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Docteur Petiot (1990)

6.8
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From real Dr Petiot's life. During world war II Petiot, a M.D. in occupied Paris, promised to rich jew persons among his patients to pass them in Spain. In fact he drugged them and burnt ... See full summary »

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Title: Docteur Petiot (1990)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michel Serrault ...
Docteur Petiot
Pierre Romans ...
Drezner
Bérangère Bonvoisin ...
Georgette Petiot
Zbigniew Horoks ...
Nathan Guzik
Aurore Prieto ...
Madame Guzik
Nita Klein ...
Madame Kern
Claude Degliame
Martine Montgermont ...
Cécile Drezner
Nini Crépon ...
Collard
André Julien ...
Forestier
André Chaumeau ...
Célestin Nivelon
Axel Bogousslavsky ...
Louis Rossignol
Maxime Collion ...
Gérard Petiot
Nadège Boscher ...
Alice
Jean Dautremay ...
Gourlin
Edit

Storyline

From real Dr Petiot's life. During world war II Petiot, a M.D. in occupied Paris, promised to rich jew persons among his patients to pass them in Spain. In fact he drugged them and burnt them in his coal-range, steeling their wells. After Liberation he was condemned to death. Written by Anonymous

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Biography | Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

19 September 1990 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Doctor Petiot  »

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User Reviews

 
Murderous Docteur Petiot mirrors the Nazis during the French Occupation
16 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Docteur Petiot" is a beautifully focused and realized work of cinematic art. Every contribution to the film is well thought out and integrated with the rest. The lead actor who plays the evil Petiot, Michel Serrault, gives an indelible rendition under the direction of Christian de Chalonge.

The doctor tricks Jews into thinking he will get them out of France where they will be safe, but then he poisons them, later to incinerate their bodies. From a steady flow of these deceived escapees, he steals and accumulates their wealth. Petiot is a stand-in, a replication on a visible human scale of one person, of the Nazi exterminations and looting of treasures.

Chalonge views Petiot and by extension the Nazis as vampires and as evil masterminds and manipulators; he views them as starting off in possession of their faculties, albeit with twisted ends and ideas, but as progressing and succumbing in the end to madness, taken over by their own delusions of power, death, greed, race purity, and superiority. Petiot is a Mabuse-Caligari kind of character in some ways.

The images within this movie deserve a separate study. Petiot scurries around at night, pedaling a bike with a cart that transports the suitcases and treasures of his victims, his black cape fluttering like that of a giant bat or Dracula. Deep circles under his eyes make him look monstrous. He uses his position as doctor to assert authority and manipulate his victims. In a good many scenes, there are large dark and cavernous tunnels, giving an open and yet underground feeling. They remind one of the Nazi flair for exploiting large outdoor spaces and spectacles. In the same vein, his lair is a neoclassical structure of deceptive beauty, just as the Nazis brought back such ancient symbols, including in their architecture. But his mansion hides the locked chamber within in which his victims die, as if gassed, and the incinerator in the basement.

Petiot becomes a megalomaniac, asserting his ability to make a perpetual motion machine and claiming mathematical and predictive powers. This leads him to be very bold when his mansion is found out. He himself is almost always in motion, as if this would overcome his limitations of time and space. In his personal interactions, he tends to dominate.

This is quite a different kind of film, and it's inventive.


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