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The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1950)

French police inspector Maigret investigates the murder of a rich Paris widow and ends up chasing the killer up the Eiffel Tower's girders.


Burgess Meredith, Irving Allen (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


Harry Brown (screenplay), Georges Simenon (novel)

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1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Charles Laughton ... Inspector Jules Maigret
Franchot Tone ... Johann Radek
Burgess Meredith ... Joseph Heurtin
Robert Hutton ... Bill Kirby
Jean Wallace ... Edna Wallace
Patricia Roc ... Helen Kirby
Belita ... Gisella Heurtin
George Thorpe George Thorpe ... Comelieu
William Phipps ... Janvier
William Cottrell William Cottrell ... Moers
Chaz Chase ... Waiter
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Professor Grollet


In Paris, a down and out medical student Johann Radek (Franchot Tone) is paid by Bill Kirby (Robert Hutton) to murder his wealthy aunt. A knife grinder (Burgess Meredith) is suspected, but Radek keeps taunting the police until they realize that he is the killer. The police and Maigret (Charles Laughton) are led on chases through the streets and over the rooftops of Paris and finally up the girders of the Eiffel Tower. Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PARIS As You've Never Seen It Before! See more »


Mystery | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »



USA | France


English | French

Release Date:

4 February 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Mann vom Eiffelturm See more »


Box Office


$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)| Color (Anscocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Producer Irving Allen was the original director, but after only three days of shooting, Charles Laughton threatened to quit if Burgess Meredith did not take over. Laughton directed the scenes in which Meredith appeared. See more »


Radek manages to climb from the ground almost to the top of the Eiffel tower, on the outside using the framework only, in record time using no climbing equipment and dressed in street clothes. Although the distance is actually only 300 metres it would take even a professional climber at least a couple of hours as the headwinds and cross currents would make it hugely difficult and time consuming. Yet at times Radek manages to climb faster than the tower elevator can move. See more »


Inspector Jules Maigret: [to Johann Radek] By the way - there's one thing I'd like to know. Am I following you, or are you following me?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, the "City of Paris" is given fifth billing as a star of the film. See more »


Featured in Jucy (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Thriller , mystery , suspense with awesome Charles Laughton-Jules Maigret investigating the killer's identity
11 July 2007 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

There were various production problems on this picture , including Charles Laughton's menacing to walk off the picture , as he asked leaving if the original director , Irving Allen , threatening to be replaced and Burguess Meredith then carried on the filming . The film happens in Paris , there a dandy named Bill Kirby (Robert Hutton : Invisible invader , Slime people , Vulture) wishes death his aunt , so he can get her inheritance and pay off divorce his spouse (Patricia Roc : Wicked lady , Canyon passage) and marry his lover (Jean Wallace , Cornel Wilde's wife) . A medicine ex-student named Radek (Franchot Tone , also film's producer) is hired to kill the old lady . By night , a knifes grinder , now become thief , named Heurtin (star Burgess Meredith eventually filmmaker) aware the murder but he loses his glasses and he's helped by the assassin . He's framed of killing and then escapes . Meanwhile , Radek is taunting the police and leaving fake clues and banter on Kirby's two women : the wife and lover . Inspector Maigret becomes involved into investigation and swiftly discovers the owner of the thick glasses , though there is no real evidence against him . Then , Inspector Maigret undergoes a cat and mouse game with Radek . It's a battle of wits , an obstinate detective and an intelligent villain , and winds up pitting two rivals against each other in order to destroy themselves . Meanwhile , there are developed pursuits through Paris streets , squares and on rooftops and an exciting chase on the girders of Eiffel Tower.

The film is based on Georges Simenon novel about the famous detective Inspector Maigret who is adapted on various cinematic renditions . The movie displays suspense , thriller , action , mystery and results to be quite amusing . Casting is frankly magnificent , Laughton is excellent , as always , as Maigret who is early assigned to the case and quickly tracks down the suspicious ; Tone as a maniac-depressive man is top-notch and magnificent Burguess Meredith as a knife grinder becomes involved with problems , he directed partially the film when Laughton threatened to quit if Burgess Meredith did not take over . Besides , appearing Wilfrid Hyde White as a sympathetic professor and Howard Vernon (Jesus Franco's usual actor) as an Inspector . Numerous problems during shooting , as producer Irving Allen was the original director, but after only three days of shooting , Laughton directed the scenes in which Meredith appeared .

Adapted from Georges Simenon's 1931 novel "La Tête d'un homme", his fifth to feature Inspector Maigret . It had already been filmed in France, under its original title, in 1933 . In spite of being splendidly shown streets , squares , monuments from Paris : River Sena , Eliseos Fields , Pigalle , Concorde Square and photographed by expert cameraman Stanley Cortez (Night of hunter , Magnificent Amberson , Secret beyond the door), the cinematography is lousy and faded but the film copy is worn-out , it's necessary an urgent remastering . The motion picture was rightly directed by Burguess Meredith , who replaced director Irving Allen (who was also one of the film's producer) . Allen himself was very dissatisfied with the final results . After its initial run , he bought the film rights back from RKO and kept the prints out of circulation for a long time. Many believed that the film was lost, even Meredith . However, it has been released on VHS and DVD and can be relatively easily found at rental stores . Burguess , subsequently , directed other film titled the ¨Yin and Yang of Mr. Go¨ , as well . The flick will appeal to Charles Laughton fans and intrigue lovers but contains a highly suspense story .

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