A Scandal in Paris Film Details
Overview: Born in a French prison in 1775, François Eugène Vidocq becomes a professional thief and is later appointed chief of Parisian police.
Tagline: Every man has his price… and every woman pays it.
Review: There. That’s the gist of it. Though the script is really quite good, the picture doesn’t quite come off. Sanders is perhaps too much himself here to be very interesting — his “ennuyeux” style seems just a little TOO little, here — which creates something of a hole at the center. On the other hand, the supporting cast, with one exception (see below) is superb. First, Akim Tamiroff at 46 in a superb makeup that makes him look not a day over 25 — he’s Sanders’s comic sidekick, who, in the last reel turns surprisingly (but satisfyingly) into his nemesis. It’s an amazingly detailed performance, constantly interesting — and really quite out of his usual line. Signe Hasso is lovely in quite a small role (considering her billing), and Gene Lockhart, Alan Napier, Alma Kruger, Vladimir Sokoloff, and, really, all the supporting cast (including, if I’m not mistaken, an unbilled — and unaccented! — Julius Tannen as the President of the Bank of France) are excellent and amusing. The child actress Jo Ann Williams (Kay Pierce of “Mildred Pierce” as well, and the child version of Hedy Lamarr in “The Strange Woman”) is excellent, on a par with Margaret O’Brien, even. Superb art direction, too. Unfortunately, two elements, imho, are little short of disastrous. First, and most sadly, perhaps, is that Carole Landis is barely adequate in what is the more important of the two female star roles. Unnatural, stagy — almost amateurish. (Incidentally, she bears a striking resemblance to Dolores Gray.) Finally, and also sad to say, Hanns Eisler’s score, though filled with interesting music, is really not right. (In Jon Halliday’s interview with Sirk, Sirk reveals that Eisler was not happy with the score — and even wanted to re-do it completely, but there was no time.) There’s just too much of it, and at times (especially in the scenes at the carousel — one of which is crucial) rather heavy-handedly makes the wrong points. (To clarify, the carousel is identified with a kind of musical chinoiserie. Fine, a little heavy-handed, but all right. When Vidocq catches up with “the dragon” in a final showdown, it happens on the carousel. What do we hear? “Chinese” music. It doesn’t work.) Of course this has been for long one of the Sirk rarities. Pace an earlier commentator, this is by no means Sirk at his low point (I nominate “Slightly French,” followed closely by “No Room for the Groom” and “Mystery Submarine”); rather in search of a workable style for America. (“Summer Storm” and “Lured” — Sirk’s other “European” films of the forties — are both much more successful.)
Country: United States
Duration: 100 min
Genre: Adventure, Crime, Romance
Also known as: Vidocq, el bribón de París,Vidocq,Escândalo em Paris,The Story of Vidocq,Uno scandalo a Parigi,En skandal i Paris,Skandalo sto Parisi,A Scandal in Paris,Escándalo en París,Скандал в Париже,Vidocq – Ein eleganter Gauner,Scandale à Paris,Ein eleganter Gauner,Un scandal la Paris,Thieves Holiday,Thieves’ Holiday,Vidocq, Um Escândalo em Paris