In 19th-century Paris, theater impresario Cesar Charron (Jason Robards) is preparing a gruesome stage version of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" by Edgar Allan Poe. The creepy production has given his wife, Madeleine (Christine Kaufmann), horrible nightmares. They prove to be an ominous prediction of the future when Cesar's actors start turning up dead. Cesar suspects that the murders are the work of his nemesis, René Marot (Adolfo Celi). The only problem with his theory is that Marot is dead.