Midnight at Madame Tussaud’s (1936)

Article #1273 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-8-2004
Posting Date: 2-5-2005
Directed by George Pearson
Featuring Lucille Lisle, James Carew, Charles Oliver

An adventurer takes a bet that he can spend the night in the Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

To start off with, I like the premise of this movie. Having to spend a night alone in the horror section of a wax museum would be a deliciously scary experience, if for no other reason that the thought that some of these wax figures might be actually moving would automatically make you a little nervous. And the sequence in which the man spends the night in the Chamber of Horrors is very good indeed, and gives this movie its horror atmosphere. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t reach this point until a good eighty percent of its running time has passed, and that first part of the movie is largely concerned with a down-on-his-luck gambler trying to marry the adventurer’s daughter for cash and the antics of two reporters trying to unravel the whole story. Yes, this storyline does set up certain details for the last part of the movie, but it’s overelaborate and quite dull; you spend most of the movie just waiting for the wax museum sequence. In short, it has a nice ending, but it really isn’t worth sitting through the whole thing to reach it.

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