Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) Script

Here's a toast to you, Paul.

You've torn my Pierre away from his books and made him enjoy himself for once.

Oh, don't thank Paul. It was for you I came.

Then I must drink a toast to Camille.

Oh, no, Paul.

You've had four glasses already.

That's nothing.

For last year's carnival night, I had 14.

Dupin, Paul! Look at the Arab dancers.

This way. This way.

See the naughty nautch nymphs.

The adorable Arab angels.


Come, we must continue our studies of anatomy.

Yeah, much nicer than... than visiting a morgue.


...marvelous performance of dancing.

We have Lady Fatima!

Lady Fatima's snake imitations...

Do they bite?

Oh, yes, but you have to pay extra for that.

Mignette, do you think you could learn to do that dance for me?

No. No?

Well, then...

I guess I'll have to join the show.

See, Pierre, how brown they are.

Is that their real color, do you suppose, or have they painted themselves?

Shall I find out for you?

Don't you dare.

Introducing Col. Ha-ha from America!

Ho... ho... ho!

Bloodthirsty savages from the wilds of America!

Ha... ha... ha!

See the redskins scalp their victim.

First time in Paris.

They are Apaches, my friends, Apaches.

Like our own waterfront rats. Just as wild.

That'd be a good name for our bandits.


Ha, Apaches, why, splendid.

Would you like to try whether they are real?


And leave you unprotected?


Oh, Pierre.

Let's go in there.

Attention, attention, ladies and gentlemen.

Step closer. Closer.

Behind this curtain is the strangest creature your eyes will ever behold.

Erik, the ape-man!

The monster who walks upright and speaks a language even as you and I.

The ruler of the jungle, whose giant hands can tear a man in half.

Erik, the ape-man.

The beast with a human soul.

More cunning than a man and stronger than a lion.

Step up, ladies and gentlemen. Step right in.

Shall we go into this one?

All right.

Soldiers and children, half-price!

Step up, ladies and gentlemen.

Don't miss this opportunity.

That's good. Let's go down there.

Oh! Let's sit over there, love.

No, Mademoiselle,l not there.

Take a seat in front so that you can see everything.

This gorilla killed six men, you see.

What a funny-looking man.

He's a show in himself.

Did you notice his accent?

I wonder where he comes from.

I never heard an accent like it.


I'm Dr. Mirakle, Imessieurs, mesdames.I And I am not the sideshow charlatan.

So if you expect to witness the usual carnival hocus-pocus, just go to the box office and get your money back.

I am not exhibiting a freak, a monstrosity of nature,

but a milestone in the development of life.

The shadow of Erik, the ape

hangs over us all.

The darkness before the dawn of man.

It's all right. Don't be afraid.

It's only a baboon.

I-I'm not afraid.

Neither am I.

Listen to him, brothers and sisters.

He is speaking to you.

Can you understand what he says or have you forgotten?

I have re-learned his language.


I will translate what he says.

My home is in the African jungle, where I lived with my father and my mother and my brothers and sisters.

But I was captured by a band of hairless white apes and carried away to a strange land.

I'm in the prime of my strength.

And I am lonely.

Here is the story of man.

In the slime of chaos there was the seed that rose and grew into the tree of life.

Life was motion. Fins changed into wings.

Wings into ears.

Crawling reptiles grew legs.

Eons of ages passed.

There came a time when a four-legged thing walked upright.

Behold, the first man.




Do they still burn men for heresy?

Then burn me, Monsieur.I Light the fire.

Do you think your little candle will outshine the flame of truth?

Do you think these boards and curtains are my whole life?

They are only a trap to catch the pennies of fools.

My life is consecrated to a great experiment.

I tell you, I will prove your kinship with the ape.

Erik's blood shall be mixed with the blood of man.

What does he mean?

I wish I knew.

IMesdames et messieursl if any of you wish to make the acquaintance of Erik, come forward.

[audience chattering]

There's no need to be afraid.

He is behind bars and cannot hurt you.

Let's go up.

Oh, no, Pierre, I'm afraid.

I'm not afraid.

He likes you, Camille.

Look, he wants your bonnet.

Erik is only human, Mademoiselle.I He has an eye for beauty.

You have made a conquest, Mademoiselle.I Pierre!

Erik! Erik, get back!

You fool, do you want to be killed?

Oh, but he has ruined your bonnet.

I will replace it, Mademoiselle.l I will send you a new bonnet with Erik's compliments.

Will you tell me where you live and what your name is?

Never mind, Monsieur.I It was an accident.

But I insist.

Where do you live, my child?

It is not necessary, Monsieur.I Come, dear.

Follow her. I must know where she lives.

