Covered Tracks (1938) - full transcript

Séraphine and her mother arrive in Paris to visit the 1867 World Exhibition. In an overcrowded city they must be accommodated in separate hotels. During the night the mother, who wasn't feeling very well, gets suddenly worse. When next morning Séraphine goes to meet her every trace of her presence has disappeared and everybody denies having ever met her. The bewildered young woman must find someone who believes her. Previous version of So Long at the Fair (1950). - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
"Covered Tracks"

Majestic Film

Based on the radio play
by Hans Rothe


Veit Harlan

The city is home
to two million people

In the frenzy of the first World Fair
this true story took place:

World Fair 1867

Make way! Make way for the float
of the Paris World Fair.

I request the audience
not to get too close to the bulls.

The God Zeus was turned into a bull.

He carries his Europa
through the streets of Paris.

Take special note
of the charming smile

of Lady Europa,

with which she greets her guests.

See anything you fancy?

Step right in.




The entire world is our guest today.

Come to us.

"Visit the World Fair"

Step right into
the World Fair!


and it's heart,







The entire world!

The world is falling.
The world is falling.

But, child.

- Let me get it.
- Oh, no, child. Stay here.

- I wouldn't find you again.
- Oh, come on.

Seraphine, I beg you.
Can't you hear me, Seraphine?

Don't be cross, mother.

You're burning. Are you ill?

Of course I'm not ill.

I just want quiet at last.

God, I can't bear
this ruckus any longer.

We must be nearly there.

The coachman stopped.
We haven't moved for half an hour.

Coachman. How much further
to Hotel de deux Palombes?

You can see yourself,
we can't get through.

Look, there.
Look, mother!

Yes, my child. I see it.

My hand.
Please. Please, gentlemen.


- There you go, madame.
- But, no. No balloons.

It's kind of you, but...

We need to get through there
to get to our hotel.

My mother doesn't feel well.

Just a moment.
Push off with your silly balloon.

So, you're unwell, madame?

Yes, it's been a long journey.

I'll get you unstuck, then.

Please, people, coming through.
For just a moment.

Giddy up, Cocottechen!

You'll allow me to accompany you
to your hotel.

You might need help again.

You're very kind, Mr-?

Dr Morot.


I'm Madeleine Lawrence and
she's my daughter Seraphine.

Madeleine? That's a French name.

I'm French.
Born in Paris.

I'm returning after 20 years
to show my daughter my home.

Coachman. Can't you go
a bit faster?

I can't go any faster.
The street is crowded.

So, it's your first time in Paris?
You don't know Paris at all?

- No.
- Of course I know Paris.

The Celtic tribe "Parisii"
gave Paris its name.

- Excuse me? - In Caesar's times
it was a mayor trading place.

After 500 AD it became the capital
of the land of the Franks.

Since Charles the Great it's been
the royal seat.

That was in the year 800 after Christ.

After Christ? Stop this nonsense.

There, that street!
Back there!

Leads up to the Bastille.
Built 1369,

totally destroyed in 1789.

Dr Morot knows this better than you.

Madame. I've never
heard it told like this.

So, you see?
This street leads to Arc de Triomphe.

Built to glorify Napoleon,

the victorious, great, unvanquished,

and to glorify his magnificent army.

There. Now you know.

Wonderful. Wonderful!

How do you know all that?

Mother told me.

When she talked
she only spoke of Paris.

When she didn't talk
she yearned for it.

What's one to do?

In Canada's long winter nights.

And now we're here.
In your Paris.

Yes, my darling.

No! I can't bear it any longer.

Why haven't we arrived?
How much longer?

Pardon me.
I forgot to ask where to.

- Which hotel?
- Hotel de deux Palombes.

- Palombes?
- You know it?

Very well.
I'm a general practitioner.

I call on all local hotels.

Hotel de deux Palombes.

I stayed there 20 years ago.

There it is.
Can't you see it?

God. Exactly like 20 years ago.
Nothing's changed.

See, Seraphine,
above the 2 doves?

We stayed in those rooms,
your father and I.

Rooms 10 and 11.

I recall it clearly.

The wallpaper was made of silk.

With little rose buds.

Rooms 10 and 11 are reserved
for me, aren't they?

What? I'm afraid not, madame.

Of course they are.
I booked them 6 months ago.

Boy, listen.
Are there no vacancies?

The lady is mistaken.
We're full up to the roof.

Meet my friend Armand.

Hello, Armand.

Shall we?

The rooms've been occupied for weeks.

How dare you rent my rooms
to other people?


My rooms, 10 and 11.

They reserved in February.

I reserved in December.
I wrote Mr Dompierre personally.

Where is Mr Dompierre?
Call him at once.

Page! Armand!
Call Mr Dompierre.

No point dragging your luggage in.

Madame, we're full up.

My luggage stays.

- What, mother? - Dr Morot!
They didn't reserve my rooms.

How embarrassing.

I say, Mr Dompierre!

