Murders In The Rue Morgue
Edgar Allan Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue
1971 Christine Kaufmann
Horrible fantasy mingles with horrifying fact in the story of a theatre of the macabre on the Rue Morgue in Paris. Madeleine (CHRISTINE KAUFMANN), the wife of the theatre owner who also appears in the company's horror plays is plagued by a recurrent dream which re-enacts the current stage play. She dreams she is attacked by an unknown axe-man and is rescued by a near-human ape. In the real play her husband, Cesar Charron (JASON ROBARDS) is "beheaded" in a struggle with an ape as a gory conclusion to each performance.
But then the company is beset by a brutal reality as one of the performers is found murdered, his face disfigured by vitriol. The case captures the attention of police inspector Vidocq (ADOLFO CELl). A pattern suddenly develops in the case when Genevre (MARIA PERSCHY) is also found dead, equally disfigured by vitriol. When another murder takes place, the fact becomes clear that the victims had all worked with Char-ron at one time. However, it is complicated by evidence which indicates that
the killer is Marot (HERBERT LOM), another former player who, it was believed, had died years earlier. It was a tragic accident in which Madeleine Charron's mother (LILLI PALMER), an actress in the Rue Morgue company threw vitriol in his face by mistake during a performance. He had been in love with Madeleine's mother and was jealous of the fact she even worked for Charron and was accused of having killed her.
Despite the assumption of his death, Marot was actually still alive, using a carnival stunt to return from the grave after his burial, and was pursuing a campaign of vengeance against Charron with the help of Pierre (MICHAEL DUNN), a dwarf committed to his aid. Seeking the truth of Marot's death, Charron goes to the house where Madeleine's mother lived. Unknown to him, Madeleine also goes to the chateau and finds herself in rooms reminiscent of her nightmare. There, on a small stage that her mother once used, she comes face to face with Marot and screams. Her cry brings Charron to the scene where Marot now tells her that it was her husband who had killed her mother. Marot claims his plan was to kill all who had testified that it was he, not Charron who committed the murder.
Marot and Charron fight and it appears that Charron kills Marot. With Madeleine's help, Marot's body is placed in a coffin of a nearby mausoleum. Charron takes Madeleine back to their theatre assuming that the tragedy was ended.
But this soon proves premature, for Marot is not dead. With the help of Pierre, he gets Charron and Madeleine back again at her mother's private stage and he kills Charron. Madeleine escapes and returns to the Rue Morgue.
At the next performance of the horror play at the Rue Morgue Theatre, Vidocq deploys his police around the auditorium to trap Marot. The killer now appears again in the ape costume and is chased through the theatre and out into the crowd of a street carnival where he succeeds in killing some of Vidocq's men.
Losing his prey in the crowd, Vidocq returns to the theatre where Madeleine has been left alone. She is pursued by Marot and, just as the police rush in, she manages to cut a rope used by Marot to swing across the stage after her and he falls to his death on the stage.