6.7/10
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27 user 4 critic

The Man with a Cloak (1951)

In 1848 NYC, a Frenchwoman visits exiled former French Marshal Thevenet to ask for his financial help in behalf of his French grandson but Thevenet's house staff schemes to kill him and take his fortune.

Director:

Fletcher Markle

Writers:

Frank Fenton (written for the screen by), John Dickson Carr (based on a story by)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joseph Cotten ... Dupin
Barbara Stanwyck ... Lorna Bounty
Louis Calhern ... Charles Francois Thevenet
Leslie Caron ... Madeline Minot
Joe De Santis ... Joseph Martin
Jim Backus ... Flaherty
Margaret Wycherly ... Emma Flynn
Richard Hale ... Durand
Nicholas Joy ... Dr. Roland
Roy Roberts ... Policeman
Mitchell Lewis ... Waiter
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Storyline

In 1848, a young Frenchwoman, Madeline Minot, goes to New York City to see Thevenet, the grandfather of her fiance. Thevenet had been with Napoleon and may be sympathetic to the political aims of his grandson. She finds the old man in very bad spirits, living in a large house with a housekeeper and a butler who are just waiting for him to die (and perhaps helping him along a bit) so they can inherit his fortune. They see Madeline as a threat to their plans. She is aided in her dealings with these strange people by a mysterious man in a cloak. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What strange hold did this man have over the lives of these two beautiful women ?

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 May 1952 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gentleman from Paris See more »

Filming Locations:

USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$882,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$441,000, 31 December 1951

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$763,000, 31 December 1951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to a contemporary article in The Hollywood Reporter, Lionel Barrymore was originally cast as Thevenet, but was too ill. Director Fletcher Markle wanted Marlene Dietrich for the role of Lorna, but she turned it down. See more »

Quotes

Flaherty: And to show you I have indeed read the book, it says in Ecclesiastes "Money answereth all things".
Dupin: In bitterness, Flaherty, it was said in bitterness!
Flaherty: That's the way I was asking for it.
See more »

Soundtracks

Another Yesterday
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Earl K. Brent
Performed by Barbara Stanwyck (dubbed by Harriet Lee)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
No Dagger, but a Great Cloak
16 July 2010 | by randwolfraySee all my reviews

Thank goodness for TCM, because every once in a while we catch a forgotten gem not yet available on DVD, and this is one of those. Sure it's a somewhat lightweight film, but it has its heavy moments, and sometimes you don't feel like watching "War and Peace," you just want something entertaining and substantive enough to keep you watching. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

The setting in 1848 New York was interesting. I like stories with time periods and settings not usually thought of. When you mention the 1800s most Americans are thinking cowboys and Indians and the Old West, or else the Civil War. Yet there were whole regions and eras in our country's history not usually covered that surely are brimming with stories.

Some have criticized the movie for its stilted dialog, but hey, that's the way upper crust people talked back then. Just try reading a book written in 1848 by a more cultured author, and you'll see what I mean. I found it interesting to listen to. The cast was great, too. I have never thought of Joseph Cotten as a particularly handsome actor, but that mustache made him look rather dashing! He should have worn it more often. And then there's Jim Backus... Ususally stereotyped as Mr. Magoo or Thurston Howell III, here he showed us his depth as an actor by making the serious character of Flaherty seem so real and natural.

There's a murder in this mystery, but it's not at all what you would think. There are several plot twists that. while not spectacular, are still suspenseful and entertaining. You may or may not be caught by surprise by the revelation at the end, but many viewers will be. I highly recommend this film and hope it is soon available on DVD.


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