- Do you recognise me?
- Naturally, Mrs Lawrence.

Yes. Madeleine Lawrence.

You haven't changed one bit.

Don't jest, Mr Dompierre.
This, my daughter, is 18.

- Your daughter or your twin?
- Don't flatter me.

Help me. I wrote you I was
coming to Paris with my daughter.

But there's no room for us.
You're putting us out on the street.

My lady, I'm inconsolable.
I did not receive your letter.

I don't care. I'm hardly responsible
for postal negligence.

I travelled halfway around the globe
to see Paris. What a reception!

I'm tired. I'm ill.
I can't walk any further.

Do to me whatever you like,
Mr Dompierre.

Here I am.
Here I stay.

My lady. I'd happily offer
you my own room, but

I've been sleeping in the laundry
for 2 months.

Can't you do something?
As you can see my mother is unwell.

But how? What can I do?

I couldn't possibly place your mother
in a staff room.

- Where's the room?
- Top floor, below the roof.

- With bed?
- Yes, with bed.

That's fine. That's all I want.

- And my daughter?
- We'll put her up at Hotel Pont Neuf.

I know they have a room for tonight.

- But how will she get there?
- Perhaps Dr Morot could-

I'd be happy to if you allow.

It'd be most, most kind.
Now I'm tired. Good night.

You're indeed feverish, madame.

- If you need me-
- I only need rest.

Nothing but rest.
I'm very grateful for everything.

- Good night, Dr Morot.
- Good night, madame.

Maurice! Bags to 216.

You'll wait for me?


Hurry up, child. Don't tarry.

Scandalous to think some strangers
dwell in my room.

Up here, please, and then right.

- Those people should be poisoned.
- Mother!

I could poison them, I tell you.

Where are we?
Why is it so dark?

But it is light, mother.

I can't make out the room numbers.

Where is 216?

This way, madame.

You have to excuse, madame.
It's just a chamber.

Even if it was full of charcoal.
Peace at last. Peace.

Now, Seraphine. Give me a hand.

- A glass of water, please.
- At once, madame.

- At once. At once.
- You're nervous, mother.

Let me be nervous.

Stop admonishing me.

The Lawrences must be loaded.


Did you see the jewels?


Tell Mrs Lawrence to sign the register.

That went down nicely.
Bring me another glass.

Of course, madame.

What is it now, Seraphine?
Can't I get a moment's rest?

It's only the register.
As you know the police are curious.

And a nuisance.

There, write below
"Mynheer Pieter Appelboom, Amsterdam".

I'm glad I'm not an "Appelboom".

Stop fussing.
You're not called Appelboom.

Take it away.

This chamber is unbearably hot.

You know something?
You're running a fever.

- Shall I call a doctor?
- Oh, don't bother.

I'm just tired. Just let me be.

- Bad mood?
- Stop asking questions, child.

- You old gals.
- Don't be impertinent.

I'll stay with you until you fall asleep.

The gentleman, I forgot his name,
is waiting for you.

Go straight to the hotel
before they rent your room.

I don't like you going out at this time.

- Yes, mother, but-
- Well?

I could check on you again later.

Whatever for?
You'd only wake me.

- Where's Jeanette with my water?
- I'll call her.

Please do, darling.

- Good night. - Good night.
- No, don't.

Good night, mother. I'll be back
tomorrow at 8 the latest.

Good night, my baby.

Jeanette, could you please
look in on my mother?

- There's no bell and she might want-
- Don't worry.

- Many thanks. Good night.
- Good night.

Come in.

- Ready to go?
- You've been waiting long?

- Oh, never mind. Shall we?
- Yes.

The suitcase, too.

I'm deeply sorry
I can't put you up, too.

Wish I had 1000 rooms.
So, Hotel Pont Neuf.

Nothing special, alas, small,
but it'll do for one night.

- Good night, Mr Dompierre.
- Giddy-up, Cocottechen.

- Evening, Dr Morot.
- Let the lady have my room.

Mr Lefevre's arriving tomorrow.

That concludes my mission.


- So soon.
- Unfortunately.

So soon.

Any remaining wishes?

Think hard.

- No.
- No?

- Or maybe yes?
- No. Really, no.

- Good night, then.
- Good night.

See you soon?


Your tip.

Thanks for bringing me to Paris.

Good night, mother.


- Nice, isn't it?
- Dr Morot. You're still here.

I knew you'd watch the fireworks.

Of course. Impossible to sleep
with this noise.

Paris nights aren't for sleeping.

I can believe that.
But what else is there to do?

But Mademoiselle Seraphine!



Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.


If the public
got as much as a hint of this...

the consequences would be catastrophic.

Agreed, Earl Duval.

No shadow of a hint

must reach the public.

Precautions have to be taken.

It's pointless if we lose our nerves.

Clearly, we mustn't separate tonight,

until we've determined
the required precautions.

She isn't... she isn't
at Hotel Pont Neuf.