You liked her, didn't you, Erik?


Have I ever told you that I love you?

Camille, I love you.

Let me look at you.

You're like a flower, soft and fragrant.

Pure and beautiful.


And you're like a star, too.

A white morning star.

And your hair, it's full of stardust.

You're like a song the girls of Provence sing on May Day.

And like the dancing in Normandy on May Day.

And like the wine in Burgundy on May Day.

Oh, Camille, I love you.

And I love you, too, Pierre.


No! No!


A lady in distress?

Who are you?

Come with me.


My carriage.

No! No!

Why are you trembling at my touch?

Your hand is cold. It chills me.


I will help you.



Be patient.

Are you in pain, Mademoiselle?l It will only last a little longer.


Ah, you are stubborn. Hush!

It will only last one more minute, then we shall see.

We shall know if you are to be the pride of science!

Oh, hush, hush!

Now, Mademoiselle.l Now.

The clots.

The black spots.

Rotten blood!


Your blood is rotten.

Black as your sins. You cheated me.

Your beauty was a lie.


You are...

You're dead.

Janos, Janos.

Get rid of it. Get it away.

Will my search ever end?

Three this week.


Women, all of them.

Life is hard.

The river is kind.

The river is soft.

It rocks them to sleep.

And asks no pay.

Three women. Always small.

Always young.

A man?

A woman.


Oh, any, 1,000 or 30.

Cause of death?





None, she was naked.

Number 13.

Well, Monsieurl Dupin, what brings you here so late?

The two women.

What about them?

Monsieur,I would you be good enough to show them to me once more?

If you wish, Monsieurl Dupin, I will show you three.


You mean, there's been another one?


Let me see her.


There's the body.

The same marks.


See them?

They're on the others, too.

Monsieur,I you must let me take a specimen of this woman's blood.


Since that whole body disappeared last week, the inspector is very strict about medical students.

Then you bring it to me.

It's against all regulations.

Tomorrow night, huh?

Good night, Monsieur.l

The macaroni's ready.

And the coffee's getting cold.

Aren't you going to eat your lunch?

You give five francs to that old ghoul down at the morgue and... and I have to turn magician and pull a loaf of bread out of my nose so we can eat.

Dupin, you might at least have the decency to come to the table.


Why don't you go down to the morgue and live there, instead of making a morgue out of our home.



Body snatcher.

Say something.

Come in.

Speak of the devil.

Good morning, Monsieur.I You've got it, eh?

Yes, Monsieur,I I've got it.

But who knows, at the price of my job, perhaps.

I am a married man, Monsieur.I I have children.

And if the police should even suspect that I was holding anything back from them, I should be put behind bars.

No use, no use, we haven't a centime.

Yes, Monsieur.l I must owe you the money.

The morgue must give us credit.

Then, I will trust you.

Monsieur,I the Morgue Keeper, perhaps you have an extra slab for my friend here.

Why not take him in?

He eats nothing, he doesn't talk.

He never changes his position.

I'm sure he'd make you a very fine tenant.

I'll pack his things and send them down.

You don't live badly here, Monsieur.I I had to hurry myself up here without lunch.


And now you have to hurry back for your lunch.

Boy, that's too bad.

Good appetite to you and your quiet guests.


Good day, Monsieur.I

If you'd pay half as much attention to your studies as you do to this nonsense, what grades you'd get.

What did you find out?

After the carnival last night, I performed an autopsy.

The victim didn't die of drowning.

There was no water in her lungs.

Oh, so that's what you were up to.

I thought you were with Camille.


Of what did the victim die?

Paul, here it is again.


The same foreign substance in the blood of each victim.

Look, Paul.

All three died from the same cause.

Some strange poison perhaps.

Something introduced into the blood streams that caused their death.

What could it be?

I don't know.

That's what I have to find out.

Oh, Pierre, you must pull yourself together.

Why, you're becoming fanatical.

Look at yourself in the mirror.

Your eyes are getting glassy.

Just like that old charlatan's.

Dr. Mirakle, eh?

What did you make of him?

Oh, he's a faker.

Did you pay attention to what he said?

You mean about us being the product of evolution?

Yes. Hmm.

Has it occurred to you that he might be right?

Eat your lunch.

Dr. Mirakle.

He's a strange man.


Mother. Mother!

See what the concierge has just brought up.

Mother, come quickly.

I'm coming. I'm coming.

For pity's sake, what is it?

What are you so excited about?

See what just came.

A new bonnet.

A bonnet!

Oh, it's lovely.

Are you sure it's for you?

My name's on the box.

Isn't it pretty?

Oh, now, who could have sent it?

