In 1900, Miquette, the pretty daughter of the widow Grandier, decides to become an actress after seeing a play performed by the Monchablon theatre company. Unfortunately, Madame Grandier ... See full summary »
Jenny Lamour wants to succeed in music hall. Her husband and accompanist is Maurice Martineau, a nice but jealous man. When he knew Jenny is making eyes at Brignon, an old businessman, in ... See full summary »
An adaptation of Abbe Prevost's classic French novel 'Manon Lescaut', updated to post-World War II France, in which a former French Resistance activist rescues Manon from villagers who want... See full summary »
Dominique Marceau is on trial for the murder of Gilbert Tellier. The counsels duel relentlessly, elaborating explanations for why the pretty, idle and fickle girl killed the talented and ... See full summary »
A psychiatrist, desperate for money to keep his faltering practice running, makes a deal with a spy to hide a mysterious person in his clinic in return for a million francs. As soon as the ... See full summary »
Stanislas Hassler blazes the development of modern art in his gallery, packed with works of surprising shapes, colours and textures, and where exhibitions turn into media events. Gilbert ... See full summary »
Set against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation of France, VICE AND VIRTURE is a stylized retelling of the Marquis de Sade's Justine, as envisioned by one of cinema's most provocative filmmakers Roger Vadim.
Dapper Inspector Vorobechik ('Wens' for short) is assigned the case of a serial killer who leaves a calling card on his victims; Monsieur Durand. Wens' mistress, struggling actress Mila Malou, determines to get publicity for herself by helping him. Learning that Durand is one of the eccentric tenants of a boarding house at No. 21 Avenue Junot, Wens takes a room in the guise of a Protestant minister; only to be followed by Mila who hardly seems like a minister's wife! Suspects are arrested, but while each is in jail, there's another murder... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I often wish I could speak French, especially when watching a French movie billed as a mystery/comedy. I can't seem to get my funny bone around the Gallic sense of humor - unless the sub-titles are doing me in. I thought "The Murderer Lives At #21" was a good, worthwhile mystery movie, one which was unsolvable until the end of the picture. I thought Pierre Fresnay was a very good Inspector Wens and I wished there could have been a whole series of Insp. Wens films. I recall that he played the sympathetic part of Capt. Boeldieu in "Grand Illusion", and I have a recording of him in a 1936 Cole Porter musical (he spoke but did not sing).
But why did the aura of menace disappear after the first murder? I really thought we were in for a special treat at that point. I liked the motley collection of suspects at the boarding house but none of them were menacing or threatening, just a peculiar group of people. Suzy Delair's presence is marginally grating, just as it was in "Quai Des Orfevres", and once again regaled us with a forgettable song or two. Someone mentioned the chemistry between Fresnay and Delair was reminiscent of Nick and Nora Charles. That may be so, but as I stated much of the playful banter was lost due to the language barrier. Moreover, I was never a fan of attempts to mix comedy and mystery, which was prevalent up until WW II. I don't think they blend well as one element tends to cancel out the other. This could be the reason for the aforementioned disappearance of the aura of menace.
I gave this picture a rating of 7. The comparison between Clouzot and Hitchcock was not yet a valid one; at this point Hitchcock could mop the floor with the neophyte Clouzot.
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