4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Fresnay Fuels This Early Clouzot Effort,
This review is from: THE MURDERER LIVES AT 21 [L'ASSASSIN HABITE AU 21] (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
The resourceful Inspector Wens(Pierre Fresnay)is charged with capturing the elusive serial killer Monsieur Durand so named as he leaves a card with that name on the bodies of his victims. Wens showgirl sweetheart Mila Malou(Suzy Delair)decides to assist him as she believes any credit she may accrue from helping him could boost her flagging career.When an informant of Wens suggests looking closer at the guests of a down at heel boarding house 21 Avenue Junot, Wens assumes the identity of a priest and things start to move.
Part screwball comedy and conventional noir thriller, it takes time to adjust to constantly shifting in tone from one to the other but once you do there is much to enjoy here. Some of the repartee especially between Wens and Mila are a hoot and the hotel guests are a fairly colourful bunch- Jean Tissier as Lalah Poor and Marc Natol as Armand are standouts.It all builds up to a fairly satisfying conclusion with some clues along the way for the more observant.However it is Fresnay as the sardonic and cunning Wens who holds the piece together and whenever he is on screen Murderer Lives... fairly sparkles.
The restoration by Gaumont to these uneducated eyes is a decent one with good close ups and shadow definement is passable if a little grey. MoC include a nice 28 page booklet concerning the production but some sort of documentary about Clouzot and his career would have been a real bonus.
Still for fans of Clouzot an essential addition. Not quite Le Corbeau or Les Diaboliques but considerably more fun than the overinflated Wages Of Fear.
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Initial post: 21 Mar 2014 14:31:53 GMT
Mark Pearce says:
To the two spineless nitwits who have posted negatives come on say why as your contributions are pointless which probably sums you both up.
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