Jenny Lamour wants to succeed in music hall. Her husband and accompanist is Maurice Martineau, a nice but jealous man. When he knew Jenny is making eyes at Brignon, an old businessman, in ... See full summary »
An adaptation of Abbe Prevost's classic French novel 'Manon Lescaut', updated to post-World War II France, in which a former French Resistance activist rescues Manon from villagers who want... See full summary »
A psychiatrist, desperate for money to keep his faltering practice running, makes a deal with a spy to hide a mysterious person in his clinic in return for a million francs. As soon as the ... See full summary »
In 1900, Miquette, the pretty daughter of the widow Grandier, decides to become an actress after seeing a play performed by the Monchablon theatre company. Unfortunately, Madame Grandier ... See full summary »
A liberated small-town girl and the family's black sheep moves to Paris with her sister, only to find herself standing trial for the shocking murder of her young lover. Was his killing premeditated or was this a crime of passion?
Stanislas Hassler blazes the development of modern art in his gallery, packed with works of surprising shapes, colours and textures, and where exhibitions turn into media events. Gilbert ... See full summary »
Six friends promise to share their fortune in 5 years. The moment is very close, but one of the six is mysteriously murdered, then another... Superintendent Wenceslas Woroboyioetschik (aka ... See full summary »
Dapper Inspector Vorobechik ('Wens' for short) is assigned the case of a serial killer who leaves a calling card on his victims; Monsieur Durand. Wens' mistress, struggling actress Mila Malou, determines to get publicity for herself by helping him. Learning that Durand is one of the eccentric tenants of a boarding house at No. 21 Avenue Junot, Wens takes a room in the guise of a Protestant minister; only to be followed by Mila who hardly seems like a minister's wife! Suspects are arrested, but while each is in jail, there's another murder...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was Clouzot's directing debut, having graduated from being a screenwriter feeling that his script for Le dernier des six was implemented by Georges Lacombe to the letter, and yet not being satisfied with the result. It's a murder mystery based on a novel by the same author behind Le dernier des six, Clouzot adds comic touches which act as kindling to set the fire alight.
Stylistically they're very different, and yet it feels like Paul Verhoeven and Henri-Georges Clouzot were cut from the same philosophical cloth. It seems under-remarked upon that L'assassin habite a 21 is a pretty anti-clerical movie, there's blasphemous jokes about the celibacy of Catholic priests and the Holy Trinity. You also get the feeling, from this movie made under the Occupation, that this is a "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right" kind of movie, where the French characters are shown with acid misanthropy, but also, that the allusions to the Nazis, really trivialise them, in the manner of Lubitsch. The final scene of the movie contains a quite hilarious snub of the Nazis that is brazen but too droll for any Nazi to catch.
Clouzot worked for Continental-Films, which was controlled by the Nazis, its chief Alfred Greven reporting directly to Max Winkler the Reichsbeauftragter (Reich Commissioner) for German films. Clouzot attended parties with Greven and his mistresses, with his own mistress Suzy Delair (Mina Milou, the female lead of this movie). I get this feeling like with some of Verhoeven's characters in Black Book, that they were riding the tiger's back, trying to survive and enjoy themselves in a world of mad people. There's a feeling when a character dies that it's a Darwinian incident, that you're an idiot if you flash money around and wander the streets at night when there is a spate of robbery homicides going on in your district.
There's a swagger to the direction of this film, a boastful assuredness that I found really refreshing. There is also a balance to the characteristic misanthropy of Clouzot's film, an offsetting humour. I think Clouzot belongs up there with Nabokov and Verhoeven as supremely competent individuals laughing in the dark. L'assassin habite a 21 was quite the guilty pleasure for me!
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this