoes

Waxworks (1926)

Waxworks (1926)






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German filmmaker Paul Leni functioned as both director and production designer for the Caligariesque Waxworks (Das Wachsfigurenkabinett). Using a wax museum as the unifying factor, Leni weaves three separate stories of Evil Incarnate. Emil Jannings stars as middle-Eastern despot Harroun al Raschid; Conrad Veidt is cast as Ivan the Terrible; and Werner Krauss impersonates Jack the Ripper. Of the three, Ivan is perhaps the most odious, especially in his sadistic cat-and-mouse treatment of his victims (it is said that Russian director Sergei Eisenstein patterned his Ivan the Terrible after Veidt's). On the strength of this film, Leni was invited to Hollywood by Universal's Carl Laemmle, and the result was the classic "old dark house" meller The Cat and the Canary. Sadly, most surviving prints of Waxworks are taken from the watered-down, expurgated American released version. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Horror, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Henrik Galeen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 8, 2005
Film Arts Guild

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Critic Reviews for Waxworks

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Audience Reviews for Waxworks

I really liked this movie, it was cool. Not only does it have three famous German actors of this period, Jannings, Veidt, and Krauss, but it's got a good story and cool sets. This is an expressionist style movie, so the sets are too. They're not as pronounced as in Caligari, but they're there and really cool looking. The movie is about a wax museum that hires a writer to write down the stories of three notorious figures from history, who are part of their museum. We get to see the stories he writes, and the three famous actors play the three notorious bad guys. I recommend this movie if you liked Caligari.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


A silent classic that influenced many subsequent films. It is an example of German expressionist film That is less striking than The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari but it does have a striking visual impact. The final story, regarding Springheel Jack, makes a very original and highly effective use of double exposure. A must see film for fantasy or horror fans.

A sort of anthology in which a series of stories are told about those featured in the wax museum including Ivan the Terrible and Jack the Ripper. Fantastical for the most part, it delves into horror when Jack comes to life. Not as enjoyable as the contemporary The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or Golem.


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