The University of Wisconsin Press

Film Studies


Mystery of the Wax Museum
Edited, with an Introduction by Richard Koszarski
Tino Balio, Series Editor

Wisconsin/Warner Bros. screenplay series

The Depression-era vogue for horror and the supernatural produced some of Hollywood's most memorable chillers, among them Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Paramount), Frankenstein, (Universal), and King Kong (RKO). At Warner Brothers, the main entry was Mystery of the Wax Museum, directed by Michael Curtiz, a grand thriller of 1933 in which Fay Wray—who would appear opposite Kong later that same year—was threatened with waxy immortality by the maniacal Lionel Atwill.

Lost for many years, a single surviving print of this classic horror film surfaced in the 1970s and was hailed as a legendary horror classic. The film is a potent mix of fantasy and reality.

Wisconsin/Warner Bros. screenplay series
Tino Balio, series editor

Richard Koszarski, film historian at the School of Visual Arts, New York, is the author of three books and numerous articles on the American film. Tino Balio, Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is the author of United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, and the editor of The American Film Industryas well as the 22 volume Wisconsin/Warner Bros. Screenplay series, all published by the University of Wisconsin Press. He directed the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theatre Research from 1966 to 1882.

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A man is modeling a wax figure of a woman. He looks a little too involved. In the background a spooky man in a tux raises one arm in menace.

December 2005

LC: 78-053296 PN
164 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 22 illus.

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Paper $24.95 x
ISBN 978-0-299-07674-0
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