Movie Details

The fourth film to explore Edgar Allan Poe's classic tale, this clever adaptation takes some rather broad liberties with the source material. A flamboyant Jason Robards plays Cesar Charron, owner of a Grand Guignol theatre in 19th-century Paris, who is launching a stage adaptation of "Murders in the Rue Morgue" -- much to the dismay of his young daughter Madeleine (Christine Kaufmann), who is tormented by nightmares filled with images from the play. A spate of gruesome murders among the theatre's regular stable of actors leads Charron to suspect the return of his deranged, disfigured former partner René Marot (Herbert Lom), who had been presumed dead after the murder of Charron's wife. Madeleine's nightmares eventually come true when Marot makes his presence known and reveals his intentions to her on the eve of the production's opening night. Director Gordon Hessler's creative handling of the dreams-vs.reality premise is rendered a bit confusing thanks to AIP's sloppy re-editing, but the overall production is still effectively chilling. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi