In this wry, satiric comedy of manners, Napoleonic Era con man Eugene Francois Vidocq uses his considerable sophistication, charm, and powers of seduction to rise from extreme poverty to become Chief of Police in Paris where he plans to rob the city’s seemingly impregnable bank.
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It conscientiously looks like a Lang film designed by Aubrey Beardsley (the design team included Eugen Schüfftan); at times the actors become overwhelmed by a welter of giant friezes, ornate murals and faux icons. The cast nevertheless shines.
November 04, 2016
The cinematography, primarily by an uncredited Eugen Schüfftan, is superb, and Sanders near-perfect, the only flaws being a sluggish pace and an insipid performance by Signe Hasso as the love interest.
Farran Smith Nehme
November 03, 2016
Droll and fanciful, it is a picaresque tale with a mischievously understated attitude. Sirk puts no particular emphasis on the ridiculous ease with which Vidocq dupes and manipulates others — it is simply the way of the world. The movie is also amusingly self-reflexive.