House of Wax (1953) Script


JARROD: Hello, Matthew. What are you doing here so Iate?

I came to get the books.

I want to study our accounts.

We've been doing very welI IateIy.

Over 200 paid admissions today.

You call that good Saturday business?

If you weren't so stubborn, we'd be turning them away from here.

Who cares a hang about history in wax?

There are people in the worId who love beauty.

But more who want sensation, shock!

The morbidly curious. Heh, l won't cater to them.

Their money is as good as anybody else's.

You should have seen them turning them away at that wax museum...

...on 23rd Street tonight: the Eden Musée.

The story's the same at Madame Tussaud's in London.

-If you'd only listened to me-- -I know, Matthew.

I'd put in a Chamber of Horrors: murder, torture, executions...

...scare the living daylights out of peopIe. I don't care for that kind of patronage.

You're a great artist, a genius sculptor.

But I'm an ordinary businessman. I want a quick return on my investment.

I've got $20,000 sunk in this historic peep show of yours.

I could use that money to better advantage.

All right, Matthew. All right.

I've known for some time you wanted to dissolve our partnership.

I think I may be able to accommodate you.


A friend is bringing Sidney WalIace, the art critic, here tonight to see my work.

Wallace is rich, and I think I might persuade him to buy you out.

Well, that sounds interesting.

I'lI want a profit on my investment.

Yes, Matthew.

I understand.

You Ieave everything to me, and I promise you it wilI be--


That should be they now.

All right, l'll wait in the office.

I've heard of WaIlace. He has a pot of money.

If he Iikes your stuff, put a stiff price on it.

-Does Jarrod live in the building? -Yes, he has a room upstairs.

You'lI Iike him, Sidney. He speaks your language.

Please come in. I'm happy to see you, Bruce.

It was such a bad night I was afraid you couldn't get here.

We were delayed. He had a meeting at Manhattan GalIery.

My friend Sidney Wallace. Professor Jarrod.

-It's a great pleasure. WALLACE: For me aIso.

That's a title that was bestowed on me when I became an exhibitor.

It has IittIe to do with my real work.

If you'Il come with me, I'lI show you what that work is.

I'm afraid the visit of such a distinguished critic...

...may cause my chiIdren to become conceited.

To you, they're wax. But to me, their creator, they live and breathe.

Here we have two great lovers from the past.

Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, and Mark Antony. Their last meeting.

You'lI recaIl that Antony, believing Cleopatra to be dead...

...kiIled himseIf with his own sword.

When Cleopatra discovered what happened, she quickIy followed her lover.

You noticed how cIeverly the hair is mounted on the scaIp?

Yes. How do you do that, professor?

Well, real hair of the proper color and texture... pressed into the slightly warmed wax with a scalpel... hair at a time.

Each wave and curI of the subject's own hair is reproduced.

Here's President Lincoln and his assassin, John Wilkes Booth... of my few concessions to the macabre.

WALLACE: That's the best figure of Booth I've seen. You almost expect him to speak.

BRUCE: I wonder what he'd say after alI these years.

I'm sure he'd rant a bit.

Even after he shot LincoIn and jumped from the President's box onto the stage...

...he couIdn't resist turning to the audience and taking a bow.

I found him a very stubborn person.

-Stubborn? -UnbeIievably.

For days I argued with this fellow before I could get him to pose the way I wanted him to.

-You mean, he talked back to you? -Of course.

It's not easy to shut an actor's mouth.

These groups are Iike dimensional paintings of the oId masters.

This is not only a great show...'s an art exhibit.

BRUCE: That's what I toId you.

Here we have Joan of Arc...

...a favorite subject of mine.

WALLACE: I can understand. It's beautifulIy done.

Thank you.

I've done her over a dozen times, haven't I, my dear? And stiIl she doesn't compIain.

-What was wrong with her? -There are no authentic portraits available... scuIptors and painters have to work from models.

I've never found the right one, but I wilI one of these days.

It's a shame to race through such an exhibit.

One shouId have time to reaIly study these figures.

You're very kind. My creations have some merit, I suspect...

...but in bringing back to life the lovely Marie Antoinette...

...I feel I've done my best work.

Ah, I've never seen anything so exquisite.

People say they can see my Marie Antoinette breathe...

...that her breast rises and faIls.

Look at her eyes, they folIow you wherever you go.

She's very real to me.

BRUCE: You know, her eyes do foIlow you.

They're made of glass, more's the pity.

The exact size and color of the original.

They're inserted into the sockets from inside... way of the hoIlow neck, before the head is attached to the body.

Forgive me, my dear, for discussing your intimate secrets.

I'm sorry. I lose myself at times.

Professor, if peopIe knew what you have inside these walls... couIdn't accommodate the crowds.

What you need here is exploitation, more advertising.

-That's what I've been teIling him. -Oh, my partner wouldn't agree.

He's not happy here.

He wants to invest in something else. Mr. WaIlace...

...would you become a partner in this venture? Would you buy him out?

You know, I might take you up on that if my Iawyers approve and the price is right.

With your support, I could do wonders. I'd make any sacrifice.

