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A Scandal in Paris (1946)

Passed | | Adventure, Crime, Romance | 19 July 1946 (USA)
Born in a French prison in 1775, François Eugène Vidocq becomes a professional thief and is later appointed chief of Parisian police.

Director:

Douglas Sirk

Writers:

François-Eugène Vidocq (memoirs) (as Eugene Francois Vidocq), Ellis St. Joseph (adaptation)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Sanders ... Eugéne François Vidocq
Signe Hasso ... Therese De Pierremont
Carole Landis ... Loretta de Richet
Akim Tamiroff ... Emile Vernet
Gene Lockhart ... Prefect of Police Richet
Alma Kruger ... Marquise De Pierremont
Alan Napier ... Houdon De Pierremont
Jo Ann Marlowe Jo Ann Marlowe ... Mimi De Pierremont
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Uncle Hugo
Pedro de Cordoba ... Priest
Leona Maricle ... Owner of Dress Shop
Fritz Leiber ... Painter
Skelton Knaggs ... Cousin Pierre
Fred Nurney Fred Nurney ... Cousin Gabriel
Gisela Werbisek Gisela Werbisek ... Aunt Ernestine (as Gisella Werbiseck)
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Storyline

The autobiography of elegant criminal, François Eugène Vidocq, from his birth in a French jail in 1775 to his appointment as chief of police of Paris where he intends to rob the city bank. Along the way, he escapes from jail with Emile, who becomes his partner in crime, poses as a lieutenant to rob a showgirl of her ruby garter, and steals the jewels of a marquise in whose home he's a guest. He's also posed as an artist's model for a portrait of St. George (Emile's face is the dragon's), and the marquise's granddaughter falls in love first with his visage and then him. Can she help him slay his own dragons, especially when the showgirl reappears and the bank vault beckons? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every man has his price... and every woman pays it.


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 July 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of Vidocq See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Hedda Hopper Show - This Is Hollywood" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 23, 1946 with Akim Tamiroff reprising his film role. See more »

Quotes

Eugéne François Vidocq: There's no fool so dangerous as a fool with brains.
Loretta: Except a woman so foolish as to fall in love.
See more »

Crazy Credits

[prologue] Vidocq, Eugene Francois, born 1775, spent the first thirty years of his life in every kind of villainy, probably as a preparation for the work of detecting criminals which was to occupy the remainder of his life. He published two volumes of what purported to be the true history of his adventurous career...Encyclopedia Britannica. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vidocq (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Flame Song
Music by Hanns Eisler
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster (as Paul Webster)
Sung by Carole Landis
See more »

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User Reviews

Not Even Sanders Can Save This One
17 July 2009 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

From the title, I suspect the movie was marketed as a peek at those notoriously naughty French and their customs. After all, the year is 1946 and the coldly restrictive Production Code is in force in Hollywood. So audiences have to find titillation where they can and producers have to work in risqué spots as best they can. Here, the apparently nude swim (which really isn't), along with the occasionally revealing and shapely Carol Landis, does provide some visual stimulation. However, it's the script that provides the main innuendo, as other reviewers point out. The trouble is that much of that innuendo is pretty sophisticated and flies by too quickly to be savored. Seems to me, the script may have misjudged the distance between the European movie makers and thrill-seeking American audiences. All in all, I'd be curious to know how the average viewer of the day responded to this exercise in continental style and wit.

To me, the movie never really gels. On one dramatic end is Sanders playing it pretty straight, while on the other, is Lockhart clowning it up as a police official, no less. And in between are various shades of seriousness and tongue-in-cheek, such that the movie fails to establish a defining mood. Then too, the severity of the showdown at film's end strikes me as badly out of sync with the lighter parts. Add to that thinly disguised cardboard sets, an unusually dour ingénue (Signe Hasso), and the result is a kind of mish-mash that only occasionally works. Too bad the utterly charming whimsy of the final 30 seconds is not replicated by the feature itself. Still and all, no movie that sticks witty aphorisms onto the sardonic tongue of the incomparable George Sanders can be ignored.


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