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on 13 June 2013
This is a wonderfully assured debut by Henri-George Clouzot with an ingenious ending . The story has a fine ensemble of characters blending wit, macabre and drama. For me there is clear elements of Hitchcock's "Murder" as well as the comic touches of the "The Thin Man" that really set's it apart from the ordinary... Plus this being Clouzot one can also see themes that he would later return to, such as the boarding house here possessing elements of the village in "Le Corbeau "and the school in "Les Diabolques" all in all this is a very fine film and one to enjoy again and again. The picture and sound quality is also perfect as one has come to expect from Masters of Cinema.
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on 4 August 2013
Great movie. Loved it. The direction, the production, the locales, the plot the action. The terrific cast. A real treat for a jaded crime film fan. A picture that could be able to be remade in the US today. However one I suspect that would be destroyed were this to happen.
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on 1 February 2015
Clouzot is a meticulous director, and this debut film of his is quite entertaining. It is quite a far remove from Wages of Fear, but his characters are true to life and the cinematography is excellent. Any fan of Clouzot should enjoy this little film, and I love Suzy Delair in this.
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on 16 November 2015
Detective Pierre Fresnay (Wens) goes to stay in a boarding house in the guise of a priest in order to catch a serial killer – Mr Durand. His annoying girlfriend Suzy Delair (Mila) also checks in and we meet a cast of characters who may or may not be the killer.

The film starts well with the sequence of the drunk lottery winner in the bar and the mysterious woman wanting to befriend him. We follow his story but it is pretty short-lived. It’s a gripping beginning and one that draws you into the film which, at this point, looks like it is going to be an effective thriller. The next memorable scene comes when the petty criminal is sitting on the bus shelter and insulting the policeman – very funny. However, that’s where the comedy should have stopped. Unfortunately, the whole film descends into a comedy/mystery and so all tension is diffused and the audience just watches without any real emotional connection. It could have been so much better.

There are other pluses - the dialogue is sharp and magician Jean Tissier (Triquet) lives in an amusing room cluttered with objects that are no longer functional - and minuses – Delair’s voice is annoying and on my copy, the subtitles weren’t quite in sync so it helped that I understood French so as to follow who was saying what. As entertainment, the film is an ok whodunit like many others.
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on 17 April 2014
The French are so good at mystery thrillers. This is an example at one of the best. It is atmospheric, menacing and utterly compelling. You will never guess the denouement.
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on 3 December 2013
Love French Noir. The older the better. I don't speak Franch but have no problem with sub-titles. This is a wonderful film. I recommend.
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on 23 November 2013
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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on 11 October 2014
Exactly as described. Very satisfied.
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on 12 June 2015
Excellent Film
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