L’ASSASSIN HABITE… AU 21
T. it.: L’assassino abita al 21. Sc.: Stanislas-André Steeman, H.G. Clouzot, dal romanzo omonimo (1939) di S.A. Steeman. F.: Armand Thirard. Mu.: Maurice Yvain. M.: Christian Gaudin. Scgf.: André Andreyev. Su.: William Robert Sivel. Cast: Pierre Fresnay (isp. Wenceslas Wens), Suzy Delair (Mila Malou), Jean Tissier (prof. Lallah-Poor), Pierre Larquey (Colin), Noël Roquevert (dott. Linz), René Génin (Alfred), Jean Despeaux (Kid Robert), Marc Natol (Armand), Huguette Vivier (Yana), Odette Talazac (Madame Point). Prod.: Continental; 35mm. D.: 84’. Bn.
«You’re not really criminals: you’re aesthetes of crime.» This compliment, paid by Wens to the three Durand in L’assassin habite au 21, is true for many of Clouzot’s films: those in which he draws on the proceedings and pretexts of the crime genre (if it is possible to strictly define the genre in French cinema), but in which, in terms of the linear dramatic progression, he abolishes the fiction of a guilty party to be unmasked, replacing it with a very personal mirror game. […] No filmmaker would announce the time of murderers, in the full collective meaning of the term, as clearly as this, a time in which any average Frenchman could potentially reveal himself to be a scoundrel, in which the humanistic categories inherited from the III Republic yield to the invasive omnipotence of suspicion.
Noël Herpe, in «Positif», January 1996