One of Fernandel's most obscure movies,"Le Mystere Saint-val " is yet thoroughly enjoyable;made just after the LIberation,it is the perfect entertainment movie .A spoof on detective stories,part suspense ,part comedy ,the movie offers a little something for everybody.
Fernandel has just won the "amateur policeman contest" and he is so glad he 's telling all the people around;he is an insure agent ,and his boss,his uncle,is impressed:a man took out a big life insurance and died soon afterward.So the nephew is given the responsibility of carrying out an inquiry in the widow's gloomy castle.
Playing the occasional private eye is no picnic,mainly when the not-so-merry widow ,then the guests die one by one .....Who is doing away with them?Wrong tracks,hidden messages,blowpipes and curare,hanging ....and then there were two,the detective and the last guest....
The plot borrows a lot from Agatha Christie's "and then there were none"(1939),the Hitchcock buff will also notice how "Rebecca"'s Mrs Denver (1940)inspired the character of the -dumb but not deaf- housekeeper when she first appears .
Although the ending is predictable -why ,after all ,don't they run away from this sinister place,or don't they call the real police,for they are not on a island ?- but its final unexpected twist is followed by another one ,which proves that ,after all,as a detective ,our clerk has shown his ability.
Like this? try this......
"murder by death" (Robert Moore,1976)
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