Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)

PG-13   |    |  Crime, Horror, Mystery


Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971) Poster

Paris...at the turn of the century. Inspector Vidocq investigates a series of unexplained murders at a Grand Guignol-type theatre...where the players have suddenly become real-life victims. Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe.


5.3/10
1,227


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  • Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)
  • Herbert Lom in Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)
  • Maria Perschy in Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)
  • Rosalind Elliot and Christine Kaufmann in Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)
  • Jason Robards and Christine Kaufmann in Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)
  • Christine Kaufmann in Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Gordon Hessler

Writers:

Edgar Allan Poe (story), Christopher Wicking, Henry Slesar

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26 January 2014 | Michael_Elliott
Too Lifeless to Really Work
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)

** (out of 4)

British version puts a twist on the story (and previous versions) of Edgar Allan Poe. In this version, a stage troupe is putting on a version of Murders in the Rue Morgue when real murders start to happen. The lead actor (Jason Robards) and Inspector Vidocq (Herbert Lom) try and track down who is responsible. This version of the Poe story has been ripped to pieces over the years but having skipped it for thirty-plus years I was well aware that several liberties were taken. I can't say I blame director Gordon Hessler for wanting to change things around considering there had been several versions of the story already done. The biggest problem is that with the changes nothing too exciting is done and nothing here is as entertaining as what Poe wrote. I think the biggest thing going against the picture is the fact that it's rather dull and only comes to life during the opening sequence and the final one. Everything in between is rather lifeless and really drags to the point where you just simply don't care who's doing the killing. The version I viewed was the 97-minute director's cut, which restores some eleven-minutes that AIP had originally cut out. I don't know the whole history of the film so I can't say which version is better but I have to think that a lot of the material here was just filler. You'd think that having actors like Robards and Lom would have been a positive but it's really not. Yes, it's fun seeing them in a film like this but at the same time both are clearly just here to cash a paycheck. Robards seems extremely uninterested in anything going on and the same can be said about Lom who seems to be rushing through every scene just to get it over with. There are a few good things about the film including its colorful look as well as the atmosphere but this here just isn't enough to recommend it to others.

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