5.4/10
573
27 user 14 critic

The Climax (1944)

A demented physician becomes obsessed with a young singer whose voice sounds similar to his late mistress.

Director:

George Waggner

Writers:

Curt Siodmak (screenplay), Lynn Starling (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Dr. Friedrich Hohner
Susanna Foster ... Angela Klatt
Turhan Bey ... Franz Munzer
Gale Sondergaard ... Luise
Thomas Gomez ... Count Seebruck
June Vincent ... Marcellina
George Dolenz ... Amato Roselli
Ludwig Stössel ... Carl Baumann
Jane Farrar ... Jarmila Vadek
Ernö Verebes ... Brunn (as Erno Verebes)
Lotte Stein ... Mama Hinzl
Scotty Beckett ... The King
William Edmunds William Edmunds ... Leon - theater concierge
Maxwell Hayes Maxwell Hayes ... Count Romburg - King's aide
Dorothy Lawrence Dorothy Lawrence ... Miss Metzger
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Storyline

Dr. Hohner (Karloff), theatre physician at the Vienna Royal Theatre, murders his mistress, the star soprano when his jealousy drives him to the point of mad obsession. Ten years later, another young singer (Foster) reminds Hohner of the late diva, and his old mania kicks in. Hohner wants to prevent her from singing for anyone but him, even if it means silencing her forever. The singer's fiancée (Bey) rushes to save her in the film's climax. Written by Stephen Cooke <am082@ccn.cs.dal.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

IT TOPS THEM ALL IN SPECTACLE, THRILLS, MYSTERY, ROMANCE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Music | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El ruiseñor y el cuervo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original trailer Susanna Foster, the star of Het spook van de opera (1943), was given top billing. In the film itself, Boris Karloff is given top billing. See more »

Goofs

In the rehearsal sequence in which Angela loses her voice at the sight of Dr. Hohner, she closes her mouth a split second before the playback of her voice stops. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Hohner: [after strangling Marcellina] We'll always be together now. Your voice will never come between us again.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Boris Karloff (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Three Marches Militaires
(opus 51)
Composed by Franz Schubert
See more »

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User Reviews

Technically Good But Deadly Boring
17 October 2015 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The Climax (1944)

** (out of 4)

Boris Karloff returned to Universal Studios playing Dr. Frederich Hohner, a man most people believe is haunted by the disappearance of a female opera singer ten years earlier. What they don't realize is that he actually murdered her. In present times he hears the beautiful Angela Klatt (Susanna Foster) sing and her voice reminds him of the one he killed so he plans to control the new singer.

THE CLIMAX was Karloff's return to the studio that made him a legend and the company went all out in regards to what the film has to offer. They gave him director George Waggner who had just scored a major success with THE WOLF MAN. They allowed the film to be shot in Technicolor. They even went all out with a higher budget and a classier looking picture. Everything is here except for a story, energy or any passion. I'm always shocked that Universal threw everything at this picture yet they basically delivered a rehash of SVENGALI and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

On a technical level this film is very impressive as the visuals really jump off the screen. The Technicolor is extremely beautiful and especially the dresses and costumes in the picture. Just wait until you see the fire at the end as it looks incredible. The music itself is quite good if you really judge it and I'd argue that the cast is very good as well. This includes Karloff who has no problem playing the passion that this role requires. Foster, Turhan Bey and Gale Sondergaard are all good as well.

So, what's the problem with THE CLIMAX? It's the story, which is downright boring and the movie ends up moving so slow that it feels twice as long. I really don't know why Universal did this to Karloff and offered such a boring screenplay and especially when they had just done PHANTOM OF THE OPERA the previous year.


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