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Bluebeard (1944)

6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,139 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 26 critic

In Paris, an artist hires portrait models, and after he finishes their portraits, he strangles them.

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Title: Bluebeard (1944)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Inspector Jacques Lefevre
Ludwig Stössel ...
Jean Lamarte (as Ludwig Stossel)
George Pembroke ...
Inspector Renard
Teala Loring ...
Francine Lutien
Sonia Sorel ...
Renee Claremont
Henry Kolker ...
Deschamps
Emmett Lynn ...
Le Soldat
Iris Adrian ...
Mimi Robert
Patti McCarty ...
Babette
Carrie Devan ...
Constance
Anne Sterling ...
Jeanette Le Beau
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Storyline

A killer of young women, dubbed Bluebeard, is loose in Paris. Lucille and her friends meet Gaston Morrell, a puppeteer. He invites them to a show the next night; they go. Afterwards, he walks with Lucille; she offers to make costumes for his next show, he accepts, and feelings develop that may lead to love. She suspects he has a tragic past. Meanwhile, his leaving the show with Lucille prompts the jealousy of Renee, Gaston's sometime lover. Lucille's younger sister, Francine, comes back to Paris - her boyfriend is Inspector Lefebre, who's hunting for Bluebeard. Some clues point toward Lamart, a greedy art dealer. Who is in danger, and can Gaston be trusted? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most sinister love story ever told!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barba Azul  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Sonia Sorel (Mrs. John Carradine). She went on to do several more titles for director Edgar G. Ulmer. See more »

Quotes

Lucille: What would Bluebeard want with me?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: The Screaming Skull (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Strains incorporated into the score at the inspector's office
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Carradine shines in this uneven Grade B thriller
27 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this on a cheap DVD copy, and the film may have lost a bit in translation, but time has not been kind to the soundtrack, the dialogue muffled, and the background music overbearing. Even so, this is clearly a very uneven production saved mainly by the two leads and the high notes of artistry within an overall muddy piece.

Carradine is fantastic. This is a great role for him, displaying diverse talents. He is unfortunately not directed with any subtlety, and it is clear that he is the villain from the beginning, so this becomes more a story of "will the villain be redeemed by love?" That makes this film more interesting than a standard thriller.

Jean Parker is really luminous and lovely, and is the only young female in the cast that captures the feeling of the time period. The actress playing her sister is arch and tart enough to be playing a film noir gun moll, and the other young actresses are just horrible, and horribly directed, and completely out of place in a period film... they must all have come from the local bar.

The movie has elements that make it interesting and artistic, the focus on painting style, the accomplished and beautiful puppet show. It becomes fairly clear that this movie should have been called The Puppetmaster... that kind of "just missed the mark" moment mars many elements of this film. It starts with the title BLUEBEARD, which is bandied about, but never followed up on, and continues. THE PUPPETMASTER would have been a great premise and title for this film that could have unified it.

Others have mentioned this being a poverty row film, and that does endear it to me... but being from 1944, this is not that early a film, and it is simply a grade B shocker - a precursor to Vincent Price's wonderful performances in many B thriller shockers. If this was an attempt to make a period film in film noir style, it was a mismarriage.

Still, I give it a 4 - slightly below average, because in the overview of film history, we have much higher budget films that are infinitely worse on all levels. A similar, earlier film, but much better on all levels, is John Barrymore's SVENGALI. If you liked this, you will LOVE that.


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does anyone else find it odd... anacamille
The film can be watched here tomwoodward5
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