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The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942)

L'assassin habite... au 21 (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 16 August 1947 (USA)
1:57 | Trailer
Inspector Wens moves into a Paris boarding house to catch a serial killer.


Henri-Georges Clouzot (as H. G. Clouzot)


Stanislas-André Steeman (novel) (as Mr. S.A. Steemann), Henri-Georges Clouzot (adaptation) (as H.G. Clouzot) | 1 more credit »





Complete credited cast:
Pierre Fresnay ... L'inspecteur Wenceslas Wens
Suzy Delair ... Mila Malou - la maîtresse tapageuse de Wens
Jean Tissier ... Triquet, aka professeur Lalah-Poor
Pierre Larquey ... Monsieur Colin
Noël Roquevert ... Docteur Théodore Linz
René Génin ... Alfred, l'ivrogne
Jean Despeaux Jean Despeaux ... Kid Robert
Marc Natol ... Armand, le valet de chambre (as Natol)
Huguette Vivier ... Mademoiselle Vania
Odette Talazac ... Madame Point
Maximilienne Maximilienne ... Mademoiselle Cuq
Sylvette Saugé Sylvette Saugé ... Christiane Perret, la poule
Louis Florencie ... Commissaire Monnet
André Gabriello André Gabriello ... L'agent Pussot (as Gabriello)
Raymond Bussières ... Jean-Baptiste Turlot (as Bussières)


Dapper Inspector Vorobechik ('Wens' for short) is assigned the case of a serial killer who leaves a calling card on his victims; Monsieur Durand. Wens' mistress, struggling actress Mila Malou, determines to get publicity for herself by helping him. Learning that Durand is one of the eccentric tenants of a boarding house at No. 21 Avenue Junot, Wens takes a room in the guise of a Protestant minister; only to be followed by Mila who hardly seems like a minister's wife! Suspects are arrested, but while each is in jail, there's another murder... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PIERRE FRESNAY as the French Dick who knew all the answers in a Merry Murder Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


There is a poster for this movie displayed in the theatre in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. See more »


Near the beginning of the film, before Wren's boss goes into his office looking for him, a clear shadow of the boom microphone is visible on the wall behind him in the hallway. See more »


Mademoiselle Cuq: Don't forget, Doctor that you're talking to a real lady.
Docteur Théodore Linz: real ladies don't spend an hour in the bathroom.
Mademoiselle Cuq: You must have been spying on me, like you were this morning.
Docteur Théodore Linz: Spying? You think I looked through the keyhole?
Mademoiselle Cuq: I wouldn't be surprised.
Docteur Théodore Linz: You're wrong, I've never found ancient ruins an attractive sight!
See more »


Referenced in Inglourious Basterds (2009) See more »

User Reviews

A beautiful thriller
2 July 2013 | by vogonifySee all my reviews

What a smart film this is! It took me a while to get around after the proverbial rug was pulled from under my feet towards its climax.

It is a thriller, but not just that. It is a comedy, but never distracting from the overall tone. It is intelligent, but doesn't take a cheat breather at the end to cover up writing inadequacies.

A policeman has to catch a serial killer in two days. He has for company an ambitious woman who is far from qualified to be in situations she intends to be in. He has a clue. And he has a set of strange people amongst whom he feels he has his target.

A fabulous whodunit ensues. Add to this the beautiful language of the French in what is a fairly verbose film, and you have an absolute must- see. Along with Laura, this is one of my favourite suspense thrillers from the 40s and I definitely recommend it.

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Release Date:

16 August 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Murderer Lives at #21 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Continental Films, Liote See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System Wide Range)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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