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  • Melvin Douglas starred in Columbia's 1935 remake of the 1926 silent "The Lone Wolf Returns," while Francis Lederer takes on the role in this isolated followup from 1938. The series proper begins with the next entry, "The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt" (1939), which starred Warren William in the first of his nine films that continued through 1943 (the character featured in six silent features and three early talkies before the Douglas remake). Obviously the inspiration for the Saint and the Falcon, The Lone Wolf was a reformed jewel thief with an eye for the ladies, and in "Paris," they don't get much prettier than Frances Drake ("Mad Love", "The Invisible Ray"), cast as a princess in distress. The dependable Walter Kingsford and a young Albert Dekker (billed as Albert Van Dekker) are among the villains but they don't come off as being a very dangerous bunch hence the middling grade, though Lederer is perfectly acceptable if one can excuse the accent (which made him an intriguing choice for the title role in "The Return of Dracula" in 1958.) In this film and the previous entry with Douglas, The Lone Wolf's valet is named Jenkins but beginning with Warren William's debut film the character was dubbed Jamison and thereafter played in all but one film by Eric Blore. The Wolf's given name is Michael Lanyard but Lederer's first name is spelled Michel. This is one of the five entries from 1935 to 1949 that has yet to be shown on Turner Classic Movies so that may explain why there have been no prior comments. Hardly an essential entry but worth a look for the curious.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A scam involving the royal jewels of Arvonne (an obviously fictional European monarchy) is the premise for this somewhat disappointing follow-up to the initial entry in the "Lone Wolf" series which had delighted audiences three years before. Melvyn Douglas had been a wonderfully sophisticated and amusing jewel thief trying to get away from his past, but here the part has been taken over by the capable but unfortunately less amusing Francis Lederer. This means that the comic element so prevalent in the first movie is missing, and the whole story involving an obvious plot against a European royal family (which in 1938 only existed in small doses) seems forced. It all starts when Lederer discovers that princess Frances Drake has replaced her real jewelry with paste, and gets involved with her to uncover some royal scandals involving a nefarious Grand Duke (Walter Kingsford) who is obviously out to take over the throne himself.

    There are a few amusing moments, but most of it seems like a rip-off of Hitchcock's "The Thirty Nine Steps". One tense incident happens when Lederer is planted in front of a board as the knife-throwing expert Kingsford starts tossing knives at Lederer in an effort to find out where he has hidden the jewels. Lederer doesn't even flinch. Then, the film goes down the territory of "The Prisoner of Zenda" and other adventure stories with fictional royal families and any slight amount of credibility that the film had before flies out the window. Lederer lacks the light-hearted warmth of both Melvyn Douglas and Warren William which makes this a disappointment in the long-running Columbia series.
  • There's nothing really wrong with this movie. There just isn't much of interest. It's a stereotypical story of three nobles who are holding the queen of an obscure small country hostage with the hope of replacing her and her son and taking over the throne. (To do what? We're led to believe that there's nothing much to the country.) The queen's daughter meets a reformed jewel thief, the Lone Wolf of the title, and enlists his aid in getting back some royal jewels that the three evil nobles intend to use to force the queen to abdicate. (She sold the jewels to them to help the starving peasants in her bankrupt country, but needs them now that her son is about to be crowned, and they, baddies that they are, won't sell them back. Nasty nasty.) The Lone Wolf agrees to come out of retirement, so to speak, because he's attracted to the princess.

    Things work out as you would expect.

    As I said, there's nothing wrong with this. It's just all pretty much movies by the numbers, and not interesting.