skip navigation
The Rat

The Rat(1938)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

At the Prison de la Sante in Paris, Pierre Verdier has been sentenced to death. Verdier sends for fellow criminal Jean Boucheron, alias "The Rat," and asks him to look after his daughter Odile. Pierre tells Jean that she can be found at the Cabaret de la Boheme in Montmartre. At the cabaret, Inspector Caillard, who has been on Jean's trail for some time, waits to question the criminal about a jewelry robbery that occurred earlier that evening. When Jean arrives, he throws a man to the ground for bothering Odile and takes her upstairs to his apartment, warning her never to return to the cabaret. She settles in, cleaning up his apartment and placing a pot of geraniums in the window. After a week's absence, Jean arrives through the window, throwing the geraniums to the floor. He tells her that the window must be kept clear for his clandestine entries. Jean then goes down to the cabaret and gets into a fight with his friend, Albert. Just as Jean prepares to knife his friend to death, Inspector Caillard enters with Luis Stets, a South American millionaire, and his girl friend, Zelia de Chaumont. Zelia asks Jean to dance, but he ignores her until he notices her expensive pearls. As they dance, Odile enters and tells Jean that the police have been searching the apartment. Odile then asks Jean if he will take her to the country. The next day, as they pick apples on a hillside, Jean suddenly takes Odile in his arms and kisses her. Back in the city, Jean begins to meet with Zelia on a regular basis, and Odile fears that he will soon want to get rid of her by sending her away to school. Meanwhile, Stets has guessed that Zelia is seeing Jean and confronts her. She admits the truth, then tells Stets that she does not want to see him anymore as she hands back the pearls. Later, Mere Colline, the proprietress of the cabaret, arranges a meeting with Stets and Odile at the apartment. There, Stets begins to make advances, telling Odile he wants to take care of her. She grabs Jean's gun and fires it at him. At that moment, Jean rushes to the window, having learned of Stets' presence in the apartment. Before he can reach the window, however, he slips and injures himself. At Caillard's office, Odile is questioned about the murder, though Caillard's prime suspect is Jean. When Caillard questions Zelia, she lies about her relationship with Jean in order to protect her reputation. Odile is charged with murder, and at her trial, Jean comes forward with a false confession in order to protect her. In love with Jean, Zelia appears as well, explaining Jean's alibi and the reason for his false confession. The jury convicts Odile, but only sentences her to one year in prison due to the extenuating circumstances. Jean promises to wait for her.