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The Mystery of the Wax Museum / 1933 / Fay Wray

4.7 out of 5 stars 236 ratings

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The Mystery of the Wax Museum / 1933 / Fay Wray [Unknown Binding]

Product details

  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
  • Package Dimensions : 7.1 x 5.42 x 0.58 inches; 2.93 Ounces
  • Media Format : DVD
  • Run time : 86 minutes
  • Actors : Fay Wray, Lionel Atwill, Glenda Farrel, Frank McHugh
  • Language : Unqualified (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Studio : Warner Bros.
  • ASIN : B000FS4X64
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 236 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
236 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE BLU RAY RELEASE OF 2020
By JTP on June 18, 2020
This review is for the WarnerArchive blu ray of Mystery of the Wax Museum.

Warner Brothers ‘Mystery of the Wax Museum’ (1933) is from the first wave of early sound horror films.

A unique quality of the film is that it’s in early two strip technicolor. Only variations of green and red predominate. Soon after, the addition of a blue strip created three strip technicolor. As a result, ‘Mystery of the Wax Museum’ and the earlier ‘Doctor X’ were neglected. By the late 1940s, ‘Mystery of the Wax Museum’ seemingly disappeared. Some twenty years later, a worn print was found. No serious restoration was forthcoming but it was made available for television broadcast. Home video releases on VHS and laserdisc were released in the early 1990s. On DVD it was relegated as a bonus feature to the better known remake ‘House of Wax.’ A blue tint was wrongly added via color correction.

Happily, ‘Mystery of the Wax Museum’ has been restored to its full glory by Scott MacQueen, head of preservation, UCLA Film and Television Archive! It is not indicated if this is a 4K restoration. No matter. One can’t imagine this film looking better than it does now. Could it have looked this good when it premiered on February 17, 1933?

All scratches, abrasions and emulsion digs have been removed. The entire film has been properly color corrected - no blue. The audio has similarly been cleaned up. The green/red quality enhances every aspect of the film. It’s like seeing it for the first time. The set design by Anton Grot is incredible. Orry-Kelly’s fashions look terrific. Perc Westmore’s make-up is amazing.

Three performances have always been a hallmark of this film: Lionel Atwill as the sympathetic but off kilter sculptor Ivan Igor, Fay Wray, demonstrating her classic scream and Glenda Farrell as the fast talking, wisecracking reporter. Director Michael Curtiz’s effective use of shadows enhances the film’s horror status even as it contrasts with the fast talking aspect of a Warner’s pre code film - which it most assuredly is.

To top it off are the bonus features. Victoria Riskin, the daughter of Fay Wray and legendary screenwriter Robert Riskin, gives a warm tribute to her mother. Preservationist MacQueen gives a fascinating restoration before and after featurette and an audio commentary, which is enhanced by comments from vintage interviews with Fay Wray and Glenda Farrell. Michael Curtiz biographer, Alan K. Rode gives a second commentary which places this film in the context of Curtiz’s career.

This blu ray edition is recommended for fans of horror films, and aficionados of classic films. Actually, it belongs in everyone’s collection.

Hopefully, WarnerArchive will follow this up with a similar restoration of ‘Doctor X’ (1932).

Alan K. Rode says this in his Curtiz biography, “Americans continue to celebrate each Yuletide with ‘White Christmas’, observe Independence Day with ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’, and fall in love while watching ‘Casablanca.’

With this blu ray restoration it’s now time spend Halloween with ‘Mystery of the Wax Museum.’
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Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 19, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on June 6, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Alasdair Swanson
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I took a chance
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 17, 2020
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5 people found this helpful
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Zoltan Nemes-Nemeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning restoration of a stylish little thriller
Reviewed in Australia on July 31, 2020
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One person found this helpful
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Stefano Bandini
5.0 out of 5 stars OK
Reviewed in Italy on September 9, 2020
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F. D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Erstaunliche Restaurierung
Reviewed in Germany on January 3, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Reviewed in Canada on December 22, 2020
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