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Review: "The Mad Magician" (1954) Starring Vincent Price; Twilight Time Blu-ray Release

By Hank Reineke

Though Vincent Price would eventually garner a well-deserved reputation as Hollywood’s preeminent bogeyman, it was only really with André De Toth’s House of Wax (1953) that the actor would become associated with all things sinister. In some sense the playful, nervously elegant Price was an odd successor to the horror film-maestro throne: he was a somewhat aristocratic psychotic who shared neither Boris Karloff’s cold and malevolent scowl nor Bela Lugosi’s distinctly unhinged madness or old-world exoticism.

His early film career started in a less pigeonholed manner: as a budding movie actor with a seven year contract for Universal Studios in the 1940s, the tall, elegant Price would appear in a number of semi-distinguished if modestly-budgeted romantic comedies and dramas. His contract with Universal was apparently non-exclusive, and his most memorable roles for the studio were his earliest. In a harbinger of things to come,

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