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'''''House of Wax''''' is a 1953 American horror film starring VincentPrice, whose career then took a turn primarily towards horror films. It is a remake of ''Film/MysteryOfTheWaxMuseum'' (1933). It was the first 3-D color feature film from a major American studio, following independent movie ''Bwana Devil''. These two movies sparked the 3-D movie boom of the 1950s. Interestingly enough, director Andre De Toth only had one eye, and couldn't see the effect.

Price plays Professor Henry Jarrod, a devoted wax sculptor with a museum in 1910s New York. A disagreement with his financial partner, Matthew Burke (played by Roy Roberts), leaves Jarrod amid the burned ruins of his own museum, alive but severely injured. With the aid of a deaf-mute sculptor named Igor (played by Charles Buchinsky, who would soon become better known as Creator/CharlesBronson), Jarrod builds a new House of Wax that showcases historical and contemporary crimes, including the murder of his former business partner. However, all is not what it seems in Jarrod's wax museum, and a friend of Burke's fiancee is about to make a horrifying discovery...

Another remake was released in 2005, also called ''[[Film/HouseOfWax2005 House of Wax]]'' though it borrows more plot elements from ''Tourist Trap'' than from this film.

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!! This film provides examples of:

* ThreeDMovie
* TheAlcoholic: Leon, who is a gifted artist, and "a periodical drunk".
* AntiVillain
* AssholeVictim: Matthew.
* AxeBeforeEntering
* BattleAmongstTheFlames: Jarrod and Burke figh each other as the museum burns around them.
* BerserkButton: Don't ask Jarrod about some crazy ideas like ... burning down his beloved wax figures.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: The paddle ball barker.
* ButLiquorIsQuicker: Cathy is onto him, though.
* ChairmanOfTheBrawl: A chair is thrown across the air during the fight between Jarrod and Burke.
* ChaseScene: One breaks out after Sue finds Cathy's corpse and has to evade the perpetrator.
* CompositeCharacter: 3-into-2 instead of the usual 2-into-1. ''Mystery of the Wax Museum'' has the heroine, a victim she didn't know who becomes Joan of Arc, and her best friend who almost becomes the Marie Antoinette victim. Sue is a composite of the heroine and the Marie Antoinette victim, and Cathy is a composite of the best friend and the Joan of Arc victim.
* DamselInDistress: Sue in the climax.
* TheDitz: Cathy.
* DramaticUnmask: A pretty great example. ([[FridgeLogic But how could he keep his features so mobile?]]) And oddly enough, in both cases we'd already seen the horribly disfigured face under the mask; it just wasn't clear that they were the same person.
* DrivenToVillainy: Jarrod after his corrupt business partner burns down his museum and destroys his ability to sculpt.
* {{Fainting}}: One of the customers faint as Jarrod is gives a tour through his museum.
* GRatedDrug: More of a PG Rated Drug here -- the cops are able to track down Jarrod after depriving an alcoholic assistant of his of booze during the interrogation. In ''Mystery of the Wax Museum'', it is strongly implied to be something much stronger (an injected drug like morphine, cocaine, or heroin).
* IdiotBall: Sue realizes the Joan of Arc statue really is Cathy because Jarrod didn't bother to remove her original blonde hair and merely hid it under a dark wig.
* TheIgor: Jarrod's helper, named... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Igor]]. Played by Creator/CharlesBronson.
* InsuranceFraud: Why Matthew burns down Jarrod's original museum.
* ItsPopularNowItSucks: In-universe: Jarrod comes to believe this and decides that his rebuilt museum will mostly give the public the sensationalism it wants.
* LatexPerfection: Or rather Wax Perfection.
* MadArtist: Jarrod is obsessed about his work, especially about the restoration of his past works.
* NoOSHACompliance: The wax workshop.
* ObfuscatingDisability: Played with. Jarrod pretends to be wheelchair bound and with ruined hands but otherwise unscarred; in reality, he has horrible facial scarring, but can walk and use his hands fine (if not with the same skill as before).
* OfCorsetHurts: Mentioned twice -- the heroine's [[TheDitz ditzy]] friend Cathy Gray has Sue lace her up until she can barely breathe, and a woman has trouble breathing prior to fainting, in Jarrod's Chamber of Horrors.
-->"Is it your corset?"
-->"No, my stomach; it turned over."
* OfCorsetsSexy:
-->'''Cathy Gray:''' Oh that's all right, I don't need much breath anyway-- as my late friend Matty used to say, if a girl don't watch her figure the men won't.
* OminousFog
* PaddleballShot: The paddleball salesman scene is the {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* PerpSweating: Police use Leon's alcoholism to get information out of him.
* TheRemake
* SceneryCensor: Sue while she's {{strapped|ToAnOperatingTable}} naked beneath the vat. At least Fay Wray got wrapped in a shroud-like cloth.
* SceneryGorn: The burning wax museum.
* SpiritedYoungLady: Sue.
* StrappedToAnOperatingTable: Sue in the climax.
* ToThePain: Of course, Jarrod doesn't think he's torturing her but ''comforting her''.
-->'''Jarrod:''' The end will come quickly, my love. It is a pain beyond pain, an agony so intense, it shocks the mind into instant oblivion.
* TheVoiceless: Hugo in the 1933 film, Igor in the 1953 film.
* WakingUpAtTheMorgue: Subverted twice -- the first time, a corpse sits up due to cadaveric spasm, but is still dead. The second time -- well, the character was just HiddenInPlainSight.
* WaxMuseumMorgue: The 1953 film is the TropeCodifier.
* TheXOfY
* YoureInsane: Jarrod's response to Burke's plan to burn their museum.

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