The autobiography of elegant criminal, François Eugène Vidocq, from his birth in a French jail in 1775 to his appointment as chief of police of Paris where he intends to rob the city bank. ... See full summary »
The autobiography of elegant criminal, François Eugène Vidocq, from his birth in a French jail in 1775 to his appointment as chief of police of Paris where he intends to rob the city bank. Along the way, he escapes from jail with Emile, who becomes his partner in crime, poses as a lieutenant to rob a showgirl of her ruby garter, and steals the jewels of a marquise in whose home he's a guest. He's also posed as an artist's model for a portrait of St. George (Emile's face is the dragon's), and the marquise's granddaughter falls in love first with his visage and then him. Can she help him slay his own dragons, especially when the showgirl reappears and the bank vault beckons? Written by
This film is excellent! I don't understand why anyone would call this the "nadir" of Sirk's career, as it is far more intelligent than any of Sirk's famous melodramas. While I enjoy those films, this remains my favorite Sirk picture. The story chronicles the misadventures of pretty rascal turned gentleman thief, Eugene Vidocq, played by the eternal screen cad George Sanders. This is one of Sanders' best caddish roles, as he sidles around chateaux and graveyards, uttering lines such as "sometimes the chains of marriage as so heavy they must be carried by three". In addition to the witty, frothy humour, there is a dark undercurrent to the film that is evidenced in its noirish photography and the amorality of the lead characters. High recommended to fans of Old Hollywood who enjoy the more eclectic films of that period!
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