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
[awakened while playing chess]
[clears his throat and looks at the board]
Did I miss that? Am I losing my concentration as well as everything else?
You were asleep, Father?
That's no excuse for incompetence. I used to be able to sleep and think at the same time.
[laughs ironically and then adds introspectively]
I was famous for it.
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I've been waiting to see this film for about 10 years. There never was and there NEVER will be a truly great screen adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe. Because it can't be done. Given that Poe is definitely one of my favourite writers, you probably would suggest that I shouldn't watch any movie (or TV movie) based on one of his writings. True. But I love movies, and one of the best I've seen is The Pit and the Pendulum, directed by the great Roger Corman, which is an adaptation of Poe's short story and has virtually NOTHING to do with it. But Corman is Corman and he did 5 or 6 movies based (inspired by...) on Poe, and they're all classics (if you love this kind of cinema), and Vincent Price is absolutely splendid and...enough about history. Therefore, you should never expect a brilliant(or even decent)adaptation of Poe, but if you agree with that and if you are prepared to swallow characters and facts that aren't present in Poe's story (Murders in the Rue Morgue, that is) then you're in for a treat. The lugubrious atmosphere, the fluid camerawork, the impressive production design and the magnificent location all add panache to a well told (by David Epstein) and well directed (by Jeannot "Somewhere in Time" Szwarc) tale. And let's not forget the great, late George C.Scott, whose presence alone makes the film worthwile. And listen closely...If you love Poe just on paper, better stay away! If you haven't read the story (and if you like Scott), stick with it! Just remember - if you want a gore movie, wait till Dario Argento makes his own version. If you want an intellectual/perverse/subversive flick, talk to Polanski or De Palma. This one is just a TV movie.
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