Unfortunately, I'm leaving this weekend for Egypt.

I'm financing some excavations there.

However, I'Il be back in three months, then I'll discuss--

You make me very happy.

WALLACE: You intrigue me, professor. I believe we'd get along together.

-Good night. -Good night.

-And l'm gratefuI to you, Bruce. BRUCE: Oh, it's aIl right.

Thank you both for your visit and your encouragement.

-I'lI probabIy see you in three months. -Good night.

WALLACE & JARROD: Good night.

Mr. WaIlace is a great art critic, my darling. You heard what he said.

Does he make you happy?

Of course you'd say that. But I don't care about success.

The world will acknowledge your beauty.

And you, my friends...

...CIeopatra, Mark Antony, LincoIn, Joan of Arc, alI of you.

How would it suit you to be famous again?

I know it'll pIease you, you conceited devil.

It was Iike you to get yourself shot down in a burning barn.

Couldn't do it without a spotlight, could you?

BURKE: Do you really hear what they say, Jarrod?

Of course.

A man has to be a little nuts to be a good showman.

The sooner l'm out of it, the better.

You'lI be out soon, Matthew.

Mr. WaIlace returns from Egypt in three months.

He'lI be ready to talk business then.

-I heard him. That's no good for me. -But sureIy you don't--

I have a chance to buy in on something.

It'll pay off in a big way and three months is too late.

What guarantee do l have that he won't go cold on the deaI?

-Sorry, Matthew. It's the best I could do. -I can do better.

How would you like to split $25,000 with me?

And you caIl me crazy?

You ever thought of what wouId happen if we had a fire here?

In the ceIlar, there are six barrels of wax. Wax has a paraffin base.

It's highly infIammable. This whole place would go up Iike a paint factory.

Burn? Burn all my peopIe?

-Do you think I'm a murderer? -Oh, stop dreaming.

These dummies are insured for $25,000. That's $12,500 for each of us.

You wouIdn't need Wallace. You'd have enough to begin again.

No, I'd rather die myself than see my friends destroyed.

I won't Iet you do it, and I'lI kill you if you try.

Don't be stupid.

All you have to do is to strike a match and the thing is done.








Yes, my friend was a genius.

A great artist.

Only I could understand him.

We were Iike that, Cathy. Just like that.

-Couldn't they ever find him after the fire? -Not a sign of him.

The pIace burned like a paint fac-- Like a volcano.

He was such an impractical feIlow.

But I stilI Ioved him.

And had I been there, I might have saved him.

Oh, but you might have gotten burned yourself, Matty.

Yes. Such is life.

No matter how much we lose, we must stilI go on Iiving.

Was there--? Was there any insurance on the wax museum?

Yes, I-- I had a IittIe difficulty about that.

According to the terms of the partnership agreement...

...the money was to go to the survivor of the others.

The insurance company insists upon proof of, uh, my partner's death.


Hee, hee. They always want a corpse.

But they settled finaIly. This afternoon, as a matter of fact.

They didn't!

Certified check.

I got it cashed. The money is in my safe.

-You know what that means, baby? -No, what?

That little trip I was talking to you about...?

Ooh, Matty. Heh.

-You're such a card! -Ha-ha-ha.

-How much did you get? -$25,000.

-Ooh! -Where wouId you Iike to go? AtIantic City?

No. Niagara FalIs. We can get the Iicense in Buffalo.

-License? -Yeah, you know.


Ah, why not? It might be fun.

Uh, waiter? Waiter, my check.



PuIl it tighter, Sue.

PuIl it tighter.

I want a waist Iike Anna Held.

If I pulI it any tighter, you're not going to be able to breathe.

Oh. Oh, that's all right.

I don't need much breath, anyway.

As my Iate friend Matty used to say:

"If a girl don't watch her figure, the men won't."

Matty. Wasn't that the man you were going to marry?

Yes, but he hung himself instead.


Oh, Matty was such a card.

Where is your new friend gonna take you tonight?

The Hoffman House for dinner.

And then to Tony Pastor's for the vaudeville show.

-That sounds like fun. -He's a free spender, all right.

Little bit older than I like them, but awfully distinguished Iooking.

Is he nice?

Oh, awfulIy nice.

A reaI gentIeman, except when he's had a couple of drinks in him.


Ah, that's to be expected.

I'm moving up--

Ooh. I'm moving up in the world, honey.

No girl ever hits the jackpot till after she passes 14th Street.

-Ha, ha, is that how it goes? -Sure.

Oh. Look at me.

Not too long ago, I was down on Delancey Street.

And tonight l'll be right up there among the bright Iights on 23rd.

Now, when you get up there tonight, don't drink too much.

Oh, don't worry, I won't.

He keeps trying to pour the liquor into me, but I always manage to keep my head.

After all, now that I'm going regular with a swelI...

...I got social obIigations. Ha, ha.

You know how it is when a felIa-- Ah, no, of course you don't know.

You're not Iike me, Sue. You never could be.

You got alI the brains and alI I've got is...


...what I got.

You know, I'm surprised you even taIk to me.

