A serial killer in London is murdering young women he meets through the personal columns of newspapers. He announces each of his murders to the police by sending them a cryptic poem. After ... See full summary »
An American World War I soldier, whose disfigured face is reconstructed by Austrian plastic surgeons, returns home after twenty years, but no one recognizes him, his widow is married to another man, and his son is a grown young man.
Ruth Raymond works on the switchboard and her boyfriend is John Blake. It has taken 14 years, but a detective named Murray has found her and confirmed that she is Ruth Carson. As a child, ... See full summary »
Anne Brooks is being blackmailed by her old dancing partner Maurice. They married when she was young but broke up after which he said he was getting a quickie divorce. Anne married the much... See full summary »
Failed singer Marian Washburn confesses she shot her friend, successful singer Susan Caldwell, but her manager Luke Jordan and Detective Fowler doubt her story and cannot establish a reasonable motive.
Robert will do anything to get the big account that has eluded him. His public relations business makes public angels of rich scoundrels. Jean needs someone to save the paper and she wants ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
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
[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 »
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.
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this