Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Mystery Of Marie Roget (1942)

Starring Patric Knowles, Maria Montez, Maria Ouspenskaya, John Litel, Edward Norris
Directed by Phil Rosen
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

Dupin, a forensic scientist for the French police during the late 19th century, tries to determine what's happened to entertainer Marie Roget, whose disappearance may be hiding a different crime.

Based on a composition by Edgar Allan Poe, one might have expected a darker film, but this is light and frothy entertainment, although there's murder in the offing.  I've heard Poe's Dupin was an inspiration for Conan Doyle's creation of Sherlock Holmes, and Knowles' character is certainly a master of deduction like Sherlock, although without any of his personality.  The film is structured around Dupin being always one step ahead of the prefect of police played with appropriate bluster by Lloyd Corrigan, and as such the screenplay doesn't give us much time to get to know the characters, although there's a feast of fine actors in the cast.  Still, it's an amusing and entertaining film.

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