I watched the 1933 restored version of the Warner Bros & The Vitaphone Corp. “Mystery of the Wax Museum” on Svengoolie. The preservation was done by UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation, funded by The George Lucas Family Foundation. I’ll have to say the film looks and sounds wonderful.
The movie is based on the short story, The Wax Works, by Charles S. Belden (American screenwriter and journalist, known for writing screenplays for Charlie Chan films like Charlie Chan at the Opera).
You’ll notice the similarities to the 1953 3D remake “House of Wax” starring Vincent Price. The 2005 “House of Wax” only shares it’s title with the 1953 movie. The Mystery of the Wax Museum starts in London, 1921, with Ivan Igor’s Wax Museum
about to open displaying wax figures that were wonderfully sculpted. His partner Joe Worth is only about the money and wants to burn the museum for the insurance money. They struggle but the place is burned to the ground.
Now we move ahead to 1933 New York where Igor, now in a wheelchair from his injuries of the fire, is about to open a museum there. Igor is played by Lionel Atwill (was in 5 of 8 Universal Frankenstein movies, Man Made Monster, Doctor X, House of Dracula, Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon),
Florence Dempsey, the reporter trying to get a big story, is Glenda Farrell (smart and sassy wisecracking blonde in lots of films, Little Caesar, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Kissin’ Cousins, appeared in TV shows like, Ben Casey, Bewitched, Bonanza, Rawhide, Route 66),