The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) (Blu-ray Review)

The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) (Blu-ray Review)

The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) (Blu-ray Review)

0 comments 📅29 May 2020, 04:40

Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Michael Curtiz
Starring: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell
Rated: UR/Region: A/1.37/Number of discs: 1
Available from Warner Archive Collection

Bodies are mysteriously disappearing all over town, and a new wax museum has just opened. Is there a connection? But of course! In this horror classic, Fay Wray (King Kong) stars as the intended next victim of a mad wax sculptor obsessed with her resemblance to one of his prior creations. Glenda Farrell plays a quintessential wisecracking newspaper reporter, and noted actor Lionel Atwill is the deranged artist who loses his studio to a fire set by his partner. Filmed in the early Two-Color Technicolor® process, The Mystery of the Wax Museum was considered a lost film for decades, until a well-worn print was discovered nearly 50 years ago. Thanks to the meticulous new restoration presented on this disc, the film can now be experienced as intended.

The colorized 1933 Mystery of the Wax Museum might be one of the very first movies you’ll find in “color”. The two-tone style of this one mostly plays into the story and gives it a very fitting vibe that might at the end of the day be more spooky than the actual movie is. The movie that the original 50s House of Wax was based on does a few things right and gets some credit for doing some of what it does during the time period that it does it. Other than that, it might be a little too light when mixed with all the rest. There are some cool parts but there are also some comedic moments that feel a bit forced in the thick of things and only take away from what is an otherwise cool vibe of a movie.

The story is interesting enough and the wax side of things has always been a creepy element to any movie when done right. The acting, one the other hand, was a little hit and miss for me. It is a very old style acting and the leading lady is the one pushing this method through. I don’t know how else to describe it other than it is very “elaborate”. I think even if you find yourself not totally blown away by the movie on its own, you’ll at least be impressed with what they did with this old movie on Blu-ray. It looks pretty darn good even with the color and I was wondering if that would indeed be the case heading into it. There’s other sweet stuff to see in the extras as well.


  • BRAND NEW MASTER OF THE FILM – Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation in association with Warner Bros. Entertainment. Funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation
  • Documentary “Remembering Fay Wray”
  • Audio Commentary by Author.Film Historian Alan K. Rode; Audio Commentary by Scott MacQueen, head of preservation, UCLA Film & Television Archive
  • Restoration Featurette
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature

Quality of Transfer: 97%

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