That's such nonsense. You've been so good to me.

Oh, why not?

A girI needs a friend when she's down on her Iuck.

Holy smoke! Look at the time. I've got to hurry.

Did you find a job yet?

Oh, no, not yet, but they need a hat-check girl at the Silver SIipper...

...and I've got an appointment with the manager tonight.

Oh, l know that fellow. Watch out for him.

-But why? What's the matter with him? -Oh, nothing much.

-Long as you know how to duck. -Oh, that kind?


-Did you eat today? -Uh-huh. I had everything I needed.

To hear you telI it.

Besides, you're behind in your room rent.

Oh, welI, Mrs. Flannigan wiIl wait for me.

Don't count on that.

The oId buzzard aImost Iocked me out once.


If I don't sizzle him tonight, I might as well give up.


He's picking me up in a hansom cab.

No troIley for him. He's real society.


Sue, aIl I've got is 50 cents. But you take it and buy yourseIf some dinner.

-Oh, no, Cathy. -Come on.


My friend wilI give me some money tonight. Then I'll stake you.

I don't need any mad money.


I never get mad.

Good Iuck tonight at the Silver Slipper.

-And don't forget to duck. -Mm-mm!




MRS. FLANNIGAN: Just a moment, Miss AlIen.

-What are you coming in so quietly for? -I didn't want to disturb anybody.

-Did you get the job? -No.

-Why not? -I had trouble with the man who runs--

-Trouble? -Mrs. Flannigan, you'll get your money.

Cathy promised to lend me some tonight...

...when she comes home.

You better get right up there, then. Because she's home now.

-Couldn't it wait until tomorrow? -No, it couId not.

If you want to sleep in this house tonight, you get that money.

All right, l'll try.



Cathy, it's Sue. Are you there?




I teIl you, the scream came from up there.

Let's look into it.


-UsualIy there's a poIiceman at the corner. -That's why I'm blowing the whistle.

SUE: Oh! Cabbie! Cabbie!

Cabbie, cabbie!



SUE: Mrs. Andrews. MRS. ANDREWS: Sue.

SCOTT: What is it, Mother? -It's Sue.

Sue. This is a surprise.

I was just thinking about....

-Sue? -What happened to you, dear?

-What's wrong? -Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

What happened, Sue?

What is it?


Cathy Gray, the girl in my rooming house, was murdered tonight.

SCOTT: What? SUE: I found her.

The man who killed her was there in the room.

I tried to get away from him.


But he foIlowed me into the street.

No, Scott, no. Please don't go out there.

It's all right, darling. Don't be frightened.

It's all right now, dear. You're safe.


BRENNAN: Who found the body?

One of my roomers. A friend of Cathy's. Sue AIlen.

Which one is Miss AlIen?

-She isn't here. SHANE: Where is she?

I don't know. We heard her scream.

When we went Iooking for her, she was gone.

-Are aIl your roomers in? -All but Miss AIlen.


Lieutenant Brennan wiIl want a statement from each one of you.

See that nobody leaves the house.

When l arrived at the rooming house...

...this girl had been dead for several hours.

The immediate cause of death was strangulation.

SURGEON: The mark of a cord is still on her throat.

My examination indicated she'd probabIy been given a drug.

-You were right. -What was it?

Something to make her sIeep, Lieutenant Brennan. Veronal, perhaps.

I'lI know as soon as we hear from the laboratory.

How long would it take for such a drug to work?

That would depend upon how much it was diluted.

Yes, it was probably given to her in a drink.

SHANE: That's how it's usuaIly done.

-Business is slow tonight. -What?

-Three suicides and two murders.... -And a traffic case since 9:00.

The felIow got hit by an automobile.

I didn't think those things went fast enough to hurt anybody.

Give them time.

They're getting better every day.

I hope you like it here, honey. It's the best we've got.

Hey, what's the matter with this one?

You'lI get used to that.

It's the embalming fluid makes them jump.

That's one of the suicides. Just like a woman.

They aIways have to have the last word.

-Why didn't you report this to the police? -She's doing that.

Last night was the time to do it.

-She was in no condition to come here. -This is murder, Mrs. Andrews.

The body of Cathy Gray was stoIen from the morgue Iast night.


Why would anyone want to take Cathy's body?

We're as much in the dark as you are, Miss Allen.

We had a similar case a few weeks back. Matthew Burke.

I read about that.

Yes, and Patterson, a deputy city attorney, disappeared.

We found no trace of him.

We couId've laid our hands on that man that you saw last night.

You know, that's the strangest description I've ever heard.

No human being can look Iike that.

Sure you didn't imagine it?

I did see him. Just as I described him to you.

He was incredible, but very real.

And he couldn't be the same man who took Miss Gray to dinner?

That's impossible.

She toId me before she went that he was very good-Iooking.

That's what the landIady said, it's a man with gray hair.

No use showing you any suspects, we have nothing that fits that description.

If we did, we'd have him in the crazy house.

BRENNAN: Don't leave town. Where can we find you?

27 Lafayette Street.

-Miss Allen will stay in our home. -Make sure of that. She's our only witness.

