Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971 film)
|Murders in the Rue Morgue|
|Directed by||Gordon Hessler|
|Produced by||Louis M. Heyward|
Edgar Allan Poe (story)|
|Based on||Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe|
|Music by||Waldo de los Ríos|
|Edited by||Max Benedict|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|87 min / 98 min restored director's cut|
Murders in the Rue Morgue is a 1971 American horror film directed by Gordon Hessler, starring Jason Robards and Herbert Lom. It is ostensibly an adaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe story of the same name, although it departs from the story in several significant aspects, at times more resembling Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera. In an interview on the film's DVD, Hessler said that he thought everyone already knew the ending of the story, so he felt it necessary to reinvent the plot.
The story revolves around an early 20th century theatre troupe in Paris specializing in gory, naturalistic horror plays in the fashion of the Grand Guignol. The director, Cesar Charron (Jason Robards), is presenting Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue". Cesar's wife, the actress Madeline (Christine Kaufmann), whose mother (Lilli Palmer) had been murdered by axe, is haunted by nightmares of an ax-wielding man. Then, suddenly, Rene Marot (Herbert Lom), a former lover of Madeline's mother thought long dead after being horribly disfigured on stage, mysteriously returns and begins murdering members and ex-members of the acting troupe, confounding the Paris police, who initially suspect Cesar.
- Jason Robards as Cesar Charron
- Herbert Lom as Rene Marot
- Christine Kaufmann as Madeleine Charron
- Adolfo Celi as Inspector Vidocq
- Maria Perschy as Genevre
- Michael Dunn as Pierre Triboulet
- Lilli Palmer as Mrs. Charron
- Peter Arne as Aubert
- Rosalind Elliot as Gabrielle
- Marshall Jones as Luigi Orsini
- María Martín as Madam Adolphe
- Ruth Plattes as Orsini's Assistant
- Rafael Hernández as Member of Repertory Company
- Pamela McInnes as Member of Repertory Company
- Sally Longley as Member of Repertory Company
- John Mansell as Member of Repertory Company
Murders in the Rue Morgue received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Leonard Maltin panned the film, awarding the film 1 1/2 out of 4 stars. Howard Thompson from The New York Times gave the film a positive review, praising the film's direction, costume design, color, and performances. Thompson did however note that the film's ending while sound was fairly predictable. Donald Guarisco from Allmovie gave the film a negative review, criticizing the film's substandard pacing, convoluted plot,performances, and lack of actual tension, writing "This riff on the famous Edgar Allen Poe story has an intriguing, experimental edge to it but is not fully successful at reinventing the Poe subgenre".
The film was released on DVD as a double feature with Cry of the Banshee on Apr 15, 2003.
- Thompson, Howard. "New York Times: Murders in the Rue Morgue". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Maltin, Leonard (September 2012). leonard Maltin's 2013 Movie Guide. New York, New York: Penguin Press. p. 962. ISBN 978-0-451-23774-3.
- Guarisco, Donald. "Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971) - Gordon Hessler". AllMovie.com. Donald Guarisco. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- "Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971) - Gordon Hessler". Allmovie.com. Allmovie. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- Murders in the Rue Morgue at the Internet Movie Database
- Murders in the Rue Morgue at Rotten Tomatoes
- Murders in the Rue Morgue at the TCM Movie Database
- Murders in the Rue Morgue at AllMovie