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Mystery of Marie Roget (1942)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery | 23 April 1942 (USA)
A detective tries to unravel the strange circumstances surrounding the death of a young actress.

Director:

Writers:

(based on story by), (as Michel Jacoby)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Marie Roget
Maria Ouspenskaya ...
Mme. Cecile Roget
...
M. Henri Beauvais
Edward Norris ...
Marcel Vigneaux
Lloyd Corrigan ...
Prefect Gobelin
Nell O'Day ...
Camille Roget
...
Magistrate
Clyde Fillmore ...
Mons. De Luc
Paul E. Burns ...
Gardener (as Paul Burns)
Norma Drury Boleslavsky ...
Madame De Luc (as Norma Drury)
...
Curator at the zoo
William Ruhl ...
Detective (as Bill Ruhl)
...
Naval Officer
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Storyline

A detective tries to unravel the strange circumstances surrounding the death of a young actress.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beautiful beast! Maddening...with her soft caress! Murdering...with steel-clawed terror! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 April 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Phantom of Paris  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the original Shock Theatre package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed a year later by Son of Shock, which added 20 more features. See more »

Soundtracks

Mama Dit Moi
Written by Everett Carter & Milton Rosen
Sung by Dorothy Triden, dubbing Maria Montez
(uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
MYSTERY OF MARIE ROGET (Philip Rosen, 1942) **1/2
3 October 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This was among the very few remaining vintage Universal Horror titles, a genuine 'B' movie but a surprisingly effective one nonetheless – if only tenuously related to the genre (being based on an Edgar Allan Poe tale, the presence of an ostensibly dangerous animal i.e. a leopard, thus anticipating the Val Lewton chiller THE LEOPARD MAN {1943}, and its utilizing a steel-claw for a murder weapon that literally obliterates the victims' faces…which, apart from the latter film itself, would subsequently see service in at least 2 more of the studio's efforts, namely the Sherlock Holmes adventure THE SCARLET CLAW {1944} and the maligned SHE-WOLF OF London {1946}!).

Incidentally, this can be considered an unofficial sequel to one of the earliest Universal horror classics, MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1932), since it is not only set in much the same surroundings as that more popular Poe story but it actually features one of the protagonists, forensic expert Pierre Dupin (here played by stiff-upper-lipped but likable Patric Knowles, who around this same time would co-star in two higher-profile genre efforts for the studio in THE WOLF MAN {1941} and its direct successor in the Larry Talbot franchise FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN {1943}!). For the record, MYSTERY OF MARIE ROGET managed to rope in another cast member of those very pictures, Maria Ouspenskaya…who is at her most outspoken here, constantly belittling Prefect of Police and Knowles' long-suffering sidekick Lloyd Corrigan (who indeed has no easier time with the doctor, in view of the fact that the latter never bothers to fully explain his schemes in entrapping criminals to his understandably flustered superior!).

Which brings us to nominal lead Maria Montez though, given the brevity of her appearance in an already tight 61-minute film, this cannot be deemed a star vehicle for her (as it happens, I currently have 7 of those in my "To Watch" pile!). Anyway, while heavily-accented, she does get to warble a song in French (to the evident delight of Corrigan) and, in any case, her character is established as being wicked…which Knowles goes to extreme lengths to prove (by stealthily extracting the brain from her corpse in the morgue – the scene evoking FRANKENSTEIN {1931} in conception and MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM {1933} in execution – and, under advise from some eminent authority on the workings of the criminal mind, carrying out experiments on it off-screen!).

Despite watching this via a worn-out VHS print, where the detail is so far gone one can hardly discern the actors' facial features(!), the unmistakable atmosphere of a good old Universal horror movie is well in evidence, thus making this a blast (if clearly a minor entry in the field). For what it is worth, we are also treated to a horse-and-carriage chase along the cobbled streets of a studio-built Paris and, while I was sure I had figured out the culprit's true identity, the script (which is surprisingly complex and eminently engaging) went on to prove me wrong by making him out to be the guilty party the Police had fingered all along!


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