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A charming and very daring thief known as Arsene Lupin is terrorizing the wealthy of Paris, he even goes so far as to threaten the Mona Lisa. But the police, led by the great Guerchard, think they know Arsene Lupin's identity, and they have a secret weapon to catch him.Written by
Ken Yousten <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film received its initial television broadcast in Altoona PA Monday 8 July 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10); it first aired in Los Angeles 22 November 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), in Spokane 30 December 1957 on KHQ (Channel 6), in Chicago 17 January 1958 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Seattle 20 January 1958 on KING (Channel 5), in Portland OR 27 January 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), in Indianapolis 20 February 1958 on WLW-I (Channel 13), in both Hartford CT and in Salt Lake City 3 March 1958 on WHCT (Channel 18) and on KTVT (Channel 4), in Philadelphia 11 March 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6), in New Haven CT 25 Marc h 1958 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Norfolk VA 1 April 1958 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Windsor ON (serving Detroit) 9 April 1958 on CKLW (Channel 9), in Honolulu 13 April 1958 on KHVH (Channel 13), in Cleveland 15 April 1958 on KYW (Channel 3), and in San Francisco 28 May 1958 on KGO (Channel 7); New York City finally got a look at it 25 May 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »
After Guerchard gets a description of the suspect and is told there are five hobnails in the right heel, he asks to look at the cast of the shoe. After looking at it briefly, he says he will take the cast of the footprint too. However, when he leaves, he takes only the cast of the footprint. See more »
[to Chamerace, who has entered his bedroom to find her naked in his bed]
Stay out of here. Stay out of here!
How do you do?
Close that door!
[closes door, staying inside the room]
Won't you please go?
Certainly. But first, let me ask, how do you like my bed?
Well, I didn't mean to, really. I was cold.
Oh, yes, it is a cold night for May. However, don't you think Paris is charming in the spring?
Well, I prefer Russia. You see, I come from there.
[...] See more »
As a kid, I used to watch the Japanese anime series updating the exploits of the titular jewel thief (where he was depicted as an over- sexed buffoon, flanked by a shapely girl and two taciturn but deadly accomplices!) – though I have yet to check out the renowned Hayao Miyazaki's 1979 feature-length THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO inspired from it, which I acquired some time ago. I also own and am already familiar with two well-regarded French efforts (retaining the turn-of-the-century setting), namely THE ADVENTURES OF ARSENE LUPIN (1957; stylishly helmed by Jacques Becker) and SIGNED, ARSENE LUPIN (1959); for the record, others which intrigue me are the 1962 ARSENE LUPIN VS. ARSENE LUPIN and the 1971 TV series, both also emanating from the character's 'native' country.
However, the film under review – which I had first acquired via a TV-to- VHS-to-DVD conversion of poor quality, but which I eventually upgraded (albeit still culled from a TCM screening) – remains perhaps the most popular rendition of this debonair figure; by the way, I also have in my collection its direct but-as-yet unwatched 1938 sequel ARSENE LUPIN RETURNS. Incidentally, such gentlemen crooks were a regular feature of pulp fiction (notably the similarly much-filmed "Raffles": I own versions of it dating from 1917 – starring, as here, John Barrymore – 1925, 1930 – alas, only a TV-to-VHS copy – and 1939!) until they made way for more ruthless and ambitious criminal masterminds such as Fantomas and Dr. Mabuse.
Anyway, this classy production – best-known for first teaming John with his elder brother Lionel (they would appear together 5 times in 2 years, on one of which they were even joined by sister Ethel!) – is most enjoyable, with a plot which has since become a cliché: the protagonist's duality (hiding under an air of respectability and, at one point, the guise of an aged flower-seller to pull off a daring 'job' at the Louvre); the analogous deception by the woman in his life (or, more precisely, the one he finds in his bed – a delightfully racy scene for an MGM picture but, then, this was a "Pre-Code" release – during a reception!); Lupin's tenacious, but ultimately sympathetic, antagonist (whose physical attributes – including a prominent limp – actually fit the description of the 'villain' as given by an eye-witness!); the ultra-modern gadgets (a safe without the proverbial combination but 'armed' with an electrical charge), etc.
John Barrymore's famed good looks ("The Great Profile" was 50 at the time) and up-till-then infrequently-tapped comic timing (though he would increasingly come to rely upon it for the rest of his career!) make him, respectively, ideal casting and a pleasure to watch; for what it is worth, I have as many as 23 titles of his still to go through even if only 4 fall into my current exercise of movie viewing based on all-time best polls and the higher ratings bestowed by Leslie Halliwell and Leonard Maltin!
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