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Enter Arsène Lupin

USA 1944
produced by
Ford L. Beebe for Universal
directed by Ford L. Beebe
starring Charles Korvin, Ella Raines, J. Carrol Naish, George Dolenz, Gale Sondergaard, Miles Mander, Leyland Hodghson, Tom Pilkington, Lillian Bronson, Holmes Herbert, Charles La Torre, Gerald Hamer, Ted Cooper, Art Foster, Clyde Kenney, Alphonse Martell
screenplay by Bertram Millhauser, based on characters created by Maurice Leblanc, music by Milton Rosen

Arsène Lupin

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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In pursuit of Stacie (Ella Raines), a filthy rich Greek heiress whose emerald he did deliberately not steal on the Orient Express, master thief Arsène Lupin (Charles Korvin) comes to London ... to witness several attempts are made on Stacie's life. It doesn't take Arsène long to figure out her uncle (Miles Mander) and aunt (Gale Sondergaard) are behind all of this because her death would leave them her fortune - but what to do? He can't tell her or the police, because he doesn't have any evidence, so he decides to steal her emerald, the key to her fortune, himself, to put her out of harm's way. He is caught though, but because Stacie sees his honest intentions, she gets him off the hook.

In the meantime, a French inspector, Ganimard (J.Carrol Naish) has come to London to track down Arsène, and he succeeds, too - but has a tough time getting hold of him, because Arsène has forged papers and uses every trick in the book to evade Ganimard, even has him arrested at one point.

Everything comes to a head when Stacie's uncle and aunt want to shoot her, but Arsène, with the police in tow, intervenes just in time.

At the airport, Arsène and Stacie, by now bona fide lovers, say goodbye, but promise to later meet up in Paris. During their farewell, Stacie does something that will eventually lead to Arsène's downfall and arrest, because she slips her emerald into his coat pocket as a token of her trust ... and when Ganimard later stops and searches Arsène with the London police in tow, they find it and come to all the wrong conclusions ...

George Dolenz plays Arsène's trusted sidekick.

 

Very routine B-picture that turns the Arsène Lupin concept on its head and turns the flamboyant masterthief with a heart of gold into a dull dogooder who might do a bit of stealing on the side - but mostly to help orphanages or save lives. And that Charles Korvin lacks the charisma to really turn the film around doesn't help much either.

Pretty much a disappointment, actually.

 

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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