Paris...at the turn of the century. Inspector Vidocq investigates a series of unexplained murders at a Grand Guignol-type theatre...where the players have suddenly become real-life victims. Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe.
After several women are murdered, the police are baffled who the suspect is. All evidence points to Dupin, but soon it becomes apparent that it is something that is stronger and more deadlier than man.
Roy Del Ruth
The mysterious and grisly murders of a mother and daughter leave police investigators puzzled. Few clues were left behind. The killer could not have fled via the windows as they were nailed shut. Nor was the killer observed leaving by neighbors. It seems the only person with the skills to solve the crime is Auguste Dupin, who has been released from the police department by the new prefect. After much persuasion from his daughter, whose fiance is charged with the crime, Dupin begins to investigate the case on his own, and puts together quite an interesting scenario in solving the crime. Written by
For 42 years I went into battle with every case that was put before me. The solution of a crime made my blood pump. I thought it was my reason for living. Nothing came before my work. Nothing! When my wife died, I was out sorting for buttons from a dead man's shirt. I never regretted it. Never once! I had a higher calling. An honorable cause. The public trust! Hmmm. I thought it was my life. I let it become my life, and I'm a fool because of it! I can no more consult with you than apologize to ...
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Edgar Allan Poe's story sees another adaptation in this 80s made-for-TV outing starring some names in George C Scott, Rebecca De Mornay and Val Kilmer. It's diverting, but very unexceptional and stagy in the details. In honesty it's the strong performances that really carry this one, especially a stalwart Scott and a headstrong De Mornay. How the cast worked of each other kept me glued. Some atmospherics are etched out nicely, with fitting period details of a turn of a century Paris and there's a dark, grim air lurking about. The deaths happen off screen, but there's something ghastly about them and that's mainly due to its effective use of sound. However the story is all about the investigation/mystery of two murdered women and it's somewhat stiff in its execution of it. Even with the script throwing around ideas, theories in its quest to uncover the motive of the puzzling deaths it just fared as a typical crime plot of outrageous circumstances. Still at least it didn't find itself getting distracted by certain sub-plots. Earnest entertainment.
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