January 26, 2014

Movie Night: Murders in the Rue Morgue.

Review #531: Murders in the Rue Morgue.

Bela Lugosi (Doctor Mirakle), Sidney Fox (Mademoiselle Camille L'Espanaye), Leon Ames (Pierre Dupin), Bert Roach (Paul), Betty Ross Clarke (Mademoiselle L'Espanaye), Brandon Hurst (Prefect of Police), D'Arcy Corrigan (Morgue Keeper), Noble Johnson (Janos), and Arlene Francis (Streetwalker) Directed by Robert Florey.

I'm very familiar with Bela Lugosi already, with his work in (#071) Dracula, (#183) Plan 9 from Outer Space, (#260) The Wolf Man, (#274) White Zombie, and (#470) Mark of the Vampire. A theme week is 7 reviews of a subject in 7 days (Such as Robot Week with #086-#092, Harry Potter Week with 8 reviews from #117-#124, and the last one until this, Dreamworks Animation Week, from #160-#166), and I'm starting with the earliest Lugosi film I could find on short notice, and end...with his last speaking role. Murders in the Rue Morgue was (loosely) based off a short story by Edgar Allen Poe (notable for being the first detective story), with a few more of his works being adapted by Universal in the following years as part of their Universal Monsters line. Lugosi doesn't do that bad of a job, he certainly has a level of lunacy for this character, and it works well. The rest of the cast do fine and all, they aren't too overdramatic, and while Lugosi nearly steals the show, the cast don't do that bad. This film was sadly butchered upon original release from 80 minutes to 61 minutes by the studio, the deleted scenes apparently being cut due to being deemed too disturbing, and while the film does feel hacked off, the camera angles and the way of filming make up for it just enough. This is a disturbing, but entertaining film that lets Lugosi have his moment. Tune in next time for another one of Lugosi's films from 1932.

Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.

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