That's all. Thank you.


WALLACE: How do you do?

I received a letter giving this address and signed Professor Jarrod.

But I know the professor's dead. Can you teIl me who wrote this letter?

My name is Sidney Wallace.



-Mr. WaIlace. -Professor.

It's so good--

Forgive me. Shaking hands with me is an unpleasant experience.

My hands are no longer hands. Sit down, please.

This is Igor. He's a deaf-mute. He's one of my assistants.

I'm going to open another wax museum under a different name.

-It startled you, eh, seeing me here? -That's an understatement.

-I thought you were dead. -Jarrod is dead. I am a reincarnation.

When l saw your signature, I thought somebody was pIaying a joke on me.

I stiIl don't understand how you escaped the fire.

It's a mystery to me, too, Mr. WaIlace.

All I can remember is that I tried to get out of my studio.

-I failed at first, but here I am. -What a frightfuI experience.

Somehow I made my way to the house of a doctor.

I stiIl have my limbs, though they won't bear the weight of my body.

As for my hands, they are no use to me now.

As a sculptor, I can't controI them. But they serve for ordinary functions.

But you're beginning again?

With the help of my pupils, yes.

I'm rebuiIding my exhibition from the ground up.

I'm going to give the people what they want:

Sensation, horror, shock.

Send them out in the streets to tell their friends... wonderful it is to be scared to death.

I'lI show you one of my subjects.

Do you recall the case of Kemmler, the first man to die in the electric chair?

-Yes. -Igor is working on a modeI of his head.

He has a strange obsession, this mute of mine.

Every head he models takes on the shape of his own face.

But in this case I humor him, for actually he somewhat resembles Kemmler.


Crimes of violence wiIl be reproduced in wax...

...and exhibited while they are stilI fresh in the public mind.

What do you think of my scheme?

I think it wilI succeed, commerciaIly...

...though it doesn't sound like you.

Have you turned your back on beauty?


No, but I can no longer create it.

WALLACE: I never forgot your Marie Antoinette.

Nor have I.

She wilI be the leading Iady of my new exhibition.

-But I must find her first. -Find her?

A model, I mean.

Yes, there will be beauty, for contrast, if nothing eIse.

But each subject must be taken from life.

How can I convince my audience they're aIive, if I don't believe it myself?

Oh, l have something I think wiIl interest you.

You foIlow Igor down into the basement.

I have to go my own way.

Here we are. Interesting, isn't it?

One of my pupils is about to dip a body into a bath of wax.

-Body? -Yes.

The bodies are constructed separately... exact specifications, of reinforced plaster of Paris.

Oh, uh, this is Leon, another one of my pupils.

-Mr. WaIlace. -How do you do?

The wax is melted in the caIdron you see above the vat...

...liquefied and brought to a boiling point... that it wiIl distribute itseIf evenly over the body.

The head and hands, tinted by my own secret process...

...are attached to the body after it is covered with its skin of wax.

Now watch.



I often wondered how that was done.

It's a method of my own. Crude but adequate.

-Have you found a home for your museum? -This is it. The building upstairs, I mean.

We'Il continue to use the ceIlar as a workshop. Cut a door here and there.

But it's an excelIent location, and the buiIding can be leased at the right price.

I have some capital, but I need more. Thirty thousand, at least.

That's why I've asked you to come here.

-I'lI think it over. -Good.

She's about right, now.

Leon, drain out the surpIus, and let her cool.

Oh, Leon, open up Number 27.

Come this way, pIease.

I toId you that I intend to exhibit scenes of vioIence.

Here is an interesting subject.

A mystery they're stiIl talking about.

All right, Leon.

I saw that man's picture in the papers. This is a remarkable likeness.

-But it can't be a death mask. JARROD: No, it's from memory.

He hanged himseIf in an eIevator shaft.

Come in, ladies and gentlemen. See the House of Wax.

See the Chamber of Horrors.


Here's three lovely ladies right over here.


WouId you like to see LittIe Egypt?

Here she is, ladies and gentlemen...

...Little Egypt, queen of the harem...

...who danced at the Colombian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

Is she wax, or is she flesh and bIood?

See the worId in wax, the HalI of Fame.

The Chamber of Horrors.

A cultural exhibition that'll enlighten you, amaze you....

-I think I could do that. GIRL: Oh, you couldn't.

I could, too, if I took my stays off.

Don't do that. Don't talk that way.

BARKER: Watch it, young Iady.

Careful, sir.

Keep your head down or I'lI tap you on the chin.

Look out. Duck!

Wow, that's a becoming hat you're wearing.

I wonder if I could clip a flower off it.

Hold steady. Don't move your head.

Or you'll lose the powder off your nose.

There is someone with a bag of popcorn.

Close your mouth.

It's the bag I'm aiming at, not your tonsil.

Here she comes.

Well, look at that, it's in the bag.

See the lovely centers of ancient times.

Beauties who died in torture and on the block.

Visit our Chamber of Horrors...

...and pass the time with notorious murderers...

...who kilIed with the rope, the knife, and the ax.

