Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Karloff's first color appearance is attractive but mediocre movie

The Climax (1944)
Starring: Boris Karloff, Susanna Foster, Turhan Bey, Ludwig Stossel, Thomas Gomez and Gale Sondergard
Director: George Waggner
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

A young opera singer (Foster) becomes the target of the crazy house doctor (Karloff) at the Vienna Royal Opera. Will her dashing boyfriend (Bey) manage to save her before her voice is silenced forever?

"The Climax" is Boris Karloff's first color picture and it's pretty to look at. It also has some nice performances from Karloff, Turhan Bey--who swings from dramatic of comedic with graceful ease--and Thomas Gomez as the beleaguered manager of the opera company. Unfortunately, their performances are propping up a fairly boring melodrama the titular climax of which isn't much to sing about.

The film is available on DVD for the first time as part of Universal's "Boris Karloff Collection" and as such it rates as inoffensive filler. It's not exactly a bad movie, just a bland one, and one you can safely leave for last if you pick up the set.

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