Quai des Orfèvres Image
Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Brilliantly transforming a classic whodunit plot, Gallic Master of Suspense Henri-Georges Clouzot takes us from the wings and dressing rooms of the Parisian music hall and circus worlds to the drab, airless corridors and holding cells of the Quai's Criminal Investigations Department, in a blend of social realism and psychological cruelty that became his trademark. One of the uncontested masterpieces of the postwar French cinema, but rarely seen here since its original 1947 U.S. release (as "Jenny Lamour"). (Film Forum) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    A film noir? A backstage musical? A whodunit? A comedy? In truth, it's all of the above -- plus a kinky love story, an absorbing melodrama, and a mordantly jaded snapshot of postwar Paris -- and all of them are wonderful.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    100
    In every respect it is outstanding.
  3. 100
    A gorgeous flirt of a murder movie.
  4. It is in fact a traditional mystery more reminiscent of Agatha Christie than the reigning film noir aesthetic of 1947. But it's fabulously entertaining.
  5. Brooding, beautifully made and almost impossible for Americans to see -- Quai des Orfèvres, makes a triumphant reappearance on theatrical screens after an absence of about 50 years.
  6. This pungently filmed 1947 melodrama doesn't rank with Clouzot classics like "Diabolique" and "The Wages of Fear," but it's full of hard-boiled charm and has a musical score that adds extra dimensions to its impact.
  7. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    60
    While the story is thin, Clouzot uses his immense skills to raise the picture above the standard for the genre.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 17, 2011
    9
    Quai des Orfevres is a truly fine example of a murder-mystery, chiefly because of how it breaks the "typical" formula for the genre. The film isn't about finding out "whodunit" - we are provided with that information from the very start. In reality, it's a tale of deception and misunderstanding - the police think they are on the right line of enquiry, but fail to guess how far off the real culprit they really are, and the innocent man who is suspected is forced to cover his tracks as the evidence against him is strong. Performances across the board are strong, but Louis Jouvet is the real highlight of the film, playing one of the all-time greatest grizzled movie police detectives - he is absolutely captivating in every scene. The real achievement of Quai des Orfevres is how expertly it bridges the gap between formula and innovation. It's extremely enjoyable as a highlight of the mystery genre and noire filmmaking, but it is memorable because it deconstructs these filmic artifices and is unafraid to do something a little different in regards to narrative and character. Expand