Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

murders in the rue morgue poster 1932 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10

Fun story, great imagery

Rather slow despite short running time

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Murders in the Rue Morgue

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  February 21, 1932

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


She will be mine…oh yes, she will be mine!

A killer is lurking the streets of Paris in 1845.  When mad scientist Dr. Mirakle (Bela Lugosi) sets his eyes on Camille L’Espanaye (Sidney Fox) , he will stop at nothing to have her.  Using his killer ape Erik, Mirakle kidnaps Camille and Camille’s fiancé C. Aguste Dupin (Leon Ames) must save her life, but first must prove his innocence in the crime.

Directed by Robert Florey, Murders in the Rue Morgue is a loose adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” which was originally published in Graham’s Magazine in 1841.  The pre-code film was a bit of a dud at the time at the box office but has come to be regarded as a must see by many fans of classic horror.


I found the body…can I keep it?

Originally, Bela Lugosi and the film’s director Robert Florey were supposed to have worked on the classic Frankenstein (which ended up going to Boris Karloff and James Whales).  As a result, they were given Murders in the Rue Morgue.  The film’s failure ended up hurting Lugosi at Universal as well, but fortunately, he recovered somewhat.

The story just contains elements of Poe’s original tale.  It is rather ridiculous and aimless film in that Dr. Mirakle doesn’t seem to have much of a goal for his experiments nor does he try very hard to cover his tracks.  Instead of being played as much of a mystery, the movie plays for horror, and it does have some rather creepy moments involving the murders and the ape.


Get your paws off of me you damn dirty ape!

Lugosi was just a fun actor to watch.  He often did ham up his roles, but not in the same way that someone like Vincent Price or Christopher Lee might have.  Lugosi’s accent carried him a long way and allowed him to be eccentric more than goofy.

The movie does have that classic old horror feel to it.  The style and shooting of the film carry the weaker the story and it is worth checking out simply for the imagery.  Granted, the ape suit is pretty weak at points and completely unbelievable, but in the movie maker’s defense, ape suits look horrible to this day (look at Congo).

Murders in the Rue Morgue is a decent little horror film that is rather light (it does however move slow for a short movie).  Check it out for the look of the film and if you love Bela Lugosi’s movies.  Being that it is a famous story, the movie has been remade multiple times and sometimes sticks closer to the original story, but fans of classic horror should consider visiting Lugosi’s Rue Morgue.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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