When François -Eugene Vidocq wrote his memoirs,did he know that his book would be transferred to the screen again and again and again.This 1938 version was not the first one and would not be the last.The sixties brought a miniseries and a comic strip;Douglas Sirk took Vidocq to Hollywood in a very curious adaptation;recently(2001) Depardieu took on the part in a big budget flick which met mixed critical favor .
François Brulé's film is a down-to-earth and a bit lackluster film .There's no symbolism here -like Sirk would do in "scandal in Paris" with his hints at Saint George and the dragon- but a linear story divided into two obvious parts:
1.Vidocq the criminal on the lam,chased by a rather incompetent Police.
2.Vidocq the thief-turned -cop (and informer): this part of the story is very small .A hero is no match for a villain! The places where the thieves meet on the Boulevard du Crime" provided a foretaste of what Marcel Carné would take to its absolute perfection in "les Enfants du Paradis"
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