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The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1949)

Unrated | | Mystery, Thriller | 4 February 1950 (USA)
French police inspector Maigret investigates the murder of a rich Paris widow and ends up chasing the killer up the Eiffel Tower's girders.

Directors:

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

Writers:

Harry Brown (screenplay), Georges Simenon (novel)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

MURDER! MYSTERY! MANHUNT! in the gayest city in the world! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

4 February 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Mann vom Eiffelturm See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)| Color (Anscocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Considered a flop on it's release it was quickly forgotten and considered a 'lost film' for several decades. The film fell out of copyright and was not renewed as it was considered an 'indpendent' production and the negative was not in the RKO archives and was considered lost (RKO were the original US distributors but not the copyright owners and the film was picked up by independent distributors in most other countries it was screened in). However two color prints eventually turned up, one purportedly in the 1980s and one in the possession of the estate of Burgess Meredith, who died in 1997. Whilst neither print was in fantastic condition, they were cleaned up as much as reasonably possible and the prints shown on TV and released onto DVD are a mixture of the best surviving elements combined from both prints (reports say the surviving prints were 35mm but visual inspection of the grain in the image seems to indicate that at least one of the prints was originally 16mm and then blown up to 35mm somewhere along the line). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Remake of La tête d'un homme (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

Burgess Meredith en Rouge? Sacre Bleu!!
17 May 2004 | by PolitiComSee all my reviews

Dedicated film buffs will find only three elements of interest in this

otherwise disappointing production.

1. It was shot in Anscocolor, a process originally developed in Germany

designed to compete with Technicolor which it did with some success into

the 1950's. It's use here is unintentionally amusing because in the VHS

version it has been so badly degraded that rather than full color most

of the scenes appear as sepia-toned with the exception of Burgess

Meredith's hair which is an incongruous flaming red!

Anscocolor was used successfully in a number of films during this same

era such as The Student Prince, Brigadoon, Take the High Ground (with

Richard Widmark) and The Long, Long Trailer starring Lucille Ball and

Desi Arnaz.

2. The atmosphere of post-war Paris is used to good effect and is

historically interesting, but still meager compensation for a dull,

plodding narrative.

3. While Burgess Meredith is listed as the director there were actually

two others. Irving Allen, who later went on to become a noted producer, was replaced

at the insistence of Charles Laughton who then directed the scenes in

which Meredith appeared.

If you are fan of Georges Simenon's detective novels, you will also be

annoyed by Laughton's uninspired portrayal of the iconic Inspector

Maigret.....


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