Two paintings have just been stolen in an art gallery and in a painter's house.Amateur private detective Roland Gautier investigates .He thinks it must be a gang who signs the thefts with a "royal seal" sign.A little boy ,Marcel,is almost run over by one of the criminals and saved by Roland whose investigation takes him to a nightclub where the shady owner is none other than Marcel's sister 's lover.The young woman,Irmène, won't forget what the young sleuth has done and will be of great help when his enemies want to drown him.As for the kid, he will be here when Roland almost dies of asphyxiation.
Roland Gautier had been the hero of a handful of shorts before he was given the royal treatment of a feature-length film .A cross between Gaston Leroux' s Rouletabille and Hergé ' s Tintin (Yves Furet who played Gautier would provide the voice of the narrator in long- playing records of the early sixties based on Hergé's albums.)Besides ,the dumb captain looked like one of the Dupondt /Thompson twins .
"La Femme En rouge" is a cock and bull story ,an extravaganza which takes the viewer back to the serials of the silent era ("Les Vampires" "Belphégor" "Fantômas").The secret museum with all its stolen treasures is the best moment of a far-fetched screenplay,but you have to be patient because they probably wanted to save the best till last.It is basically a whodunit :who is the brains behind the job? Old Simon ,a restorer and an art lover?Saladin an one-eyed hoodlum?Imaneff,a famous painter whose favorite painting was stolen? Jean Talais, Roland's good friend whose attitude is somewhat bizarre?
The film must not have been a big success ,for it was the first and the last appearance of amateur private detective Roland Gautier in a feature .