ThriIls, chilIs, and laughter for a price within the reach of alI.

I hope you don't think I've gone too far hiring this fellow to bring people in.

-He makes it sound like a sideshow. -Try him for a week or two.

Once we're estabIished, we won't need that sort of thing.

He Iooks like a real man.

You'd be surprised.

It is a real man. Sorry.

The historic figures I'm about to show you wiIl be more interesting...

...when I tell you that their faces were moIded from the original death masks... in the possession of certain European governments.

First, we have Anne Boleyn...

...second wife of Henry the VIII, and the mother of Queen EIizabeth...

...with the executioner Henry borrowed from the French king... that Anne's head would be cleaved from her body without too much pain.

He was a thoughtfuI husband, Henry.

It was he who invented the short cut to divorce.

A very bad pun, I'm afraid.

Here is another scene of historic violence.

Charlotte Corday and Marat... of the leaders of the French Revolution.

The lady found him taking a bath...

...and pIunged the knife into his heart.


What a shocking thing.

Yes, wasn't it? The poor man was dreadfulIy embarrassed.

The exhibits in this room wiIl be added to...

...from time to time as various crimes are committed.

You wilI read about them in your newspaper...

...and see them enacted here in waxen tableaux.

Oh, by the way, ladies...

...this is how your ancestor carried his bride across the threshold.

During the French RevoIution...

...a certain doctor invented a labor-saving device... take the place of a headmen's ax.

So successful was this machine... cutting off the heads of the French aristocrats...

...they named it after its creator.

And here it is, the bIoody guillotine.


Oh, dear, I don't think I can stand it.

Now, Millie, pulI yourself together, honey.

JARROD: TweIve years ago...

...the electric chair was first used in New York state.

Here we have an authentic reproduction...

...of the execution of WiIliam Kemmler on August 3rd in 1890.

KemmIer kilIed without mercy...

...and 2000 volts sent him to a higher court.

The torture of the rack. In this case...

...Lady Anne Askew, an English noblewoman accused of treason... being put to the question.

NeedIess to say, she admitted she was a traitor.

Who wouldn't, under that sort of pressure?

-Oh, dear. -Is it your corset?

No, it's my stomach. It turned over.

Mine turned over too.

JARROD: And now, my friends...

...we have that jolly old gentleman known as the modern Bluebeard.

Like his namesake, he killed not wisely, but too well...

...and did away with eight wives.

Oh, Millie!

SmeIling salts, Iadies? Help yourself.

Thank you very much.

Next door to him, we have a mystery of more recent date.

Matthew Burke, the stockbroker.

He was found hanged in the elevator shaft of the building where he had his offices.

Was it murder or suicide?

Only time will telI.

"Foul deeds will rise, though all the world o'erwheIm them, to men's eyes."

Oh, heh. Thank you.

-You Iike him, Sue? -He Iooks like my Uncle Rufus.

They ought to have a policeman like this in the Eden Musée.

-Haven't you been there? -No.

From what I see in the papers, this museum is even better.

Anyway, we'll soon find out.


Mr. WaIlace.

Sue, I want you to meet my good friend, Mr. Sidney WaIlace.

-Miss Sue AIlen. -It's a pleasure.

-I heard you were in town. -You should have looked me up.

I expect great things of Scott. l consider him one of our most promising sculptors.

-Has he been working hard? -He never knows when to stop.

-Sue's been posing for me. -Indeed, lovely subject.

-Thank you. -Not a professionaI model. She's a guest.

Sue's mother and mine were great friends.

-Have you been inside? -Yes.

Is it exciting?

If anything, too much so.

But I'm sure it'll catch on.

Jarrod, the man who owns the pIace, is a good friend.

You'lI be interested in him, Scott. Let's go in, shalI we?

-You know, these figures are excellent. -I thought you'd agree with me.

They're not only well done but they're good theater.

-What do you think, Miss Allen? -I know they are only wax...

...but they seem so real, just looking at her makes my neck hurt.

Wait till you see the Chamber of Horrors.

I toId Jarrod he shouId have a nurse on duty there.

-You know that he lost the use of his hands. -Oh?

-Who did these figures? -His pupils, but he supervised the work.

-His is the mastermind. -Surely knows his anatomy.

Sue, what is it?

-Sue, are you crying? -What's wrong, Miss AlIen?

A dear friend of mine was murdered and I found her.

She means Cathy Gray, the girl whose body was stoIen from the morgue.

What made you think of her now?

That's her face.

That's Cathy's face, Scott. I know every line of it.

I wake up at night and I see it. I can't get it out of my mind.

Perhaps that's the reason you see a resemblance in this figure.

-It's more than a resemblance. -It's wax, my dear.

I know, I know, but....

Why should it be so Iike Cathy?

I think I can expIain that.

Oh, uh...

...Miss AlIen, Scott Andrews, Mr. Henry Jarrod.

-This is a pIeasure. -You see, Miss Allen--

Yes, I heard what the young Iady said.

The figure of Joan of Arc is a traditional exhibit in wax museums.

It was completed just in time for our opening tonight.

You're right, my dear. It is more than a chance resemblance.

