Flicker Alley has announced the release of WAXWORKS (Das Wachsfigurenkabinett) in November

A collaborative effort of the Deutsche Kinemathek and the Cineteca di Bologna, Waxworks—Paul Leni’s 1924 cinematic funhouse starring Emil Jannings and Conrad Veidt—will soon be available in a newly restored English version with two new scores in a Blu-ray/DVD dual-format edition, presented by Flicker Alley and Eureka Entertainment, with the support of the Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts.

Waxworks (Das Wachsfigurenkabinett)
Blu-ray/DVD Dual-Format Edition

Available for Pre-order at the Flicker Alley store
RELEASE DATE: November 3rd, 2020

Waxworks (Das Wachsfigurenkabinett) / Directed by Paul Leni / 1924 / 81 minutes / Germany / Produced by Neptune-Film A.G. / UPC: 6-17311-68729-7

Waxworks (Das Wachsfigurenkabinett) was the final film Paul Leni directed in Germany before striking out for Hollywood, where he made such classic genre films as The Cat and the CanaryThe Man Who Laughs, and The Last Warning. Its sophisticated medley of genres was in fact what inspired Universal’s Carl Laemmle to invite Leni to come to Hollywood, as Laemmle was hoping to capitalize on the emerging comedy-horror craze of the 1920s. Stylistically, Waxworks was celebrated as a late example of German Expressionism. Its stylized sets (designed by Leni), fantastical costumes, chiaroscuro lighting, and startlingly bold performances are characteristic of that cinematic movement and contribute to the film’s lasting appeal.

The three episodes of Waxworks are united by the character of a young poet (William Dieterle), who is hired by the owner of a wax museum to create backstories for a trio of the museum’s figures: Caliph Haroun-al-Raschid (Emil Jannings), Ivan the Terrible (Conrad Veidt), and Jack the Ripper (Werner Krauss). The stories with leading actors of Weimar cinema are depicted successively, the poet casting himself together with the daughter of the wax museum’s owner at the center of each tale. Though the poet and the daughter play different characters every time, they are always lovers threatened by an animated wax figure tyrant.    

As the original German version of Waxworks has not survived, this newly restored English edition—a joint effort by the Deutsche Kinemathek and Cineteca di Bologna, L’Immagine Ritrovata (with funding from the German Commission for Culture and the Media)—is composed of vintage export prints and additional film materials from archives around the world. The elements, including English intertitles, were scanned in 4K resolution and then restored in 2K. Presented by Flicker Alley and Eureka Entertainment in a Blu-ray/DVD dual-format edition, there is an option of two scores to accompany the film: a new piano score by Richard Siedhoff and a new instrumental score by Bernd Schultheis, Olav Lervik and Jan Kohl, commissioned by ZDF/ARTE and performed by Ensemble Musikfabrik. 

  • Audio Commentary Track — Featuring Australian film and arts critic Adrian Martin.
  • Paul Leni’s Rebus-Films Nr. 1-8 — Courtesy of Kino/Lorber, these Leni-helmed cinematic crossword puzzles were originally screened in 1920s German cinemas as featurettes accompanying the main film. Each of these animated shorts was split into two parts—a clue and an answer—and presented before and after the feature presentation.  
  • In search of the original version of Paul Leni’s Das Wachsfigurenkabinett — An interview with Julia Wallmüller (Deutsche Kinemathek) based on her presentation after the premiere of the restored film at Il Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna 2020.
  • Conversation with Kim Newman — An in-depth interview with journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman, discussing the legacy of Waxworks.
  • Collector’s Edition Souvenir Booklet — Limited edition booklet featuring new essays by Phillip Kemp and Richard Combs on the film’s history and significance; notes on the restoration process by Julia Wallmüller (Deutsche Kinemathek); and rarely seen production photographs and promotional material.

About Deutsche Kinemathek
Collecting, preserving, developing, presenting and mediating our audiovisual heritage – these have been tasks of the Deutsche Kinemathek since its opening in 1963. Everything related to film and television history are artifacts: Marlene Dietrich’s estate, donations by Werner Herzog or the TV documentary filmmaker Georg Stefan Troller, for example, but also important film scripts, which include those ranging from Carl Mayer to Christian Petzold.

In addition, there is a film archive with copies of more than 26,500 films, as well as a viewable inventory of over 25,000 films on video. Scholars and journalists use the various inventories for their research and inquiries. Copies of films are screened on site and loaned to movie theaters.

In the Mediathek Fernsehen more than 9,000 broadcasts spanning seven decades and the two former nations of divided Germany can be viewed. Moreover, one of the largest specialized libraries in Europe is available to visitors at the Filmhaus. Several hundred thousand photographs, 25,000 posters, and approximately 20,000 costumes and architectural sketches are preserved by the Deutsche Kinemathek.

The Deutsche Kinemathek has supervised the annual film history Retrospective and the Homage of the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) since 1977. It has also made a name for itself through numerous publications on both the history and present state of film and television, through its special exhibitions, as well as its high-caliber symposia and other events.

About Eureka Entertainment
Eureka Entertainment is the leading independent distributor of classic silent/early films in the UK. Its catalogue also contains World Cinema, Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Indie Dramas, Hollywood Classics, Comedy and Thriller films as well as a wide selection of TV titles, providing the diversity and selection necessary to continue to satisfy today’s market demands and to power the digital video revolution for years to come.

In 2004, Eureka! established the award winning Masters of Cinema Series, a specially curated director-led Blu-ray and DVD collection of classic and world cinema using the finest available materials for home viewing. In 2014, Eureka! established Eureka! Classics intended to highlight a broader selection of classic and cult cinema, and in 2017, Eureka! established Montage Pictures, a label celebrating ground-breaking and thought-provoking world cinema from new and upcoming directors.

About Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts
Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts is a private charitable organization established in 2014 that collaborates with partners in Europe and the US to promote German media culture, especially the restoration, publication and exhibition of films from the Weimar era.

About Flicker Alley, LLC
Flicker Alley, LLC, founded in 2002, was born out of a passion for cinematic history and a desire to bring filmmakers and films from out of the past to new audiences and renewed recognition. A goal of Flicker Alley is to contribute to the ongoing interest in our film heritage through the creation of new, high-quality digital editions for broadcast, and through home video distribution. Each Flicker Alley publication is the culmination of hundreds of hours of research, digital restoration, graphic design, music composition and scoring. Collectively, they reflect the creativity, expertise and shared passion of many talented collaborators. Flicker Alley is a multiple-year recipient of the National Society of Film Critics Film Heritage Award for publishing “rare early U.S. and foreign silent films.”

About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST | Michael is a fanatic about all both cinema old and new. He collects anything from 1:6 Scale, 1:12 Scale, and vinyl Collectibles plus Slipcovers and Steelbooks. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. An avid Batman, The Joker and anything comics junkie, he will also chat it up about pretty much anything. Go ahead and ask...