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The Man On The Eiffel Tower (1949)

Charles Laughton , Burgess Meredith , Burgess Meredith  |  NR |  DVD
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Laughton, Burgess Meredith, Franchot Tone
  • Directors: Burgess Meredith
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Original recording remastered
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BL2W4Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,046 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Based on a novel by acclaimed writer Georges Simenon, THE MAN ON THE EIFFEL TOWER is a gleefully sinister romp through the City of Lights climaxing in a spectacular scene on the city s most famous landmark. The film follows Inspector Maigret (Charles Laughton) as he investigates a brutal killing that implicates a ne er-do-well playboy (Robert Hutton), a psychotic medical student (Franchot Tone), and a humble knife-sharpener (Burgess Meredith). Featuring a dark, droll script by journeyman screenwriter Harry Brown (A Place in the Sun), THE MAN ON THE EIFFEL TOWER is livened by cinematography by Stanley Cortez (Night of the Hunter) that captures late 40s Paris in the dark, moody palette of the Ansco Color process. The film was begun under the direction of producer Irving Allen. Laughton was so dissatisfied with Allen s work that three days into the shoot he threatened to quit unless Meredith (Rocky) be permitted to take control. Thus did the seasoned character actor land the most unexpected role of his career: director.

NOTE: THE MAN ON THE EIFFEL TOWER was photographed on ANSCO Reversal film, an early single strip color process, and no original elements exist today. This RESTORED film has been preserved from two nitrate projection prints, the only 35mm color copies known to survive.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The Man on the Eiffel Tower is an odd failure of a movie. It's disjointed, has no sympathetic characters except Inspector Maigret and his cops, features an overbearing music score and relies heavily on scenic Paris to maintain interest. What I find intriguing is the work of the three lead actors, Charles Laughton, Franchot Tone and Burgess Meredith, especially Tone. The story itself picks up steam in the last half, and the final chase through the iron structure of the Eiffel Tower is fascinating and suspenseful. While elements of the plot are discussed below, everything is known to the viewer within the first 15 minutes.

It's Paris in the late Forties. A young man (Robert Hutton), with his wife (Patricia Roc) and his girl friend (Jean Wallace), is overheard in a bar bemoaning how long it will most likely take before his rich aunt dies and he will inherit a great deal of money. A few days later the aunt is stabbed to death. It's clear that the nephew and the man who overheard his conversation made an agreement. By chance a poor sharpener of knives, Joseph Huertin (Burgess Meredith), almost blind even when he is wearing his thick eyeglasses, burgled the mansion the same night of the killing. He discovered the bodies (the aunt's maid had been killed, too), bloodied his hands and met the murderer, whom he could not recognize. Huertin is caught, but police inspector Jules Maigret doesn't believe he did it. What follows is a cat and mouse game between Maigret and a former medical student, a clever, often charming psychopath named Johan Radek (Franchot Tone). As one of his former professors tells Maigret, "Radek had a remarkable flair for sensing the weaknesses of others." Maigret slowly lays traps for Radek, and Radek taunts and leads Maigret on.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A FINE FILM NOIR. November 11, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Simenon's seminal sleuth, Maigret, was never better enacted than by the shrewd, slow and sure Charles Laughton who is after a thrill-killer-for-hire Franchot Tone. Tone's portrait of a psychopathic murderer, who enjoys killing because it feeds his warped ego is fascinating. When the nephew of a rich woman hires Tone to kill his aunt and Laughton investigates. A very clever game of cat-and-mouse ensues. The acting is truly outstanding in this film: Tone actually and triumphantly overcomes Laughton's masterful mannerisms in their scenes together. The viewer is treated to a majestic Paris while we slowly engage in the thrilling story and the superb chase on the Eiffel Tower is uniquely exciting. Burgess Merideth (!) was the director, and he did an admirable job. The music score by Michel Michelet is exeptional.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Man on the Eiffel Tower September 21, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this in VCR @ around $6. The tape is god afull! I have reordered it in VCR @14.99 & hopefully the picture will not blank out every few seconds. As for the DVD, I read the review on it, & it appears this title needs a reissue by someone with a mint copy from the Studio. My $6 copy was from Alpha Video Distributorsin NJ. They ought to be ashamed of releasing such a lousy copy for sale at any price. This is not worth a wooden nickle.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars APEXTRADE RELEASE April 15, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Stay far, far away from this horrible transfer to dvd. EIFFEL TOWER is one of those glorious thrillers directed by Burgess Meredith that needs an updated transfer. This dvd simply sucks. If you have memories of the original--skip this version. It seems to be either a transfer from a bad old vhs or one of the earlier cable channels. Don't bite. Keep your memories of the original and wait for someone to fully appreciate how fine this thriller was and is. I find it odd that amazon even allowed this version to find its way into customer hands. Boo Hiss. The tendency is to go with versions of these old films/public domain--that are more expensive than the cheepies. Not knowing what these other versions look like--DO NOT BUY THIS VERSION. Remember JUNGLE BOOK? One of the better versions was a steal at $7.95. Meaning--you take your chances.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Movie, Terrible Print March 9, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've always loved "Man on the Eiffel Tower." It's got a great cast with Charles Laughton, Burgess Meredith and Franchot Tone in the lead roles. It's also Burgess Meredith's only directorial effort, and good one at that. I'm not writing specifically about the movie, which is a wonderful thriller. But the print being offered is unwatchable. It's blurry and it skips. We can only wait for the day when a decent copy becomes available.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This movie's okay. Adapted from Georges Simenon's 1931 novel L'HOMME DE LA TOUR EIFFEL (a.k.a. A BATTLE OF NERVES), THE MAN ON THE EIFFEL TOWER is a 1949 would-be psychological thriller and police procedural which has some bits of merit but mostly chugs along at its own tedious pace. Hence, the mood evoked isn't as much atmospheric as it is muddled, and it felt like a gang of birthdays had elapsed before I got thru watching this one. Not even the curious excesses of Charles Laughton could hike up my interest level.