When l create an important figure, I can't take just any face.

I saw pictures of your Cathy Gray in the newspaper.

Her face fascinated me. And, well, here she is.

Immortalized as the victim of an earlier event.

-Do you really think she'd mind? -No, I don't think she'd mind.

Cathy Ioved to "dress up" as she calIed it. She used to take fancy dresses...

...and imitate the actresses she saw in the theater.

-I don't think she'd mind. -Then I'm forgiven?

Well, there's nothing to forgive.

I just don't understand how it can seem so reaI.

That's the finest compIiment I've ever received. Thank you, my dear.

Did I hear your name correctly, Scott Andrews?

-Yes, Mr. Jarrod. -The scuIptor I've been telling you about.

Oh, Sidney showed me some photographs of your work.

He was right. You have great promise.

-What are you doing now? -I'm doing a head of Miss Allen.

Let me see your hands.


Yes, mine were once like that.

How I envy you.

Mr. Andrews.

WouId you be interested in some modeling for me, some originals I have in mind?

Why, yes. I'd be honored.

Good. Come here tomorrow morning, we'lI make the arrangements.

I think you'lI Iike it.


-I want you to look at this girI. -With pleasure.

JARROD: Who does she remind you of?

WALLACE: I've been wondering about that.

I haven't known Miss Allen more than 10 minutes...

...but there's something about her face--

JARROD: That haunts you as the face of my Marie Antoinette has haunted me.

WALLACE: Marie Antoinette?

Of course. I should have seen it at once.

A figure in wax. Mr. Jarrod's greatest work.

More than wax. She lived.

-You mean I look Iike she did? -Exactly as she did.

Once in his lifetime, every artist feels the hand of God...

...and creates something that comes alive.

So it was with my Marie Antoinette. And l loved her.

But she's gone now. Horribly destroyed.

Perhaps you wiIl heIp me to bring her back.

You wilI come to see me again soon?

I'd be glad to.

You'lI be welcome at any time, no matter what I'm doing.

And you, Mr. Andrews, in the morning?

-I'lI be here, very eager to begin. -Thank you.

It's been a very exciting day for me and I'm a little tired.

So if you'lI forgive me, I'lI say good night.

-Oh, uh, Sidney, one moment, please. WALLACE: Excuse me.

I'lI be right back.

Forget about it, Sue. You heard what Mr. Jarrod said.

Cathy's face was inspiration. It's a portrait in wax.

Why should it seem so reaI?

SUE: I hate to drag you away, Scott.

Oh, that's alI right. I'm gonna work here. We'Il see it aIl another time.

Yes, another time.

Still time to see the entire exhibition.

Get your tickets from the charming Iady... the box office and go right in.

See the worId in wax and improve your mind.

See the Chamber of Horrors...

...and scare yourself out of a year's growth.


Not again.



What happened, Sue? Why did you scream?

I saw Cathy again.

And the man who kilIed her was right in this room.


I must have been dreaming.

Of course you were, dear.


A lager for the gentleman.

Sarsaparilla for the Iady.

-And two knockwurst on rye. -Thank you.

-Enjoying yourself? -It's exciting.

-Do nice people come here? -Ha, ha. Of course.

-These Sunday matinees are very popuIar. -I don't know.

It doesn't seem proper, aIl those girls showing their....

-Their taIents. -Heh.

You never saw a show like this in Provincetown?

-No. -Heh. Don't worry, your reputation is safe.

You've been going around with the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Worrying about wax figures and seeing monsters in your dreams.

You need something Iike this to bring you back to normalcy.



-Scott. -Hmm?

Remember Mr. Jarrod said he first saw Cathy's picture in the newspaper?

Yes. What's wrong with that?

I knew her so weIl.

I knew every little expression and they're aIl there.

Well, they would be. The man's an artist.

There's something else I saw that night in the museum.

Cathy had a habit of wearing an earring in her right ear.

She had the Iobe of her right ear only pierced for that.

Well, that's there too.

How couId he see that in a photograph?

-How can he make it so real unIess.... -What?

Unless it is Cathy.

Sue. Now, Iook, I'm gonna take you to Lieutenant Brennan's office tomorrow.

I want you to telI him exactIy what you've toId me here now.

He's a policeman, he knows.

He'lI convince you once and for aIl that no such thing couId happen.

Now, relax, honey, and enjoy the show.

I know it sounds fantastic, but you asked me to teIl you everything.

You can see this idea's become an obsession, an unheaIthy one, if you ask me.

-You say Jarrod's a cripple? -He uses a wheeIchair.

He can waIk with crutches, but, uh, not very welI.

Such a man came and asked to see police photographs of Cathy Gray.

You see, that's how it's done. Every detaiI is studied to make the features true to Iife.

But why shouId Joan of Arc have her right ear pierced?

-Why not? They wore them then. -Two, not one.

I don't know, lieutenant, it's not a suspicion. It's more a kind of fear, an intuition.

Well, intuition isn't much heIp in police work. Facts are what we need.

Suppose you forget about it, and let us do the worrying, eh?

You mean you'll investigate it?

