Murders in the Rue Morgue is an American feature film of the mystery thriller genre, which also includes elements of the horror genre. It is based on the short story of the same name by famed Gothic author Edgar Allan Poe. The movie was directed by Robert Florey, who also wrote the screen adaptation. The screenplay itself was written by Tom Reed and Dale Van Every. The movie was produced by Universal Pictures and is considered part of their "Universal Monsters" series. It premiered in the United States on February 21st, 1932. The film stars Bela Lugosi, who by this point, had already begun to carve himself a niche as a horror movie icon with his memorable performance in Universal's Dracula in 1931. In this film, he plays the role of demented scientist Doctor Mirakle, who trains a gorilla to attack young virgins. Also starring in the film is Sidney Fox as Camille L'Espanaye, Leon Ames as Pierre Dupin, Bert Roach as Paul, Betty Ross Clarke as Mme. L'Espanaye and Brandon Hurst as the Prefect of Police.
John Huston, who had been a staff writer for Universal Pictures at the time, was brought on to provide additional dialogue for Murders in the Rue Morgue. Many of his scenes were rewritten however, at the behest of Robert Florey, who felt that Houston's prose-style was too stilted for what he was hoping to achieve. 
Although most scenes involving Erik featured an actor or stunt double in a costume, all of the close-up shots were that of an actual ape. Oddly, the face was that of a chimpanzee, even though the body was that of a gorilla.