The 1842 Edgar Allan Poe story was a follow-up to his earlier "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." Writer Michael Jacoby ditched almost everything except the Paris setting and the title. He changed the detective's name to Paul Dupin and moved up the clock 47 years (to 1889) than the time set in the book. See more »
Edgar Allan Poe's three tales of Paris crime-solver C. Auguste Dupin are considered the first detective stories. "The Mystery of Marie Roget" is the least known of the three, and by far the dullest, but it has the distinction of being the first "ripped from the headlines" whodunit. Based on the unsolved murder of a minor New York celebrity named Mary Rogers, "Marie Roget" was a thinly fictionalized essay on the facts of that case and the newspapers' theories about it. (How thinly fictionalized was it? Poe even added footnotes to remind readers that he was actually talking about Mary Rogers!) There are plenty of colorful theories about why Poe came up with such a vague, confusing solution to the mystery, but he probably just didn't want to be proved wrong if the real crime was ever solved.
Any "Marie Roget" movie true to the original material would attract mostly scholars, literary buffs and insomniacs, but fortunately this film throws in elements from other Poe stories to liven things up. It also has Dupin do something a bit more exciting than sit in an armchair and deliver a lecture. He's called "Paul Dupin" here, but as Marie Roget might say, "Just call me Mary."
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