House of Wax (1953)

A NEW BEGINNING

Following a comedic turn in one of his favourite films, Champagne for Caesar, the freelancing Vincent Price ditched Hollywood once again to tread the boards once more, including replacing Charles Laughton in a touring company of Don Juan in Hell, and, later, roles in Richard III and Black-Eyed Susan (his last stage turn until 1968’s Darling of the Day).

Price’s fortunes changed forever, however, when he accepted the lead role in Warner Bros’ 3D horror melodrama, House of Wax (an update of the 1930s classic, Mystery in the Wax Museum). It was one of the studio’s biggest hits and Price’s nuanced performance as vengeful sculptor turned serial killer, Henry Jarrod, brought him offers for two more 3D outings, The Mad Magician and Dangerous Mission (from future ‘Master of Disaster’ Irwin Allen), as well as roles in a variety of projects that tapped into the cultured malevolence that was becoming Price’s stock in trade (of note is his excellent turn as conman James Addison Reavis in The Baron of Arizona). He was also a regular on a host of television productions (from game shows to live dramas) and his mellifluous voice was used to great effect in a host of radio dramas, including Escape and Suspense.

But it was Vincent’s presence in 20th Century Fox’s ‘atoms gone wild!’ sci-fi blockbuster The Fly and his association with William Castle’s gimmick-laden House on Haunted Hill and The Tingler that sealed his horror credentials. By the end of the decade, Price’s career was at an all-time high – and things were just about to get even better.

Just click on the links (in bold) to view more about Vincent’s films in the 1950s

1950
Champagne for Caesar
The Baron of Arizona
Curtain Call at Cactus Creek

1951
His Kind of Woman
Adventures of Captian Fabian

1952
The Las Vegas Story

1953
House of Wax

1954
Dangerous Mission
Casanova’s Big Night
The Mad Magician

1955
Son of Sinbad

1956
Serenade
While the City Sleeps
The Ten Commandments

1957
The Story of Mankind

1958
The Fly
House On Haunted Hill

1959
The Big Circus
The Bat
Return of the Fly
The Tingler

 

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