The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery

The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942) Poster

Inspector Wens moves into a Paris boarding house to catch a serial killer.




  • Pierre Larquey and Noël Roquevert in The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942)
  • Suzy Delair in The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942)
  • The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942)
  • Suzy Delair in The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942)
  • Pierre Fresnay in The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942)
  • Pierre Fresnay in The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Henri-Georges Clouzot


Stanislas-André Steeman (novel), Henri-Georges Clouzot (adaptation), Stanislas-André Steeman (adaptation)

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

2 March 2012 | GManfred
Je Ne Sais Pas
I often wish I could speak French, especially when watching a French movie billed as a mystery/comedy. I can't seem to get my funny bone around the Gallic sense of humor - unless the sub-titles are doing me in. I thought "The Murderer Lives At #21" was a good, worthwhile mystery movie, one which was unsolvable until the end of the picture. I thought Pierre Fresnay was a very good Inspector Wens and I wished there could have been a whole series of Insp. Wens films. I recall that he played the sympathetic part of Capt. Boeldieu in "Grand Illusion", and I have a recording of him in a 1936 Cole Porter musical (he spoke but did not sing).

But why did the aura of menace disappear after the first murder? I really thought we were in for a special treat at that point. I liked the motley collection of suspects at the boarding house but none of them were menacing or threatening, just a peculiar group of people. Suzy Delair's presence is marginally grating, just as it was in "Quai Des Orfevres", and once again regaled us with a forgettable song or two. Someone mentioned the chemistry between Fresnay and Delair was reminiscent of Nick and Nora Charles. That may be so, but as I stated much of the playful banter was lost due to the language barrier. Moreover, I was never a fan of attempts to mix comedy and mystery, which was prevalent up until WW II. I don't think they blend well as one element tends to cancel out the other. This could be the reason for the aforementioned disappearance of the aura of menace.

I gave this picture a rating of 7. The comparison between Clouzot and Hitchcock was not yet a valid one; at this point Hitchcock could mop the floor with the neophyte Clouzot.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

16 August 1947



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