- We 2018
- H4 2012
Mystery of Marie Roget
Paul Malvern (associate) for Universal
directed by Phil Rosen
starring Patric Knowles, Maria Montez, Maria Ouspenskaya, John Litel, Edward Norris, Lloyd Corrigan, Nell O'Day, Frank Reicher, Clyde Fillmore, Paul E. Burns, Norma Drury Boleslavsky, Charles Middleton, William Ruhl, Reed Hadley, Paul Dubov, Alphonse Martell, Lester Dorr, Charles Wagenheim, Dorothy Triden (voice)
screenplay by Michael Jacoby, based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe, musical direction by Hans J. Salter
Universal's Edgar Allan Poe
Paris, tail end of the 19th century: Marie Roget (Maria Montez),
popular singer, disappears without a trace, and when top detective Dupin
(Patric Knowles) and his sidekick the prefect (Lloyd Corrigan) pick up
investigations, they soon find a dead woman with a torn off face who's
likely to be her ... but when they report the death to Marie's grandma
(Maria Ouspenskaya) and her sister Camille (Nell O'Day), Marie turns up
out of the blue - but refuses to tell anyone where she has been ...
though is by no means Ms Innocence, she has an affair with Camille's
fiancé Marcel (Edward Norris) and conspires with him to murder Camille,
because that's the only way for her to get her hands on the family fortune
Camille is to inherit. Grandma Roget though overhears the conversation,
and she hires Dupin to accompany Camille to the party the murder is to
happen as a sort of bodyguard ... and then it's Marie who ends up dead.
lengthy investigations, Camille becomes the key suspect when Marcel breaks
down and admits that he murdered Marie, but only to save Camille's life,
because when Camille conspired with him, he never meant to go through with
the plan but saw so much criminal energy in her that he killed her pretty
much in self defense - which would make this justified manslaughter. At a
public hearing though, Dupin sees to it that the charges against Marcel
are dropped, to the surprise of everybody, and claims the ultimate clue to
the murderer is in Marie's diary ... only to later catch Marcel trying to
steal same diary, which reveals him as the murderer for good. In a chase
over the roofs of Paris, he's shot dead.
But why, you may ask, did Dupin
see to it that the charges against Marcel were dropped in the first place?
Because he could have gotten away with justified manslaughter scot free
and couldn't have been tried again, whereas with murder (which this was,
as Marie's death was part of his scheme to get his hands on the Roget
fortune) he would have been hit with the full force of the law ...
rather tired murder mystery that twists and turns so often it eventually
bites its own tail but fails to make sense in the process. So several
narrative threads lead to nowhere or are clumsily integrated into the
story, plot devices are too far-fetched or too simplified to satisfy, the
solution of the mystery is pretty much pulled out of the head, and all the
characters remain lifeless throughout. Now add to this a purely functional
direction and an at best mediocre ensemble cast, and you're left with ...
rather little. Actually a very boring piece of work ...