review for Phantom of the Rue Morgue on AllMovie

Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954)
by Craig Butler review

Chances are that most viewers will never get to see Phantom of the Rue Morgue as it was originally presented, i.e. in 3-D -- and that's a shame. There's so little else to recommend Phantom that taking away its major technical enticement just isn't fair. Make no mistake about it, Phantom is bad; to be fair, however, it's the kind of bad that can be a lot of fun when it's late at night and one is in a mood to laugh at rather than with a movie. The screenplay is a mish mash of plot strands, more or less thrown together in a way that just makes sense, even if it sometimes defies logic. The dialogue is over ripe to a delightful degree, filled with clichés and trite sayings. And, of course, the screenplay leaves plenty of room for a variety of objects to be thrust into the lens of the 3-D camera in a manner that is quite amusing. No one expects great acting from films of this sort, and Karl Malden willingly obliges, turning in a truly awful performance as the villain that takes hamminess to new extremes. Roy Del Ruth wins no points for his direction, but at least he's made a film that provides entertainment, albeit not necessarily of the kind he intended.