A Scandal in Paris


1h 40m 1946

Brief Synopsis

An elegant con man gets himself appointed chief of police so he can rob Paris at his leisure.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Story of Vidocq, Thieves Holiday, Vidocq
Release Date
Jul 19, 1946
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Arnold Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Film Length
8,934ft (11 reels)

Synopsis

In 1805, twenty-nine-year-old Eugene-François Vidocq is serving time in jail after a life of petty crimes and romantic conquests. After Vidocq and his cellmate, Emile Vernet, escape from jail, they take refuge with Emile's family in Paris. Later, posing as soldiers in Napoleon's army, the men leave for Marseilles. There, in a waterfront café, Vidocq meets singer Loretta, but their romance ends when Vidocq steals a jeweled garter from her. A short time later, Loretta marries Chief of Police Richet, the man who gave her the garter. In a cemetery on the road back to Paris, Vidocq and Emile rescue a pet monkey belonging to the Marquise de Pierremont. After catching a glimpse of the marquise's jewels, Vidocq wrangles an invitation to her castle. The marquise's son Houdon, the Minister of Police, has two daughters--beautiful Therese, who becomes infatuated with Vidocq, and precocious Mimi. Learning from Houdon that Richet is on the trail of the "Casanova" bandit, Vidocq decides to steal the jewels immediately and hide them on the castle grounds. When Richet fails to capture the thief, Houdon fires him. Vidocq then pretends to discover the hidden jewels and is appointed to Richet's vacated position. Vidocq reveals to Emile his plans to use his new position to rob the Bank of Paris and, in preparation for the robbery, hires Emile's relatives as bank guards. One day, as he leaves the bank, Vidocq encounters Loretta, who recognizes him and pressures him into meeting her that night at a modiste's shop. Worried that Loretta will expose him, Vidocq orders Emile to carry out the robbery that night. Later that day, at the marquise's request, Therese and Mimi, accompanied by Emile and Vidocq, deposit her jewels in the bank. When they are alone, Therese tells Vidocq of her love for him and also reveals her knowledge that he stole her mother's jewels. She then begs him to remain in his job as an honest policeman. Because he returns Therese's love, Vidocq agrees to her request. After he tells Emile's family that he will not participate in the robbery, Vidocq leaves for his meeting with Loretta, followed by an enraged Emile. When Vidocq arrives at the modiste's, he discovers that Loretta has been killed by her jealous husband, who then committed suicide. Emile tries to kill Vidocq but is himself killed in the ensuing struggle. Vidocq confesses his crimes, and is pardoned when he agrees to make reparations. His name cleared, Vidocq marries Therese and begins a new life on the side of the law.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Story of Vidocq, Thieves Holiday, Vidocq
Release Date
Jul 19, 1946
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Arnold Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Film Length
8,934ft (11 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's working titles were Vidocq, The Story of Vidocq and Thieves Holiday. The above credits were taken from a cutting continuity. Opening credits state that Ellis St. Joseph's screenplay was "based on the life of Eugene-François Vidocq." Eugene-François Vidocq (1775-1857) was a French police officer and adventurer. After serving in the army, he created and directed a specialized detective force in Paris, which was the forerunner of the police de sûreté. Vidocq was dismissed from the police for an alleged role in a robbery and then formed a private police agency. Several books, including Mémoires de Vidocq (1828-1829), Les Voleurs (1837), and Les Vrais Mystères de Paris (1844), were published under his name but May have been written by others.