MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1932)
Article #283 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 12-23-2001
Posting date: 5-9-2002
A sideshow entrepreneur with a gorilla is performing experiments with gorilla blood injected into the veins of women. When the gorilla becomes attracted to a certain woman, he sets his sights on using her for his next experiment.
Considering that this movie eventually (more or less) syncs up with the Poe story, one can’t really complain too loudly about it not being true to the source; considering how many other movies supposedly based on the works of Poe fare in this respect, this movie is a minor offender. My only complaint is that I really don’t care for the character of Dupin being reduced to a mere romantic lead; he has the potential to be a much more interesting character. Other than that, I was quite surprised with how much I liked the movie this time around; the Caligari-like sets are great, the use of light and shadows (especially in Lugosi’s presentation of the ape) is wonderful, and a great deal of wit is evident in the proceedings. It lags a little in the middle of the movie, and, despite the fact that Mirakle has a gorilla (played by Charlie Gemora), they keep intercutting shots of a real chimpanzee in key scenes; maybe they thought all apes look alike. Good work by Lugosi, lots of fun character actors (uncredited), and Brandon Hurst as the prefect of the police.