In 1848, a young Frenchwoman, Madeline Minot, goes to New York City to see Thevenet, the grandfather of her fiance. Thevenet had been with Napoleon and may be sympathetic to the political ... See full summary »
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In 1848, a young Frenchwoman, Madeline Minot, goes to New York City to see Thevenet, the grandfather of her fiance. Thevenet had been with Napoleon and may be sympathetic to the political aims of his grandson. She finds the old man in very bad spirits, living in a large house with a housekeeper and a butler who are just waiting for him to die (and perhaps helping him along a bit) so they can inherit his fortune. They see Madeline as a threat to their plans. She is aided in her dealings with these strange people by a mysterious man in a cloak. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After the first meeting with Madeleine, Charles Theverner addresses his pet raven named Villon, after the French poet François Villon, and quotes from Villon's "Ballade des dames du temps jadis" ("Ballad of the Ladies of Times Past"): "Où sont les neiges d'antant?" ("Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!"). Later, Dupin quotes the same Ballad in English. He also reads from the book a few lines of Edgar Poe's "The Raven." See more »
A semi-historical costume drama about literature's first detective (or his author), as played by Joseph Cotton. The acting is excellent all around. Cotton is good, he doesn't try to do too much with his role, & it would have been tempting to ham it up during some drinking scenes, but he underplays his part nicely. Barbara Stanwyck is deliciously evil as she tries every imaginable trick to achieve her goal. Leslie Caron is cute & believable as a French woman in a role tailor made for her. Joe De Santis does well as the heavy. Louis Calhern overpowers each scene he's in, but that's what his character calls for. Another thing I enjoyed about this film is that it's apparently headed towards several cliches, but manages to avoid them before getting there & doesn't follow the usual expected plot pattern. It's by no means a Film Noir, but it shares some very snappy dialog with that genre, especially between Cotton & Stanwyck. If the film had a little more suspense or mystery, & it would have been a real winner. I rate it 7/10.
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