Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) - Rotten Tomatoes

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

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Movie Info

Having missed the opportunity to direct Frankenstein for Universal, Robert Florey was offered Murders in the Rue Morgue as a consolation, whereupon he transformed a pedestrian property into a minor classic. Owing more to Cabinet of Dr. Caligari than to Edgar Allen Poe, the film stars Bela Lugosi as Doctor Mirakle (accent on the second syllable), a carnival sideshow entertainer who doubles as a mad scientist. Kidnapping prostitutes off the Paris streets, Mirakle endeavors to mix their blood with that of his pet gorilla. His experiments will forever be doomed to failure, however, until he is able to obtain the blood of a virgin -- and that's where Camille L'Espanye (Sidney Fox) comes into the picture. When Mirakle's monkey kidnaps Camille and murders her mother, suspicion immediately falls upon the girl's sweetheart, starving artist Pierre Dupin (Leon Waycoff, later known as Leon Ames). But by using the deductive skills displayed in the original story by Poe's master detective C. Auguste Dupin, our hero not only proves his innocence, but rescues the helpless heroine from Mirakle's clutches.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Passport

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Cast

Bela Lugosi
as Dr. Mirakle
Leon Waycoff [Ames]
as Pierre Dupin
Sidney Fox
as Camille L'Espanaye
Brandon Hurst
as Prefect of Police
Bert Roach
as Paul
D'Arcy Corrigan
as Morgue Keeper
Betty Ross Clarke
as The Mother
Arlene Francis
as Monette
Charles Gemora
as Erik the Ape
Herman Bing
as Franz Odenheimer
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Critic Reviews for Murders in the Rue Morgue

All Critics (12)

Whether as camp or as legitimately great horror... the film is awfully fun to watch.

Full Review… | August 21, 2014
Antagony & Ecstasy

Rue Morgue disappoints because it gives us too little of Lugosi's hijinks, but its best scenes are nearly as memorable as anything that Universal produced during the era.

Full Review… | July 24, 2012
MovieMartyr.com

It crams into its first ten minutes as much bestial subtext as King Kong

Full Review… | March 13, 2010
CinePassion

A flawed, but absolutely fascinating film.

Full Review… | August 5, 2009
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Robert Florey's atmospheric horror tale, starring Bela Lugosi.

March 2, 2008
Video-Reviewmaster.com

It has style.

Full Review… | October 8, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Murders in the Rue Morgue

In the 1930s, Universal was at the forefront of Horror Cinema. Beyond their famous parade of Movie Monsters, they also made some other quite good horror films, three of which were adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe stories. This one, is quite good, with Bela Lugosi playing the creepy villain, and some fantastic cinematography with swift camera movements, some unique camera placements (I really liked the swing shot), and a style very reflective of the German Expressionism movement (like much of the Universal Films). It also didn't shy away from death, with some gruesome murder scenes you really didn't see in some of these earlier horror films. Interesting to note that the director and Lugosi originally wished to make "Frankenstein", only to be reassigned by Universal to this picture, it may not have been as successful as that film, but it is still excellent.

Ken Scheck
Ken Scheck

The title makes this movie sound like something exciting, but it's not. Lugosi plays a mad scientist who has a circus act where he exhibits an ape who can "talk". The ape cannot talk, he just pretends that he knows what it's saying. I'm sure the audience was asking for their money back after that. He has some crazy idea about how people are descended from apes and he wants to make people more like apes, so he kidnaps girls and murders them when his experiments don't work out. The story is stupid, the characters are stupid, I didn't care for this movie at all, I don't know why they included it in the universal monsters collection.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Bela Lugosi stars as "Dr. Mirakle," a carny scientist with a trained ape and a penchant for conducting medical experiments on prostitutes, in this loose but effective adaptation of Poe's short story. It's fascinating to consider that the villain here is a foreigner with a unibrow who preaches evolution, and the "good people" he terrorizes are closeminded and casually racist. Also interesting for the bestiality subtext, and the fact that this gorilla-abducts-white-woman tale predates KING KONG.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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