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The Murderer Lives at Number 21

The Murderer Lives at Number 21

The Murderer Lives at Number 21 is a 1942 French comedy thriller film by director Henri-Georges Clouzot. Adapted by Belgian writer Stanislas-André Steeman and Clouzot from Steeman's 1939 book of the same title, it was Clouzot's debut feature film. The film is about the hunt by detective Wens (Pierre Fresnay) for the murderer Monsieur Durand, who leaves calling cards and manages to be everywhere at once. With the aspiring actress Mila Malou (Suzy Delair), Wens follows clues to a seedy boarding house where he hopes to find the murderer.

Plot

Inspector Wenceslas (referred to as "Wens" for short) Vorobeychik is assigned the case of a serial killer who leaves a calling card with the name 'Monsieur Durand' on his victims. Wens' mistress is the ditsy struggling actress Mila Malou who is determined to get noticed, and attempts to help Wens find the criminal. Wens discovers that Durand is a tenant at a boarding house at No. 21 Avenue Junot. Wens takes a room at the house in disguise as a Protestant minister. Suspects are arrested, but while each is in jail another Durand murder occurs. Both Mila and Wens discover who is responsible for the murders. Wens is captured, and as he is about to be killed when Mila and the police arrive and rescue him.