WriterCurt Siodmak, Edward Locke Release dateOctober 20, 1944 (1944-10-20) Film seriesUniversal horror Film Series CastBoris Karloff (Dr. Friedrich Hohner), Susanna Foster (Angela Klatt), Turhan Bey (Franz Munzer), Gale Sondergaard (Luise), Thomas Gomez (Count Seebruck), June Vincent (Marcellina) Similar moviesMad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, John Wick, Furious 7, Taken 3, Blackhat
An opera-house doctor (Boris Karloff) tries to silence a soprano (Susanna Foster) who looks like one he strangled years earlier.
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 Lockes play.
Originally intended to be a sequel to Universals 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.
A theatre physician at the Vienna Royal Theatre, is obsessed with a young star.
The physician at the Vienna Royal Theatre, Dr. Hohner (Karloff) murders his fiancee, 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.
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 Stossel – Carl Baumann
Jane Farrar – Jarmila Vadek
Erno Verebes – Brunn
Lotte Stein – Mama Hinzl
Scotty Beckett – The King
William Edmunds – Leon – theater concierge
Maxwell Hayes – Count Romburg – Kings aide
Dorothy Lawrence – Miss Metzger
The film was originally conceived as a sequel to Phantom of the Opera (1943). The Climax was made using the sets of the 1943 Phantom of the Opera, which was in turn used Universals 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 Webb).
The Climax was a box office disappointment.
Home Video Release
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.