20 user 36 critic

The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942)

L'assassin habite... au 21 (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 16 August 1947 (USA)
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?


The 100,000 francs reward for the capture of Durand was the equivalent of $88,417 at the time or about $1,300,000 in 2016. 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 »


Featured in Life Will Be Beautiful (2007) See more »

User Reviews

Certainly not in the same league with his later films.
14 September 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This film is about a series of murders all done, apparently, by someone calling themselves 'Mr. Durand'. At the scene of every murder, they leave a calling card taking credit for the killings and Inspector Wens is determined to get to the bottom of it. The trail leads to a boarding house and, with the unwelcome help of Mila, he will attempt to solve these horrible crimes.

Henri-Georges Clouzot directed some wonderful French thrillers and is one of the best directors of his age. Films like his "Le Corbeau", "Quai des Orfèvres", "Wages of Fear" and "Diabolique" are brilliant and must be seen. However, in this early film, "The Murderer Lives at Number 21" he does not show the greatness that would make him famous. It's decent--but also a bit annoying. Why annoying? Because Clouzot was wonderful with suspense but combining suspense with comedy was a big mistake--making this an enjoyable but lightweight film. I say lightweight because some of the acting is so incredibly broad that scenes with Mila (Suzy Delair) are often a bit painful. Overall, it is worth seeing--but don't expect his later brilliance.

9 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






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 »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed