This is,by far ,the worst version of Leroux's classic,which followed the worst version of "Le Mystere De La Chambre Jaune" .The latter was made by Aisner,this one was Daquin's work,with the same actors .
Daquin,whose precedent movie "Le point Du Jour " was technically impeccable but questionable in the way he broaches the miners' problems,did not get thumb-ups .The spirit of "Germinal" was far away.
So back to basics.He had brilliantly succeeded in transferring to the screen "Le Voyageur De La Toussaint " by Georges Simenon.So why not Gaston Leroux?
One should note that Daquin was not helped with the disastrous first episode "La Chambre Jaune" .But it seems that the sequel is even worse.The novel was cheapened and deprived of its emotional content: Rouletabille is no longer Mathilde Stangerson and Larsan's son,but he is in love with the woman.Marcel Herrand overplays and for the first time in his career ,he is almost unbearable;Serge Reggiani ,the bad boy of the French cinema (see his triumphs in "Manon" "Carrefour Des Enfants Perdus" "Les Portes De La Nuit"),is completely miscast as Rouletabille (and at 27 ,too old for the part anyway.)Hélène Perdrière as Mathilde is left on her own screeching and shrieking every five minutes.
Only the trial where the court is the inmates of the insane asylum is at a pinch rather disturbing.But Daquin is incapable of building a spooky atmosphere.
Like this? Try these
Le Parfum De La Dame En Noir Marcel Lherbier 1931 (best version)
Le Parfum De La Dame En Noir Denis Podalydès 2005
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