The Man on the Eiffel Tower (January 1, 1950)
Released on January 1, 1950: (running time 1 hour and 27 minutes) A genius hired killer leads a bumbling Paris Policeman on a wild chase ending on top of the Eiffel Tower.
Produced by Irving Allen and Franchot Tone
Directed by Burgess Meredith, Irving Allen, and Charles Laughton
Written by Georges Simenon and Harry Brown
The Actors: Charles Laughton (Police Inspector Jules Maigret), Franchot Tone (Johann Radek), Burgess Meredith (Joseph Heurtin), Robert Hutton (Bill Kirby), Jean Wallace (Edna Wallace), Patricia Roc (Helen Kirby), Belita (Gisella Heurtin), George Thorpe (Comelieu, the Examining Magistrate), William Phipps (Janvier, Policeman), William Cottrell (Moers), Chaz Chase (Bob, proprietor of Les Deux Magots), Wilfrid Hyde-White (Professor Grollet), Howard Vernon (Police Inspector)
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The Mad Killer, Les Deux Magots, and the Bumbling Policeman
When you visit Paris, you must have a cup of coffee and a bowl of yogurt at Les Deux Magots, possibly the most famous café in Paris, located in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. The expensive café was a favorite for Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, and even chef Julia Child. In a novel by Steve Matchett the café is described as “the first café in the quarter to be blessed by the morning sun. Its clientele pay a healthy premium for drinking there, it’s only fitting they should be the first to catch the warmth of the new day.” Auguste Boulay purchased the café in 1914, and his great-great-granddaughter is the proprietor today.
As our adventure opens we are in the streets of Paris near the famous café, and Meredith Burgess, wearing very thick glasses, is carefully sharpening a knife. It is a very large knife, one that might make a very fine murder weapon. We move inside the famous café and meet a young man who will join two women already at the bar – his wife and his lover. The man is bemoaning the fact that he will have no money until his wealthy aunt dies, and she is in very good health.
Listening quietly nearby is a man drinking a cup of coffee and eating a bowl of yogurt. He is a very smart man. He believes that he may be the smartest man in the world. He is certain that he is smarter than the man who wishes that his aunt would die soon, and he is doubly certain that he can outwit the bumbling policeman who would investigate such a death. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Belita, Burgess Meredith
Charles Laughton, George Thorpe
Charles Laughton, Wilfrid Hyde-White
Jean Wallace, Patricia Roc
Patricia Roc, Robert Hutton