Maybe it's from Pierre.

Oh, where would Pierre get money enough to get a present like that?

Maybe there's a card inside the box.

It's from Dr. Mirakle.

And who is Dr. Mirakle?

You know, I told you.

The funny old man at the sideshow who owns the ape.

Oh, I see. The ape took your bonnet, and the gentleman's replacing it.

Well, that's very nice of him.

It's a beautiful bonnet.

Shall I wear it to the picnic?

Why not?

I wonder how he found out where we lived.

But didn't you tell him?

He wanted to know.

But Pierre wouldn't let me tell him.

That's funny.

Well, anyway, you have a new hat.

Camille? Camille?

There they are.


Ah, there she is.

Everybody, ready. One, two.

Come, fair maiden.

Yon charger champs at the bit.

Come on, Camille.

Hurry up! Hurry up!

Did you bring the chicken?

My, aren't you dressed up?

Florette, I am absolutely mad about you.

No, no, no.

Years ago I gave up believing in students.

[both chuckling]

But, Marie, I mean what I say.

And here's to a truthful student, though the animal doesn't exist.

But, Mignette, I give you my word.

You will speak to my parents tonight?

But it's you I love, Susette, not your family.


Don't I look different to you today?

Different? How?

You're a blind donkey.

Something new I've got on.

It's my bonnet.

Oh, of course, it's beautiful.

And it's a gift.

A gift? Well, well. Who from?


Honoré, that poet.

Guess again.

That butterfly collector, Moreau?

Oh, Pierre, you'd better give up.

It's from Dr. Mirakle.



Yes. Wasn't it nice of him?

Did he bring it himself?

No, but he sent a note.

So he found out where you live, after all.

And I can't imagine how.

He must have had us followed.

What did the note say?

He asked me to come to his tent tonight.

That's strange.

What could he want?

You mustn't go.

Why not?

I wonder what Dr. Mirakle is up to.

Paul calls him a faker, but he isn't.

He isn't an ordinary man.

I'll go see your Dr. Mirakle tonight.

Very well, Pierre.

Get them poles down to the hallway.

Move this box back.

Come on. Come on. Come on.

How about a little help here, boss?

Lay that over on the way. Go on, move it, move it.

Get this box over here. Get this box over here.

That's right. Now move it.

What's the matter, Erik? Are you restless?

Be quiet.

What is the matter?

So, we have a caller.

Dr. Mirakle...

No show tonight, young man.

The carnival is over.

I've already seen your performance Doctor.

I wanted to talk to you.

First, the young lady to whom you sent the hat wants me to thank you for her.

Then she is not coming?

She sends her regrets.

Very well.

Good night.

Are you going away?


We move to Munich in the morning.

Excuse me. I must attend to my work.

I'm a medical student.

And the things you said in your lecture were very interesting.

Have you experimented, Doctor?


Have you written any papers?

None to be shown.

I had hoped you would let me come to see you.

Have you a house in Paris?


I sleep here. This tent is my home.

Good night, young man.

[Erik chattering]

No, no. That's Dr. Mirakle's stuff.

He's not going with us.

He's going to stay in Paris.

Load off.

Pull ahead.

All right, go in the corner.

Erik. Erik.

Let me get this for you.

[door closing]

He got out with the ape, and I'll swear they were talking to each other.

They went inside, and after that there was no sign of life.

Not a sound.

So you went home?

Well, I dropped in at the morgue.


Pierre, what will you come to?

Why are you always visiting that horrid old place?

Don't you worry, darling.


There's all of our Paris, spread out before us.

I like to see the little lighted windows, twinkling like stars.

Wouldn't it be fun to know all that was going on inside those houses?

Perhaps it's just as well that we don't know.

Think of what all those walls are hiding.

Broken hopes and bodies and hearts.

Absent dreams.

Starvation, madness. Crimes of the streets.

And tragedies of the river.

Paris. My city.

I hate to leave you alone tonight.

Hold me tightly, Pierre.

I could hold you forever, Camille.

Good night, dear.

Good night, Pierre.

By the way, you always keep your door bolted at night, don't you?

Not always, Pierre.

Be sure and lock it tonight, dear.

Will you promise?

If you say so.

Good night.

Good night, dear.

Good night, mother.



Mademoiselle,I you will pardon the late hour.

But I had to see you.

What do you want, Monsieur?

Don't be alarmed, Mademoiselle.

I'm leaving Paris tonight.

And there is something I have to tell you.

May I come in?

Oh no, Monsieur. My mother has gone to sleep.

My carriage is downstairs, Mademoiselle.

We can drive to a café and talk.

Oh, that's impossible.

