Arsène Lupin, the multifaceted gentleman thief, steals two masterpieces from the President of the Council. Some time later, posing as Monsieur Gilles, a winegrower who is marrying his only ...
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Arsène Lupin, the multifaceted gentleman thief, steals two masterpieces from the President of the Council. Some time later, posing as Monsieur Gilles, a winegrower who is marrying his only daughter, he asks several jewelers to come to his mansion and robs them of their gemstones. The next victims of André Laroche (Lupin's new identity) will be none other than a Maharajah and Kaiser Wilhelm II himself...Written by
Kaiser Wilhelm II:
Vous voyez monsieur, je m'éclaire encore au pétrole. Moi je déteste l'électricité.
Vous avez raison, sir, c'est un éclairage barbare. Mais qui ne sera malheureusement pas abandonné de si tôt.
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Five years earlier, Jacques Becker had vividly evoked the seamier side of La Belle Époque in his classic 'Casque d'Or' (1952), but 'Les Aventures d'Arsène Lupin' is strictly a box of chocolates by comparison. Had the whole film been up to the standard of the two robbery sequences that bookend it it could have been another winner.
Ravishingly produced in Technicolor, it is never more ravishing than when foregrounding the radiant smile of Liselotte Pulver, whose character forever seems on the verge of amounting to more than she ever actually does. Both she and Huguette Hue look most fetching in their figure-hugging ankle length Edwardian dresses; but their scenes lead nowhere, and the film becomes garrulous and uninvolving. Is it just coincidence that this was Becker's only film without his regular editor Marguerite Renoir?
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