Available on DVD !
To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat
Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
Penny Vanderwood (Claude Jade) is a renowned pianist from England, but
performing in Paris at the moment, where her deceased husband was from.
After one of her performances, she meets the Comte de Saint Germain
(André Reybaz) who was so touched by her playing that he wants her to
play for and inspire his ... robots (?). At first, she thinks he's just a
hopeless eccentric, but then she learns that he has one of his chess
robots playing an exhibition tournament against a chess master. That, and
the fact that her late husband was a chess grandmaster himself, makes her
curious, so she goes to watch the tournament - and thinks the robot plays
just like her husband while the robot ... weirdly enough gets distracted
by her presence - and her presence alone out of all the people in the
Together with Lewis (Francois Dunoyer), a young English
diplomat, Penny proceeds to investigate the Comte and his backgrounds, as
she believes her husband is still alive and remote-controlling the chess
robot from afar - but however thorough they investigate, they can't find
any indication of foul play when it comes to the robot, nor any sign that
Penny's husbans is still alive - well, other than that his grave is
suspiciously empty. Eventually, Lewis gives up on their investigations -
true, he might be secretly in love with her and would probably die for
her, but what he does here is nothing but nurturing her obsession over her
dead husband. So Penny decides to pay a visit to the Comte himself to find
a few answers ... and he proves to be the most perfect host ever ...
few days later: Lewis hasn't heard from Penny in an awful long time, and
it seems she has disappeared from the face of the earth - so he hooks up
with his best friend Diego (Thierry Murzeau), they do a bit of
investigating and finally come to the conclusion that it might be the best
idea to break into the Comte's mansion at night. There they ... receive
help from the chess robot, who's really the brain of Penny's husband
transplanted into an automaton. Lewis and Diego have to learn Penny is the
next in line for a brain transplantation - but they manage to her rescue
just in time, and once they have left, the mansion conveniently burns down
to the ground ...
There are several good ideas in this movie,
and for a while, its unexcited, low-key approach to the story at hand
actually works. But eventually, the whole thing comes off as too wordy,
too stagey in direction, the scarce action scenes could have done with a
little more polish, and the whole thing sadly lacks atmosphere.
said, the film is still far from a disaster, the story and buildup are
actually pretty good, as is the cast, it's just that as a whole, the movie
never lives up to its promise.