L’ASSASIN HABITE AU 21 (1942)
A film by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Cast: Pierre Fresnay, Suzy Delair, Jean Tissier
English title: The murderer lives at number 21.
A mysterious serial killer has committed a bunch of murder and leaves his card with his name on it, It reads Mr. Duran. Inspector Wes (Pierre Fresnay) learns that the killer might be in the boarding house in Montmartre.). Learning that Durand is one of the eccentric tenants of a boarding house at No. 21 Avenue Junot. So he disguise himself as a pasteur and moves in with his girlfriend Mila (Suzy Delair. Suspect are arrested but while in jail there is an other murder.
Directorial debut for Clouzot and a great one at that, a master piece of a detective story. If you are a fan of the Agatha Christie. It is a screwball comedy detective story a la french with the famous Pierre Fresnay and Suzy Delair, those two deserve each other big time. Terrific performances from those two and the rest of the cast. The dialogues are witty, smart, fast-moving, and fresh for a film that is 68 years old. There is a touch of film noir in this when the drunk walk in the street and someone is following him. Here it is to me as I watched the film you see a pair of hand in gloves of the murderer but you do not see the murderer. So I thought of myself what they should of done is have a woman being the killer, you would expect that at all. Although I didn’t expect the ending when the killer is finally revealed. . Also what I like about is the beginning it looks like it is going to be a film noir it creates this impression, later it is a different tone it has light humor and slowly changes the tone of the film. The suspects are all color full characters: Theodore Linz (Noel Roquevert, Antoine et Antoinette) is a respected physician and passionate hunter who has traveled the world; Monsieur Colin ( Pierre Larquey) is a quiet man who spends most of his time creating dolls meant to resemble the mysterious Monsieur Durand; Mademoiselle Cuq (Maximilienne) is a retired social butterfly who has never been loved; Kid Robert (Jean Despeaux) is a retired blind boxer; and Professor Lalah-Poor (Jean Tissier) is an extravagant magician with an endless bag of tricks who loves to wear a large turban like those turkish dudes, and is quiet lively. Clouzot is a great master of misdirection the inspector finds out the killer is sent to jail but an other murder occurs.vThis is a classic at his best.