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The Mystery of the Yellow Room (2003)

Le mystère de la chambre jaune (original title)
A woman is sleeping in her bedroom. Her room can not be opened from the outside, but only from inside. When suddenly one night somebody attempted to murder her. Before the police arrived ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jean-Noël Brouté ...
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Scali Delpeyrat ...
Le greffier
...
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Julos Beaucarne ...
...
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Isabelle Candelier ...
Madame Bernier
Dominique Parent ...
Monsieur Bernier
George Aguilar ...
Petit-Pied, le garde-chasse
Patrick Ligardes ...
Le brigadier
Sylvain Solustri ...
William, homme en noir
Vincent Vedo Velli ...
Marcel, homme en noir
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Storyline

A woman is sleeping in her bedroom. Her room can not be opened from the outside, but only from inside. When suddenly one night somebody attempted to murder her. Before the police arrived the killer fled and was not to be found. The police come to investigate who the killer is and how did he get inside. Written by lovethebook

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Comedy | Crime | Mystery

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Release Date:

11 June 2003 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

The Mystery of the Yellow Room  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$797,399 (France) (20 June 2003)
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2.35 : 1
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Version of The Mystery of the Yellow Room (1913) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just another tedious and forgettable country house mystery
6 September 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I completely forgot that I'd seen this within a couple of days, which is pretty revealing in itself. The umpteenth version of Gaston 'Phantom of the Opera' Leroux's locked-door country-house mystery, I had heard that it was an engaging and witty update. So it appeared from the likable title sequence and a few neat touches in the opening scene, but the film very quickly ground to a halt and became vaguely tedious and wholly unsatisfying.

As a mystery the major problem is that it is fundamentally unsolvable by the audience: like the worst Agatha Christies, it depends on a character appearing in the final act with a wealth of background information that we have not been privy to. As a film, be it comedy or thriller, the crucial problem is that characterisation is almost non-existent. With the exception of the killer, everyone is a face-value version of the typical suspects in the typical country-house murder story - reporter, endangered heiress, suspicious fiancé, scatterbrained scientist father (a surprisingly poor Michel Lonsdale), etc. There's no depth and little of interest, and the frequently over-ripe or misjudged performances don't help. You frankly don't care about anyone in it, so there's no jeopardy or suspense. Only Claude Rich and, in the last reel, Pierre Arditi get anything to work with, and only in the last reel does the film get close to a sense of resonance that is too fleeting to be really effective.

For the rest, we get endless exposition and a couple of ineffective would-be comic set pieces (a promising one with a photographer trapped inside a grandfather clock is just too poorly thought through to pay off), with Dennis Podalydes reduced to Irving the Explainer for the last third of the picture. I'm not fond of country-house movies or Agatha Christie style whodunits, so those who are might cit it a lot more slack, but I found it a poor show. As Rich says when the mystery is revealed, "It's all rather something of a disappointment."


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