Willy Ferriere is dead broke and his mistress costs a lot. One day, he says in a pub that he would give 100,000 francs to get rid of his wealthy aunt. Someone lets him know it's a deal. The aunt is murdered, and a poor chap is manipulated to be the perfect suspect. But Superintendant Maigret feels something is wrong.Written by
The sinister medical student Radek (played by Valéry Inkijinoff), who is suspected by Maigret (played by Harry Baur) of having murdered a wealthy American woman, taunts Maigret by mentioning the famous real-life murder of Hollywood director William Desmond Taylor. Radek claims that the police were aware of the identity of Taylor's killer, but could not make an arrest, because the suspect had committed the "perfect crime." Although many books and works of entertainment have speculated on the case, the Taylor murder has never been solved. See more »
Radek is sitting on his bed, talking to the girl, then lies down on his side with his head on his hand. After the cut to a longer angle, he is lying flat on his back. See more »
A thoroughly enjoyable crime drama from Julien Duvivier which had it all for me - the atmosphere of smoky French cafes, a clever plot with its wrinkle in a murder for hire scheme, a fantastic villain (Valéry Inkijinoff), very nice camera work and editing, and the warbling of a plaintive song by Missia, giving Édith Piaf a run for her money. It felt ahead of its time and Hitchcockian (as overused as that comparison is), but at the same time, has that wonderful sense of place in 1930s France. I loved the flirtation and the little references sprinkled into the script, e.g. to the William Desmond Taylor murder, Louis XIV's "little country cottage," and the scrawl on the wall saying "Don't shoot the piano player, he's doing the best he can." I also loved the cat and mouse game with the detective (Harry Baur). One to seek out.
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