Mystery of the Wax Museum

Mystery of the Wax Museum ★★★★

One of my 1000 recommended films.

Overshadowed by its 1953 remake 'House of Wax', this film is much better and yet rarely seen. Shot in primitive Technicolor, and starring Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray, it is much less concerned with 'shocking' the viewer and instead, becomes a fast-moving, clever, and genuinely suspenseful thriller.

Happily, this film is now available as an extra on the 'House of Wax' DVD, although it isn't really publicised on the packaging. Both films are of identical length.

'Mystery' also has the benefit of Glenda Farrell as the wisecracking reporter hungry for a case, in the mould of later girl reporters like Rosalind Russell in 'His Girl Friday'. Atwill and Wray are also both excellent. A film to savour over and over, and unjustly forgotten.

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