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Arséne Lupin

Arséne Lupin(1932)

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The play Arsne Lupin was based on the book of the same name by Maurice Leblanc, first published in Paris in 1907. There is some dispute concerning the origins of an American version of the play by Paul Potter. (For information about the dispute, see the entry on Arsne Lupin made in 1917 by Vitagraph, AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.0153). Variety lists a running time of 64 min. in its review of the film, however, this was probably a typographical error as it was 9 reels long and all other sources consulted listed it at 84 min. According to news items in Hollywood Reporter, Robert Montgomery and John Gilbert were both considered for the starring role in the film. The news item on Gilbert noted that Joseph Jackson was being borrowed from Warner Bros. to write a continuity for the film, but he did not receive a writing credit in any available sources for the film. A Film Daily news item announced that Herbert Prior had been added to the cast, but his participation in the completed film has not been determined. This was the first of four films in which brothers John and Lionel Barrymore appeared together in the 1930s. Although many sources, both contemporary and modern, called this their "first film together," they appeared, along with their sister Ethel, in a filmed version of an allegorical pageant entitled National Red Cross Pageant in 1917 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.0153). According to New York Times, the 1932 film marked the first time they had acted together since they performed in the 1919 play The Jest. The week that the film opened, Time magazine featured them on their cover. Other films in which they co-stared were, Grand Hotel, released later in 1932, and Dinner at Eight, and Rasputin and the Empress, both released in 1933. Rasputin and the Empress also co-starred Ethel Barrymore. There have been many films featuring the character Arsne Lupin. In addition to the forementioned 1917 film, there was a 1916 British picture directed by George Loane Tucker, a 1919 Famous Players-Lasky film entitled The Teeth of the Tiger, a 1920 Christie Film production called 813 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1. 4375 and F1.1149), a 1921 Hungarian version entitled Arsne Lupin Utolso Kalandja, a 1923 Japanese film entitled 813, a 1938 M-G-M production starring Melvyn Douglas called Arsene Lupin Returns (see below) and a 1957 French film, Les Aventures d'Arsne Lupin directed by Jacques Becker. Tully Marshall, who played Gourney-Martin in this version, had a small part as the old pawnbroker Papa Monelle in the 1938 film.