Cast & Crew
Reknowned international thief Lupin III (known as "Wolf" in the English dub) comes to the small European duchy of Cagliostro to investigate some excellently-forged money and stumbles across a national conspiracy going back some hundreds of years. Lupin and his friends must rescue the beautiful Clarice from the hands of the evil Count Cagliostro and solve the mystery of a hidden treasure dating back to the 15th century.
Which are we helping?- Daisuke Jigen
The girl!- Lupin III
Typical!- Daisuke Jigen
You... you've broken into that castle before?- Daisuke Jigen
That was more than 10 years ago. I was looking for the secret of the Goat bills. I was still a young punk, just starting out.- Lupin III
And? What happened?- Daisuke Jigen
I got my butt royally kicked! Had to run away with my tail between my legs.- Lupin III
I feel sorry for Lady Clarisse. The count's known for being a real playboy.- Waitress
Oh, really? Just like me! Say, are you busy tonight?- Lupin III
Good ol' Zenigata, the archetypal Japanese man. Totally devoted to his work.- Lupin III
Hey there, Lupin. You figure a way in yet?- Daisuke Jigen
Nope. That place is incredible. A nest of lasers and radar.- Lupin III
I see. We may even need a tank.- Daisuke Jigen
That's why you called Zenigata, right?- Goemon Ishikawa
What? Is that true, Lupin?- Daisuke Jigen
The movie makes several references to the novel "The Memoirs of Arsene Lupin" by Maurice LeBlanc (the French author whose turn-of-the-century series of Arsene Lupin novels inspired the "Lupin III" manga and anime series), including the names of the villain and of Lupin's would-be love interest.
During the negotiations to license the film for North American distribution, Streamline Pictures ran into problems when the Japanese copyright holders insisted (to avoid legal complications with the estate of Maurice LeBlanc, author of the turn of the century Arsene Lupin mysteries) that the main character's name be translated as "Cliff Hanger."
In earlier English translations of the film, the main character was known as "Wolf" (largely for copyright reasons), which is a direct translation of the French word "Lupin." Current English translations have either reverted to the name "Lupin" as it original appeared in the works of mystery writer Maurice LeBlanc, or make use of the transliteration "Rupan" (the Japanese pronunciation of the word).
The cars driven by the main characters are based on real models. Lupin's car is an Italian 1969 Fiat 500. Animation director Yasuo Otsuka, owned a Fiat 500. Clarisse's getaway car is a French Citroen 2CV, which was the first car owned by director Hayao Miyazaki. The goons chasing her use a British 1940 Humber Super Snipe. Zenigata's police car is a Japanese Nissan Bluebird, and his men ride in Canadian 1943 GM Military Pattern truck.
The movie was completed in four months, from August to December of 1979.