SPOTLIGHT ON A MURDERER REVIEWED
“Spotlight on a Murderer” initially got a pass from me because the director helmed “Judex”. Then, I watched the film. While the first half feels like “10 Little Indians”, the film thankfully picks up. The film changes by playing upon modern technology and the insecurities of grieving relatives. People start killing themselves, as they believe their departed Patriarch has returned from the grave. But, early 60s French Scooby Doo has a few more twists.
Swing past the forced mythology of the 13th century Lord and Knight eskimo-brothering a shared woman to find the meat of the story. Awful rich people love to conspire to murder each other for financial windfalls. Jean-Louis Trintignant shows up in an early role as one of the greedy relatives. It’s fun to spot, but the movie flies by so quickly that you should enjoy the ride. I love it when Arrow can introduce a movie to me.
- Vintage production featurette from 1960, shot on location and including interviews with Georges Franju and actors Pascale Audret, Pierre Brasseur, Marianne Koch, Dany Saval and Jean-Louis Trintignant
- Original theatrical trailer
- Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Chris Fujiwara
- 1080p transfer
- 1.0 LPCM MONO
RELEASE DATE: 5/30/17
The Plot Thus Far
When the terminally ill Count Hervé de Kerloquen (Pierre Brasseur, Goto, Isle of Love) vanishes without trace, his heirs are told that they have to wait five years before he can be declared legally dead, forcing them to devise ways of paying for the upkeep of the vast family château in the meantime. While they set about transforming the place into an elaborate son et lumière tourist attraction, they are beset by a series of tragic accidents – if that’s really what they are… The little-known third feature by the great French maverick Georges Franju (Eyes Without a Face, Judex) is a delightfully playful romp through Agatha Christie territory, whose script (written by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac of Les Diaboliques and Vertigo fame) is mischievously aware of the hoariest old murder-mystery clichés and gleefully exploits as many of them as possible. They’re equally aware of the detective story’s antecedents in the Gothic novel, a connection that Franju is only too happy to emphasise visually at every opportunity thanks to his magnificent main location. A young Jean-Louis Trintignant (The Conformist, Amour) is amongst the Kerloquen heirs.