Spotlight on a Murderer

1961

Drama / Mystery / Thriller

175
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 322

Synopsis


Downloaded 6,969 times
April 2, 2019

Director

Cast

Jean-Louis Trintignant as L'oncle Irvin
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
753.8 MB
1280*720
French
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.45 GB
1920×1080
French
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gavin6942 6 / 10 / 10

Franju's Third Film

When he learns his days are numbered, old count Hervé de Kéraudren decides to hide in a secret alcove and to die there, just to annoy his heirs. As a result of his body not being found the latter will have to wait for five years until they can inherit the count's money. The actors, for the most part, are not big names and may not be recognizable to American audiences. Star Pierre Brasseur had previously appeared in Georges Franju's "Eyes Without a Face". His co-star, Pascale Audret, was less well-known in film, but happens to be the mother of Julie Dreyfus, who appeared in the Quentin Tarantino films "Kill Bill" and "Inglourious Basterds". The marketing folks describe the plot as a delightfully playful romp through Agatha Christie territory, which is quite accurate with some nods to "Ten Little Indians", among others. Some critics have said it is a "rehash" of Christie, though this is not quite fair as the references are tongue-in-cheek. The script comes to us from the writing team of Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, of "Les Diaboliques" and "Vertigo" fame. If you know Franju, you obviously know "Eyes Without a Face" and have probably seen "Judex". But this one might have escaped you. Indeed, reviews at the time were not favorable and it seems to have gone into obscurity. Current reviews do still warn that the characters are generally flat, and the film really earns its merits on the plot and direction rather than from any deeper message or connection. Perhaps due to Franju's posthumous reputation, "Spotlight" is viewed more favorably today than ever before (and rightly so). The Arrow Video Blu-ray is a bit light on material, which is unfortunate because they really scooped up a great title here that would have been a nice fit for Criterion. But we do get a vintage production featurette from 1960, shot on location and including interviews with Georges Franju and actors Pascale Audret, Pierre Brasseur, Marianne Koch, Dany Saval and Jean-Louis Trintignant. An audio commentary or video essay would have been icing on the cake, but sometimes just having the cake is enough.

Reviewed by MOscarbradley 7 / 10 / 10

A decidedly minor affair

Closer to Agatha Christie than to Boileau-Narcejac who wrote the original story and collaborated with Franju on the screenplay, "Spotlight on a Murderer" is a decidedly minor affair, entertaining for what it is but unlikely to set the cinematic world on fire. For starters, it's got a fairly ridiculous plot, (even Christie would have balked at this one); an old count, about to die, hides himself away in a secret room in his chateau so that his relatives won't find his body and will have to wait 5 years for their inheritance. Naturally the corpses soon start piling up. Poiret or Miss Marple would have sorted it out in no time.

Reviewed by gerrythree 7 / 10 / 10

Passable Murder Mystery Helped Greatly By Fine Cast

"Spotlight On A Murderer" is a second rate detective story with a first rate French cast. The story deals with a count whose only asset seems to be his massive stone castle. Top billed Pierre Brasseur plays the count and he has a hit and run part, appearing for a total of maybe three minutes and not doing much besides taking a seat in a concealed room and dying. For me, the big plus of this movie is Dany Saval's performance as the girlfriend of one of the potential heirs of the count. She has a real personality. Maurice Jarre composed the music for this movie and the score is blah, no match to his score for 1964's "Weekend at Dunkirk". Jarre later married Saval, in 1965 and, when they split two years later, he gave her the rights to his movie score for "Doctor Zhivago" as a divorce settlement. A great deal for her. As to this movie, I watched the Arrow Blu-ray disc of the movie, a Gaumont restoration that has excellent image quality. At the end, when the killer is on the run across across the castle grounds, Edwige (Marianne Koch) tells Saval's movie boyfriend to shoot the killer in the leg. A shot through a high tower window to a moving target at least 150 feet away using a smooth bore single shot antique pistol. With a crowd of visitors to the castle next to the target. Naturally, the shot hits the killer in the leg. If your time is limited, try to see "Weekend At Dunkirk" instead of this run of the mill mystery. Maurice Jarre's score for that movie is great and director Henri Verneuil was on a roll in the 1960s directing movies, hitting his peak with 1969's "The Sicilian Clan".

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