But it is of greatest importance.

Please go away.

Mademoiselle,I you must come.

Please. Do me this favor.

Let me close the door, or I'll call for help.

But I have a message for you from Erik.

He talks only of you.

He can't forget you.

There is something you must know.

Are you insane, Monsieur?

Erik! Erik!

There, Erik.

She's up there.




Paul, Paul, Paul, wake up. Wake up.

What's... What's the matter?

What? I've found it.

It's the blood of a gorilla.


Those women, don't you understand?

They died because a gorilla's blood was injected into their veins.



Oh, darling, what is it? What's the matter?

Tell me, what happened to you, please?

I'll get you a glass of water. Oh, my baby!

Mother. Camille!




Hurry up. Give the man a hand.

Someone help me break it down, please.

Help! Help! Help!


What have you got? What is it, violence?

What do you think?


Money. Jewels.

This is not a robbery.

And there's no body, so it isn't a murder.

He's carried her away. She's gone.

Who are you? Where do you come from?

He's her sweetheart.

He... He comes here every night.


Sweetheart. You may wait for the prefect.

But we must find Camille.

Let me go, you fool!

It'll be too late.

You may tell all that to the prefect.

Now, what is your name?

Pierre Dupin.

Now, where do you live?

Oh, don't you understand?

Her life is in danger.

I understand.

Where do you live?

Oh, you fool.

You stupid fool!

[woman screaming]

So, your name is Victor Albert Adolph Jules Hugo Louis Duborg?


Yes, sir.

Why did you not investigate when you heard the first scream?

I... I was afraid.

Stupid, incredibly stupid.

Yes, sir. I...


[speaking German]

What is your name and business?

I am Franz Odenheimer. I own a restaurant.


In your own way, tell us what happened.

You see, I was just going to bed.

Then suddenly, I heard a scream.

Right away, I ran across the street.

And I was one of the first ones to enter this room.

On the way upstairs, I heard a voice.

And that voice was speaking Italian.

Do you speak Italian?


Were you ever in Italy?


How do you know it was Italian?

Because I am sure it was Italian.


Thank you, sir.

Alberto Montani.

What do you know of this affair?

Well, I, I also heard the voice.

But it was not Italian.

I'm Italian. I speak Italian.

[speaking Italian]

When I ran up the stairs with the others, I heard the voice.

It's not Italian, no.

It was Danish.

Do you speak Danish?


Were you ever in Denmark?


How do you know it was Danish?

My intuition.

It was not Danish. Oh.

I beg your pardon, Your Honor.

I am a native of Denmark.

Danish is my native tongue.

[speaking Italian]

I heard the voice, but it was not Danish.

It was German.

Italian, not German.



I say it was German.






Bring in the young man.

Monsieur,I the prefect will question you now.

Now, you might as well come quietly.

Don't try and make any more trouble.

Young man, what is your name?

My na...

Oh, I can tell you who committed the murder and where you can find him.


An ape.

He's out of his mind.

If you don't listen to me now, you'll be guilty of the second murder.

Second murder?

So you know there has been one?


If you'll only listen to me, I'll explain.

Very well, tell us what you know.

There were two women in this room.

The only door was locked and bolted.

Everybody heard screams and the sound of a terrible struggle.

Within two minutes, the door was broken down.

No one was here.

One of those women was carried away.

I tell you, the other one was murdered.

And her body must be somewhere in this room.



Young man, you know too much.

I arrest you for the murder of...

Yes, and another murder may be happening now.

It's a confession you wish to make?

No. An accusation.

Dr. Mirakle in the Rue Morgue is guilty of four murders so far this week.

And by now, perhaps a fifth.

[all exclaiming]

Do you accuse this doctor?

Dr. Mirakle has a captive ape.

It committed this crime.

No one man could have done this.

Three men couldn't have pushed that body up the chimney.

I tell you that ape killed her.

And carried her daughter off through the window.

You're insane.

Come on.


Here is proof.

That is not human. It's the hair of an ape.


Her blood is perfect.

That's the house, Monsieur.l


This is an empty house. No one lives here.

But it's not empty, I tell you.

We must break in.

There's another door at the side.

We'll try it.


I cannot stop now.

Hold them off, until I am ready.

Come, Erik.



Back into your cage!

Back to your cage. Erik.

Somebody's barring it.

(gendarme) Open. In the name of the law, open!



He's dead.

Why, look! There it goes. It's an ape!

You fool!

Pierre! Pierre!



Mirakle, I believe, or something like that.

Number 2.

Number 2.


Oh, any age. It doesn't matter.


They say he was a scientist or something.

Death caused by?

An ape.