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Scandal in Paris [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: George Sanders, Signe Hasso, Carole Landis, Akim Tamiroff, Gene Lockhart
  • Directors: Douglas Sirk
  • Writers: Ellis St. Joseph, François-Eugène Vidocq
  • Producers: Arnold Pressburger, Fred Pressburger
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • VHS Release Date: June 27, 2000
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305867623
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,925 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Suave, sardonic George Sanders eases through one of his most perfectly suited roles in this sly Douglas Sirk comedy, based on the (highly questionable) remembrances of real-life French rascal turned respected lawman and author Vidoq. Sanders plays his aristocratic thief with a blasé attitude and bemused smile. Born in a jail (his home for most of his life, as it turns out), he cons his way up from the gutter to high society. He rechristens himself with a name purloined from a fancy graveyard headstone and lands a position as the Paris chief of police after an elaborate display of Sherlock Holmesian deduction uncovers a cache of jewels stolen from his patron's house (jewels he stole himself, of course). It puts him in the perfect place to plot his biggest caper ever: cleaning out the Bank of Paris. Akim Tamiroff plays his croaking sidekick (a frog to Sanders's prince of crime, or perhaps more accurately a dragon to the sneaky St. George), and Gene Lockhart is his nemesis, the disgraced former chief of police who emerges as less a figure of fun than a sad clown. Sirk shot this little gem on a low budget almost belied by the tiny but richly realized sets, beautifully designed settings that create a Paris in miniature. His Continental wit and Sanders's droll delivery and impeccable manners add a knowing wink to the production. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 4, 2005
Format: DVD
"In crime as in love," says Francois Eugene Vidocq, "there are only those who do and those who don't dare."

This is the amusing, clever story of Vidocq (George Sanders), who was born in a Paris prison in 1775 and spent the next 30 years as a cad, a thief and a relatively successful criminal. And then he became Paris' chief of police and spent the rest of his life catching criminals. It's based on a true story. His epiphany came, according to the movie, through the love of a virtuous woman who was prepared to join him in crime if that was the only way to show her love for him. This so affected him that he decides not to rob the Bank of Paris, confesses all to his prospective father in law (the Minister of Police), who forgives him and blesses the marriage to his daughter. Vidocq, after all, was an even better detective than he was a thief.

The story takes Vidocq through his early years, his partnership with a rough crook, Emil (Akim Tamiroff), his encounter with a mercenary and beautiful dancer (Carole Landis) whom he woos, steals from and leaves (and who later marries Vidocq's predecessor as police chief, which causes serious complications), his encounter with the aristocratic family from whom he and Emil plan to steal priceless jewels, his meeting the family's young daughter, Theresa de Pierremont (Signe Hasso), and his set-up to become police chief so that he can rob the Bank of Paris.

The film features one of George Sanders best performances as a charming cad. Akim Tamiroff starts out as an ignorant buffoon with a knife, but gradually turns the role into one of real threat and danger. The movie is laced with clever dialogue by Vidocq and the gradual resentment by Emil.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By LM on April 7, 2004
Format: DVD
This little known and seemingly underappreciated movie is actually a sophisticated piece of movie art. I had expected a journeyman effort from Douglas Sirk, but found instead a master working at the peak of his powers. The subject matter seems light on the surface, but probes questions of identity and personal responsibility. The slipperiness of the character of George Sanders' Vidoq is a foil to others' distorted views of themselves. Many of Sirk's tropes are present, including an abundance of mirrors, particularly in the harrowing climactic scene, and some fantastic use of shadow. The tavern dance scene by Carole Landis is worth the price of admission. To top it all off, the dialogue is worthy of Billy Wilder, and the photography is superb. George Sanders' performance is second only to Addison DeWitt, and Carole Landis is luminous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian on March 28, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
So goes the witty script for Douglas Sirk's lighthearted period caper/biopic 'A Scandal in Paris' (Arnold Productions/United Artists, 1946), based on the writings of its protagonist, legendary thief-cum-detective Eugene Francois Vidocq-- a role (as others have pointed out) urbane-scoundrel-incarnate George Sanders was born to play. It's no masterpiece, but a strong cast, high-caliber performances and an intelligent, engaging story more than compensate for any technical and artistic shortcomings. Kino's 2003 DVD offers a decent print which, while the picture is sharp with good contrast, is marred by age-related artifacts aplenty and a soundtrack that gets a little wobbly at times, including sporadic spits and hisses. No extras. Film rates 4-minus stars, presentation (taking into consideration the rarity of the title) 3-plus.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Disappointed in this movie. Not the actual DVD. IT was fine as stated. VGC. But the actual movie was a bit boring and the quality of the movie itself was poor. A lot of flickers and spots in white, and sound quality was not too good. The story needed more "umph!"...not a good plot/storyline. The humor was OK. ..though a bit weak by today's standards. Though George Sanders was at his very best. He was young and very handsome in this movie. Nice settings...I mostly enjoyed the sets and places where it was filmed. I think this is from the 1940's.
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