The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1949) - Plot Summary Poster


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

  • 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.

  • Bill Kirby, a dandy living off his aunt, wishes her dead in public and catches the ear of Radek, a desperate fellow who is very clever but also a bit loopy. Radek offers to murder the old lady so Kirby can get his inheritance, pay off his wife to divorce him, and marry his wife's friend. On the night of the murder, a would-be burglar named Heurtin stumbles upon the corpses of the old lady and her maid. Heurtin, who is almost legally blind, loses his glasses and must be helped home by the killer. Inspector Maigret is assigned to the case and quickly tracks down the owner of the thick glasses. Heurtin helps identify the Radek, but there is no real evidence against him. So begins a clever game of cat-and-mouse, in which Radek taunts the police with clues and his dirty money and blackmails Heurtin, then Kirby, and then Kirby's wife and mistress into to helping him, even while Maigret is patiently tailing him, waiting for him to make a mistake.



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