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A woman and a man vying for a woman's affection: the usual love trio? Not quite so since the belle in question is Lorraine de Grissac, a very wealthy and alluring society woman, while one of the two rivals is none other than Arsène Lupin, the notorious jewel thief everybody thought dead, now living under the assumed name of René Farrand. As for the other suitor he is an American, a former F.B.I. sleuth turned private eye by the name of Steve Emerson. Steve not only suspects Farrand of being Lupin but when someone attempts to steal a precious emerald necklace from Lorraine's uncle, Count de Brissac, he is persuaded Lupin is the culprit. Is Emerson right or wrong? Which of the two men will win over Lorraine's heart? Written by
one of the follow ups to first talkie Arsene Lupin
Melvyn Douglas (Ninotchka, 1939) plays Rene Ferrand in this 1938 film, one of the many follow up films to the "first" talkie Arsene Lupin movie from 1932. Warren William is insurance agent Steve Emerson, who accompanies the Grissac family Lorraine (Virginia Bruce) and the Count (John Halliday). Monty Woolley, with his Santa Claus beard, best known for "The Man Who Came to Dinner" is Georges Bouchet; Familiar face Nat Pendleton (always played the henchman or tough guy) is Joe Doyle, Ferrand's sidekick, and Vladimir Sokoloff is Ivan Pavloff, the mysterious prowler. When a thief tries to steal a valuable necklace, everyone is a suspect. Then things get complicated. Fun scene near the end where the necklace turns up, and it goes from one pocket to another in slight of hand -- then more shooting, more accusations, and a clever way to catch the thief. We aren't really given any early clues in "Murder She Wrote" style - in this one, we can only watch as it all takes place, and try to guess which are the red herrings. Good story, but much more buttoned down and proper than the 1932 Lupin story, starring the Barrymore brothers. TCM showing the collection in November 2007.
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