Murders in the Rue Morgue

Director: Gordon Hessler

Cast: Jason Robards, Herbert Lom, Christine Kaufmann, Adolfo Celi, Maria Perschy, Michael Dunn, Lilli Palmer, Peter Arne, Rosalind Elliot, Marshall Jones

Cesar Charron (Robards) owns a theater specializing on cruel-natured horror plays in the Grand Guignol style. His wife, Madeleine (Kaufmann), has a recurring nightmare which the theater also stages for its audience. In her dream and in the play she is attacked by an axe-wielding man and then is rescued by an ape. When one of the cast members is found dead, Madeleine’s dream comes unpleasantly closer to reality. There is a surreal quality to the action, and the streets, buildings and mansions capture the ambiance of an offbeat nineteenth century Paris. As more murders occur, Police Inspector Vidocq’s (Celi) investigation focuses on the theater and those who work there. The motive for the bizarre murders lies in the theater’s sordid past, with an actor, Rene Marot (Lom), once a part of the troupe and thought to have died. The romantic music by Waldo de los Rios contributes to the colorful setting. Based loosely on the Edgar Allan Poe story of the same name.

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