Arsène Lupin Returns (1938)

80-82 mins | Drama | 25 February 1938

Director:

George Fitzmaurice

Cinematographer:

George Folsey

Editor:

Ben Lewis

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Maurice Leblanc's book Arsène Lupin (Paris, 1907) marked the first appearance of the fictional French jewel thief. The opening title credits of the film place an accent over the first "e" in Arsène, however, the name is shown written or printed several times throughout the film without the accent. According to news items in HR in 1936, the film was originally intended as a vehicle for William Powell as Arsène Lupin and Spencer Tracy as the American detective, with a screenplay by George Harmon Coxe and Erich von Stroheim. In Feb 1937, it was announced that Myrna Loy had been added to the cast, then, in Aug 1937, Robert Montgomery was named as Powell's successor. Melvyn Douglas, Warren William and Virginia Bruce were named as the eventual stars shortly before production began. Stroheim's name is not mentioned in connection with the screenplay after 1936, and the extent of his participation in the completed film has not been determined. A news item in HR on 14 Dec 1937 noted that actress Ula Love had just been added to the cast. but her participation in the released film has not been confirmed. For information on other films based on Leblanc's character, see entry entry for the 1932 M-G-M picture Arsène Lupin. ...

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Maurice Leblanc's book Arsène Lupin (Paris, 1907) marked the first appearance of the fictional French jewel thief. The opening title credits of the film place an accent over the first "e" in Arsène, however, the name is shown written or printed several times throughout the film without the accent. According to news items in HR in 1936, the film was originally intended as a vehicle for William Powell as Arsène Lupin and Spencer Tracy as the American detective, with a screenplay by George Harmon Coxe and Erich von Stroheim. In Feb 1937, it was announced that Myrna Loy had been added to the cast, then, in Aug 1937, Robert Montgomery was named as Powell's successor. Melvyn Douglas, Warren William and Virginia Bruce were named as the eventual stars shortly before production began. Stroheim's name is not mentioned in connection with the screenplay after 1936, and the extent of his participation in the completed film has not been determined. A news item in HR on 14 Dec 1937 noted that actress Ula Love had just been added to the cast. but her participation in the released film has not been confirmed. For information on other films based on Leblanc's character, see entry entry for the 1932 M-G-M picture Arsène Lupin.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Jan 1938
p. 3
Film Daily
25 Jan 1938
p. 9
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 1936
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 1937
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 1937
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
8 Nov 1937
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 1937
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 1938
p. 3
Motion Picture Daily
24 Jan 1938
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald
18 Dec 1937
p. 29
Motion Picture Herald
29 Jan 1938
p. 56, 61
New York Times
9 Mar 1938
p. 21
Variety
23 Feb 1938
p. 14
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Geo. Fitzmaurice
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig story and scr
Orig story and scr
Orig story and scr
Contr to trmt
Contr to trmt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Mont effs
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Maurice Leblanc.
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 February 1938
Production Date:
early Nov--14 Dec 1937
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Loew's Inc.
3 February 1938
LP7808
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80-82
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
4003
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

F.B.I. agent Steve Emerson's exploits in capturing criminals lead to so much publicity and photographs in the newspapers that his boss finally tells him that he can no longer operate effectively. Taking the loss of his job philosophically, Steve decides to become a private detective, but his career almost ends there too when his first client is tied up and robbed just before their appointment. As it turns out, the Count de Grissac, his niece Lorraine, and cousin George Bouchet were bound needlessly as the criminal stole a paste imitation of the famous de Grissac emerald necklace. Steve is intrigued, however, when he finds a card with the name "Arsene Lupin" written on it and discovers that a bullet found in the wall comes from the type of gun used by the notorious and presumed dead French jewel thief Arsène Lupin. The de Grissacs return to France, accompanied by Bouchet and Steve, and are met by Rene Farrand, Lorraine's fiancé. Steve, who is attracted to Lorraine, is jealous of Rene, and also suspects him, but needs to find more proof to corroborate his hunch. Rene, actually the retired Lupin, did not steal the fake necklace, but must now try to find the real thief with the aid of two old pals, Joe Doyle and Alf, who come to see him, mistakenly thinking that he is no longer "going straight." After other attempts to steal the real necklace and after Steve and Rene play a cat-and-mouse game with the Prefect of Police, Bouchet turns out to be the real thief. Overwhelmed by gambling debts, Bouchet used Lupin's techniques to steal the jewels, then attempted ...

More Less

F.B.I. agent Steve Emerson's exploits in capturing criminals lead to so much publicity and photographs in the newspapers that his boss finally tells him that he can no longer operate effectively. Taking the loss of his job philosophically, Steve decides to become a private detective, but his career almost ends there too when his first client is tied up and robbed just before their appointment. As it turns out, the Count de Grissac, his niece Lorraine, and cousin George Bouchet were bound needlessly as the criminal stole a paste imitation of the famous de Grissac emerald necklace. Steve is intrigued, however, when he finds a card with the name "Arsene Lupin" written on it and discovers that a bullet found in the wall comes from the type of gun used by the notorious and presumed dead French jewel thief Arsène Lupin. The de Grissacs return to France, accompanied by Bouchet and Steve, and are met by Rene Farrand, Lorraine's fiancé. Steve, who is attracted to Lorraine, is jealous of Rene, and also suspects him, but needs to find more proof to corroborate his hunch. Rene, actually the retired Lupin, did not steal the fake necklace, but must now try to find the real thief with the aid of two old pals, Joe Doyle and Alf, who come to see him, mistakenly thinking that he is no longer "going straight." After other attempts to steal the real necklace and after Steve and Rene play a cat-and-mouse game with the Prefect of Police, Bouchet turns out to be the real thief. Overwhelmed by gambling debts, Bouchet used Lupin's techniques to steal the jewels, then attempted to fence the necklace with Papa Monelle but killed him after Monelle discovered that Bouchet gave him the fake. Rene traps Bouchet by covering the de Grissac safe with lipstick, thus leaving the identifying red stains on Bouchet's gloves and neck when he tries again to steal the real necklace. Certain that Rene is Lupin, Steve now asks for his "autograph," but tears it up after Rene signs Lupin's name, realizing that Rene is an honest man and the thief Lupin will remain dead. Rene then tells Lorraine that Steve is the only man who has an open invitation to visit them after they are married.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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