-Of course he does. -Yes, that's what I mean.

-You both think I'm crazy. -Oh, we think nothing of the kind.

It was very good of you to listen and be so patient. Thank you.

-Goodbye. -Goodbye.


This is Brennan speaking. Give me Shane.

Hello, Jim. I want you to go to the City License Bureau...

...and check up on a man named Henry Jarrod.

Yes, he opened a museum on 29th Street, near Broadway.

Yes, The House of Wax.

Dig up aIl you can. Get a list of his employees and check with me here.



That's a copy of her face, aIl right.

She didn't look like that the night we saw her in the rooming house.

-Not so composed. -No. Poor kid.

Hey, you know, this felIow Jarrod's good.

You don't think Miss AlIen's fears are justified?

Why, heck, no. Do you?

That's wax, how couId it be anything else?

Leave it to a skirt to dream up a crazy idea Iike that.

JARROD: So you did come to see me, my Marie Antoinette?

Or was it that you came to see?

Mr. Jarrod, I'm so sorry.

I know I'm not supposed to touch the figures.

But you couldn't help yourseIf. Don't let it trouble you.

Oh, l beg your pardon, this is Leon AverilI and Igor.

How do you do?

JARROD: Igor isn't impolite. He simply can't talk.

Leon is an artist in his own right.

It was he who did the waxwork on the figure of Joan of Arc.

-Does she stilI seem real to you? -As life itseIf.

Of course, her hair is different, but that doesn't change her face.

What puzzIes me is how you can get such detail from a photo.

Was Cathy wearing her earrings when the police photographed her?

Earrings? I don't remember. Was she, Leon?

No. No. I don't think so.

The police would remove the jewelry from the body, wouldn't they?

Yet you were careful to show that both her ears had been pierced for them.

Ha-ha-ha. Yes, of course.

If I missed a detaiI of that sort, Mr. Jarrod wouId be most displeased.

He insists on reality.

I can understand that.

Oh, just a moment, Leon.

There's something in this box I think would interest you. Open it, Leon.

Your Mr. Andrews permitted us to make a cast of the head he did of you.

Leon has just finished it in wax. Do you like it?

It's sort of a shock to see your head detached that way.

I guess it's a very good likeness.

Yes, and no.

Andrews is clever, but like alI modern sculptors...

...he has too much imagination. He wouId improve on nature.

What I need for my Marie Antoinette is you.

The real you.

Nothing Iess wiIl satisfy me.

Will you come to see me again, my dear?

Hey, Burke.

You know this feIlow Jarrod's quicker at finding these guys than we are?

BRENNAN: That's what he says in his advertising.

Look at that. Even the twist in the neck.

That's a case that gets me. Where is Burke? Who got him?

-Who'd want him? BRENNAN: We better find out pretty quick.

-You read the blast in this morning's World? -Yeah, it's dynamite.

BRENNAN: Chief had me in his office this morning.

If I'm not careful, I'lI be pounding a beat in the Bronx.

Come here, Jim.

You remember Wilbur Patterson, the deputy city attorney who disappeared?


Does Booth Iook like Wilbur, or am I crazy?

Hey, he does a tad with the brush off his Iip.

Hair's different, of course, but the features are something like Patterson's.

Maybe he Iooked like Booth. I've seen dummies that look like people I know.

The caveman is a spitting image of the new commissioner.


Don't touch the exhibits.

-Can't you read the sign? -I'm sorry.

Hey, look, where'd you get the face for this guy that shot Lincoln?

-From photographs. -Yeah, they take them at that time?

If you go to the City Library...'Il find a volume of Mathew Brady's photos taken during the Civil War.

-Do you work here? LEON: Yeah.

You make these things?

Some of them.

What's your name?

Leon Averill. What's yours?

Jim Shane. I'm an engineer on the 9th Avenue El.

-It was nice meeting you. LEON: Hm.

Tom, you know me. I'm no good at names, but I don't forget faces.

If I can take the muff off of that one, I might be able to place it.

It was a Iong time ago.

-Mr. WaIlace? -Yes.

I'm Lieutenant Brennan. Sergeant Shane.

-Glad to know you. Thank you. -Won't you sit down?

-Sorry I kept you waiting. -That's all right.

This is the first time I've been asked to come to PoIice Headquarters.

-What am I suspected on? -Nothing. We thought perhaps... might be abIe to heIp us. -Glad to.

We found out that your partner is the same Professor Jarrod...

...whose museum on 24th Street burned down some time ago.

-That's true. -Heh.

This, uh, Professor Jarrod was supposed to have been kiIled in the fire.

Apparently, a sIight mistake.

You suspect him of some criminal act?

-We haven't a thing on the guy. -We're curious.

So is the insurance company.


What do you know about his employees?

There's Scott Andrews, a protégé of mine.

BRENNAN: Yes, we know of him.

Then there's Igor, deaf-mute, and Leon Averill, who does the wax work.

Averill's an odd character. Periodical drunkard, but a fine artist.

I've seen some of his sketches. One of the Savior with his disciples.

Beautiful work.

