House of Wax

88 minutes

Warner Brothers' first big-budget 3-D film (1953) was a remake of Mystery of the Wax Museum, which was shot in the novelty of its day, two-strip Technicolor, back in 1933. The effects are done with playfulness, zest, and some imagination (they range from a barker batting paddleballs in your face to a murderer leaping from the row in front of you), making this the most entertaining of the gimmick 3-Ds. (The process was maturing into genuine expressiveness—with Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder and Walsh's Gun Fury—just moments before it died.) Vincent Price stars as a wax sculptor who cheats a bit here and there; the director is Andre de Toth.

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