IMDb > The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942)

The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942) More at IMDbPro »L'assassin habite... au 21 (original title)


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Release Date:
16 August 1947 (USA) See more »
Inspector Wens moves into a Paris boarding house to catch a serial killer. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
The Forgotten: The Lodger
 (From MUBI. 1 May 2013, 8:18 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Clouzot's brilliant debut. See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Pierre Fresnay ... L'inspecteur Wenceslas Wens
Suzy Delair ... Mila Malou - la maîtresse tapageuse de Wens
Jean Tissier ... Triquet, aka professeur Lalah-Poor
Pierre Larquey ... Monsieur Colin
Noël Roquevert ... Docteur Théodore Linz
René Génin ... Alfred, l'ivrogne
Jean Despeaux ... Kid Robert
Marc Natol ... Armand, le valet de chambre (as Natol)
Huguette Vivier ... Mademoiselle Vania
Odette Talazac ... Madame Point
Maximilienne ... Mademoiselle Cuq
Sylvette Saugé ... Christiane Perret, la poule
Louis Florencie ... Commissaire Monnet
André Gabriello ... L'agent Pussot (as Gabriello)
Raymond Bussières ... Jean-Baptiste Turlot (as Bussières)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Antoine Balpêtré ... Albert, le ministre de l'Intérieur (uncredited)
Paul Barge ... Le garçon de café (uncredited)
Léon Belières ... L'impresario (uncredited)
René Blancard ... Picard (uncredited)
Lucien Blondeau ... Edouard, le préfet de police (uncredited)
Geo Forster ... (uncredited)
Gustave Gallet ... Le directeur de la P. J. (uncredited)

Daniel Gélin ... (uncredited)
Léon Larive ... Le patron du bistrot (uncredited)
Albert Malbert ... Le chauffeur de taxi (uncredited)
Maurice Marceau ... Le type du café (uncredited)
Marcel Pérès ... L'inspecteur Ballandieu (uncredited)
Martial Rèbe ... Le caissier (uncredited)
Maurice Salabert ... Un agent (uncredited)
Guy Sloux ... Le journaliste Bob Destirac (uncredited)
André Varennes ... Le brigadier (uncredited)
Henri Vilbert ... Un agent (uncredited)
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Directed by
Henri-Georges Clouzot 
Writing credits
Stanislas-André Steeman (novel) (as Mr. S.A. Steemann)

Henri-Georges Clouzot (adaptation) (as H.G. Clouzot) &
Stanislas-André Steeman (adaptation) (as S.A. Steemann)

Henri-Georges Clouzot  dialogue (uncredited)

Produced by
Alfred Greven .... executive producer in charge of production (uncredited)
Alfred Greven .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Maurice Yvain 
Cinematography by
Armand Thirard 
Film Editing by
Christian Gaudin (uncredited)
Set Decoration by
Andrej Andrejew  (as André Andrejew)
Sound Department
William Robert Sivel .... sound (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"L'assassin habite... au 21" - France (original title)
"The Murderer Lives at #21" - USA (alternative transliteration)
See more »
84 min | France:79 min (TV version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Wide Range Recording)

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Featured in La vie sera belle (2007) (TV)See more »


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26 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
Clouzot's brilliant debut., 7 December 2001
Author: dbdumonteil

In 1941,Georges Lacombe made "le dernier des six",adapted from a Stanislas André Steeman book.Clouzot wrote the script,and introduced his girlfriend Suzy Delair (Mila Malou, a character whom he created from start to finish,Steeman's sleuth M.Wens was a bachelor).

So here we are again:a new Steeman detective story (probably his masterpiece),Fresnay as the sleuth,and Delair a pain in the neck of a singer.(She had begun to "launch " her " career" of chanteuse in "le dernier des six";I recommend this earlier work to all these who enjoyed the 1942 movie)Steeman did not like the adaptation.The couple Delair/FResnay was not his cup of tea,and anyway,like Hercule Poirot doesn't investigate in "and then there were none",M.Wens (therefore Mila Malou,Clouzot's invention)is absent from the novel "l'assassin habite au 21".But what infuriated Steeman,twas mainly that his story was set in London,and Clouzot (German Occupation) was compelled to film in Paris.

What's the matter?Clouzot's first opus,is a gem,one of these mysteries with the ending you'll never guess.Agatha Christie's fans will relish watching that!Shall I give a clue ?Mathematically,it's a ternary notation.Computers,you can forget it!For the rest,my lips are sealed.

All Clouzot's work ,all that he will brilliantly develop in subsequent works is already here :a rotten microcosm (the boarding-house with a lot of wicked old people predates the school in "les diaboliques" and the small town in "le corbeau".His sarcastic humor shines here there and everywhere.He asserts his extraordinary skills by detailing the supporting characters.Of course a diabolical suspense (and admire the elegance of Clouzot's style,when Fresnay/Wens finds out what's been going on.)

In a nutshell,a serial killer is rampant in town:they discover his address.Alas it's a boarding-house!So whodunit?Sometimes I wonder whether this charming thriller might not be superior to the renowned "le corbeau" which was released the following year.With it,a director who influenced countless ones was born.

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