I'm afraid I haven't been much help.

You never can tell. Thank you very much.

-I prefer you not mention this to your partner. -I won't.

You know, I gambIe on Jarrod.

He's strange, unpredictabIe, but I think he's a man of integrity.

-I'm sure of it. Thank you very much. -Not at alI. Good day, gentlemen.

Tom, l told you I knew the man with the whiskers.

Remember that artist in Sing Sing...

...who painted the Last Supper on the waIl of his celI?

Hendricks. They called him a genius and gave him a paroIe. Ha, ha!

Yeah, but when they turned him Ioose, he became a drunk.

He broke paroIe about a year ago. We've had him on the wanted list since.

-Carl Hendricks? -That's him. AIias Leon AverilI.

-Bring him in. -Can do.

Little more bitterness in that face, my boy.

Remember, this feIlow has been badly used by the world...

...and he despises aIl the peopIe in it.

Deepen those Iines around the corner of the mouth.

Not too much.

There. There, that's better.

What I wouldn't give to have those fingers of yours.

Thank you, Mr. Jarrod.

Sorry I've kept you so late here tonight, Scott.

SCOTT: Oh, that's alI right.

Miss Allen is meeting me here.

It's her birthday. We're going to ceIebrate at ChiIes'.

Charming creature.

I was worried about her. The shock of finding that murdered girI...

-...gave her some strange ideas. -Yes, I know.

SCOTT: I took her to Brennan at Police Headquarters.

-He set her right. -That's very good now. Excellent.

Oh, Scott, before you go, wouId you mind running over to Metzgers for me?

-Metzgers? JARROD: The pIace where they make...

-...the artificiaI flowers. -Oh, yes.

They're doing a background for this new group. Take a look at it for me.

You know what I want. Advise them on the color scheme.

I'd go myself, but it's so hard for me to get about.

SCOTT: I know. I'lI be glad to do it. I'll go right now.

Thank you very much.

I foIlowed him through his bender.

Sometimes, guy gets the shakes so bad, you expect to see his teeth falI out.

BRENNAN: This alI he had on him? -That's it.

BRENNAN: No money?


"To Wilbur Patter--


With affection and admiration.

City Attorney's Office. December 25, 1900."

Where did you get this?

-I found it. -Where?

-On the El. -What line?

-Third Avenue, downtown. -When?

I don't remember, it was months ago.

-Book him on suspicion of murder. -No. I found that.

I never knew the man who owned it. I never saw him.

Lock him up.

Please don't put me in a ceIl. l'm sick.

Can't you see my nerves are aIl shattered? Look.

Look, please give me one little....

Could l have one little drink--?

You're not gonna get anything until you teIl us where you got this watch.

-Take him out. -Let's go.







JARROD: You shouldn't have done that, my dear.

It is Cathy.

It's Cathy's body under the wax.

I knew it. I knew it all the time.

Everything I ever loved has been taken away from me.

Not you, my Marie Antoinette, for I will give you eternal life.

This is where I re-created my Joan of Arc.

It's an interesting process.

If you have patience with me, my dear, I'lI show you how it's done.

Can't stand it.

All right.

All right, l'll telI you what I know.

Patterson was kiIled because he looked like Booth.

You killed him.

No, not I. Jarrod, at the waxworks.

His hands were no good. He had to take subjects from life.

You helped him?

No, they were aIready dead.

What about Burke?

He's there too. In wax.

He was the one who set fire to the old museum.

Jarrod came out of it aIive, but insane.

-Cathy Gray? -Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc! That's Cathy.

She's there with aIl the rest of them. The whole place is a morgue.

He'lI do the same with Sue AIlen, if he gets his hands on her.

You've got to stop him.

You've got to stop him before he does any more killing.

That look of horror spoils your Iovely face.

What if it shouId show, even through the wax?




Sue, are you in there?

Where's Sue?

Where is she? Where is she?





The end will come quickIy, my love.

There's a pain beyond pain... agony so intense, it shocks the mind into instant oblivion.

We'Il find immortality together...

...for they'll remember me through you.


Where's Jarrod?

Where's Jarrod? Where's Jarrod?

Andrews, where's Jarrod?

In the ceIlar. He's got Sue.

Take care of him.




BRENNAN: The PeopIe's Exhibit Number One.

You almost lost your head, Miss AIlen.

WouId you care to keep that one as a spare?

-No, thank you. -Ha-ha-ha.

We'Il never forget you and your men. Thanks to you, we're still aIive.

But every time I shave, I can still feel that guillotine bIade.

-Please, let's not talk about it anymore. -Yes, you're right.

Mr. Brennan...

...thank you for the, uh, use of your coat.

BRENNAN: Oh! Oh, that was nothing.

Well, it meant a Iot to me.

Well, when I found you weren't dressed too warmly, I, uh...

Well, I didn't want you to catch a cold.


Goodbye, Mr. Brennan, and thanks for everything.


Bless you, Mr. Shane.

Thank you, Miss Allen.

You know, Shane, by the time this guy gets out of Sing Sing...

...this head wilI grow a long beard.

[EngIish - US - SDH]