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.
On a walking tour of English cathedrals, Donald Meadows meets Hester Granthem in church. Hearing he is from that hot-bed of crime, Chicago, Hester asks Donald to help her in a robbery she ... See full summary »
Ewald André Dupont
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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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