In Paris, a down and out medical student Johann Radek (Franchot Tone) is paid by Bill Kirby (Robert Hutton) to murder his wealthy aunt. A knife grinder (Burgess Meredith) is suspected, but ... See full summary »
In Paris, a down and out medical student Johann Radek (Franchot Tone) is paid by Bill Kirby (Robert Hutton) to murder his wealthy aunt. A knife grinder (Burgess Meredith) is suspected, but Radek keeps taunting the police until they realize that he is the killer. The police and Maigret (Charles Laughton) are led on chases through the streets and over the rooftops of Paris and finally up the girders of the Eiffel Tower. Written by
Herman Seifer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While perhaps not all that good, The Man on the Eiffel Tower is nonetheless entertaining and not nearly as bad as some have offered. Yes, the direction is less than inspiring throughout much of the picture. Burgess Meredith doesn't really seem to get a grasp on creating tension but more importantly some kind of depth for his characters. Charles Laughton, the rotund actor who I personally have never seen give a bad performance, plays the legendary Inspector Maigret from the Georges Simenon novels. I have not read them and therefore an ill-equipped to make any comparisons. I do think Laughton gave the best performance in the film even though, yes, you might say if was a bit off-kilter and subdued even for him. Meredith plays his typical milquetoast individual with workmanlike skill, and Franchot Tone gives at sometimes a very creepy, erratic, unnerving performance as the titular man of the film. The city shots of Paris, though my copy had a somewhat grainy color quality, were impressive and the denouement at the Eiffel Tower easily was the film's most noteworthy attribute. This film was just engaging enough to interest me and it is populated with an above-average cast.
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