If there's one thing this movie taught me, it's to never trust a man who consumes caviar sandwiches and vodka. That's just weird. When a shiftless playboy, having a nice tryst in a crowded cafe with both his wife and his mistress, casually remarks that he'd give a million francs to have his filthy-rich aunt murdered, someone overhears and takes him up on the offer. Now, in the wake of the murders of two women (I guess the maid was a freebie), a meek knife-sharpener becomes implicated, and, later, the playboy, as well. In steps Inspector Jules Maigret, embodied to sluggish, mannered effect by Laughton. And the cat & mouse games begin, between him and the clever murderer, who thinks himself untouchable. As Maigret eventually asks the killer: "Am I following you or are you following me?"

Inspector Jules Maigret has had a bounty of television appearances, spanning decades and featuring various actors taking on the role. Apparently, Maigret has also had some good success in cinema, worldwide. But you couldn't tell it by THE MAN ON THE EIFFEL TOWER, which is forgettable. Although it contains elements of Strangers on a Train (Two-Disc Special Edition), this film isn't as good.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very glad that I bought it!
When Bill Kirby (played by Robert Hutton) muses out loud that he would gladly pay someone a million francs to murder his rich aunt, he little realizes that someone has overheard... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kurt A. Johnson
1.0 out of 5 stars MAN ON THE EIFFEL TOWER
Published 9 months ago by Alvin A. Spivak
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good...
A good story and a teriffic cast...I'd recommend it to mystery fans or fans of Charles Laughton or Burgess Meredith.
Published 18 months ago by Barbara A. Bent
2.0 out of 5 stars Man on the Eiffel Tower
The film was too old to appreciate, missing one of the most suspenseful moments in film: when Franchot Tone and Charles Laughton are in a restaurant. Read more
Published on August 18, 2011 by Carol H. Smilgin
5.0 out of 5 stars Man on the Eiffel Tower
I bought this as a gift for actor/producer/storyteller Ewing "Lucky" Brown who told me he enjoyed it very much. Read more
Published on March 10, 2011 by Alan Doshna
4.0 out of 5 stars A intellectual murder in Paris?
This movie is about the cop, the Paris intellectual, the guy who hires the murder of his rich aunt and the patsy. Read more
Published on February 7, 2009 by Roger Bagula
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing crime thriller
"The Man on the Eiffel Tower", one of two films directed by superb actor Burgess Meredith who also starred in it, considering the accomplished cast was a colossal failure. Read more
Published on December 26, 2006 by Cory D. Slipman
3.0 out of 5 stars A Psychological Thriller With A Fine Franchot Tone Performance And A...
The Man on the Eiffel Tower is an odd failure of a movie. It's disjointed, has no sympathetic characters except Inspector Maigret and his cops, features an overbearing music score... Read more
Published on February 4, 2006 by C. O. DeRiemer
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