The Climax

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The Climax
Theatrical release poster
Directed by George Waggner
Produced by George Waggner
Screenplay by
Story by Curt Siodmak
Based on The Climax
by Edward Locke
Music by Edward Ward
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • October 20, 1944 (1944-10-20)
Running time
86 min.
Language English
Budget $750,000[1]

The Climax is a horror film produced by Universal Pictures, first released in the United States in 1944. The credits state this is based on the play of the same name by Edward Locke, but the plot has little connection to Locke's play. Originally intended to be a sequel to Universal's 1943 remake version of Phantom of the Opera, it featured new characters and a new plot. Susanna Foster was the only member of the cast to star in the new film.


The physician at the Vienna Royal Theatre, Dr. Hohner (Karloff) murders his fiancée, a prima donna, out of obsession and jealousy. Ten years later, he hears another young singer (Foster) who reminds him of the late diva, and is determined to make her sing only for him, even if it means silencing her forever.



The film was originally conceived as a sequel to Phantom of the Opera (1943).[2] The Climax was made using the sets of the 1943 Phantom of the Opera, which was in turn used Universal's set for Phantom of the Opera (1925). Choreography was made by Lester Horton. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award in 1944 for Best Art Direction (John B. Goodman, Alexander Golitzen, Russell A. Gausman, Ira S. Webb).


The Climax was a box office disappointment.[1]

Home Video Release[edit]

This film, along with Night Key, Tower of London, The Strange Door and The Black Castle, was released on DVD in 2006 by Universal Studios as part of The Boris Karloff Collection.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Stephen Jacobs, Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster, Tomohawk Press 2011 p 290-291
  2. ^ Scott McQueen, audio commentary on Phantom of the Opera DVD (Universal)

External links[edit]