Then, where is she?
You haven't contacted her, I hope.

I haven't. My page Armand
is waiting at Dr Morot's flat.

He'll bring him here at once
when he arrives.


Shall we dance,

- Seraphine.
- Yes.

That's my name.

And you?




You called for me, Magistrate.

Dr Morot. Earl Duval,
chair of the committee for the World Fair.

Mr Dompierre.

It appears to be serious.

It is serious, unfortunately.

Be quiet.

One word from you and
I'll wring your neck.

Mr Dompierre!
If you'd please.

I'm sorry.
I'm deeply sorry, Magistrate.

But I'm ruined. My hotel is ruined.

200 guests.
200 guests!

200 guests?
2 million guests, Mr Dompierre!

2 million people in a hotel
called Paris.

If you'd please, Mr Dompierre.
Wait next door.

Where're you going?

- My hat.
- Leave it.

Take the boy with you.

Come on.

- I asked you to come... Please sit.
- Thanks.

I asked you to come
because I found out,

you spent the evening
with Mademoiselle Seraphine Lawrence.

- Is that correct?
- Yes.

During the night,
did Mademoiselle Lawrence

return to her mother's room
at Hotel de deux Palombes?

- No.
- Are you sure?


And where is she now?

In her room.
Hotel Pont Neuf.

Panic hovers above our head, gentlemen.

Do you realise the consequences,
panic among 2 million people?

I have experienced fire on board
of a crowded ship.

The danger was minimal.

Everybody could have been saved.

Not even a dozen survived.

They jumped overboard, unable to swim
trampled each other to death.

Panic, gentlemen.

- It mustn't come to that.
- How can you prevent it?

The daughter is the biggest threat.

- Seraphine Lawrence.
- Arrest her immediately.

Quite impossible.

She's a British national.

It'd cause endless political complications.

At least protective custody.

It'd be pointless.

There were about
1.000 passengers on La Plata,

most of whom are in Paris now.

Too many for protective custody.

We have to inform Ms Lawrence at least.

Totally out of the question.

The girl's 18 years old.

Tomorrow all of Paris would know.

So, what will you do?

Not a word to her.

In practical terms,
how is that possible?

Nobody can predict the outcome.

Maybe we'll get lucky.
Maybe it'll be easier than imagined.

But Ms Lawrence will look for her mother.

What to tell her?

Paris is full of adventures.

Visitors think it's the City of Love,
more than we do.

Will Ms Lawrence believe it
about her own mother?

I don't know.

We're not getting anywhere, gentlemen.

There must a way that's less cruel.

It's not the poor child's fault.

She's totally blameless.

Dr Morot. We've been searching
for 3 hours

for a possible solution.

Believe me, we weighed up
every possibility

to spare Ms Lawrence.

Like yourself, we know
the laws of benevolence

and humanitarianism.
But it's better to be cruel

to one person
than to a whole city.

If you know a better way,
please speak now.

Can you guarantee that Ms Lawrence
won't talk?

Will you bear the responsibility,

if misplaced humanitarianism
leads to a catastrophe?

You're silent.

You're right to be silent.

There is no other way,

but to remain silent.

For Christ's sake.

- Is my mother up? - The name, please.
- Mrs Lawrence.

- Lawrence, Mrs Lawrence?
- Room 216.

- You must be mistaken.
216 isn't occupied. - No.

Perhaps it's another hotel.

My mother checked-in last night.

She'll be in the register.

A moment, please.

I don't understand.
I saw it myself.

I'll go up myself.
I know the room.

Excuse me, please.

I'm looking for my mother.
She stayed here last night.

Nobody stayed here.

I don't understand.
I was here myself last night.

You must be mistaken, mademoiselle.

Excuse me.

- She was weird.
- Relax. You're weird, too.

Lift the bucket.

- Yes?
- Mr Dompierre, at once.

The small door
next to the stairs, please.

Come in.

Yes, madame.
How can I help?

Please tell me where
my mother is, Mr Dompierre.

I don't understand, madame.

What don't you understand?

Did you change my mother's room?

What was the name, madame?

Madeleine Lawrence. You greeted
us personally last night.

You must forgive me, madame,

but with 200 guests one can easily
forget a name and a face.

20 years ago my mother celebrated
her wedding in this hotel.

You said yourself that
she hadn't changed.

Remember now?

No, I don't know that lady.

And me, neither?

I do. I do.

Your face seems familiar.

Right now I couldn't say from where.

Last night,
in the reception hall,

in the presence of Gaston and Maurice,
your employees.

Have them come in!

As you wish.

Just a moment.

Gaston, Maurice. In here, now!

You are English, madame?

I think we told you last night.

How do you like Paris?

Do you recall taking my mother's luggage
upstairs, under the roof?

- No.
- 2 large cases,

2 small cases
and a plaid roll.

Yesterday, I only took one bag
all the way upstairs.

A handbag to room 210.

Nothing else?


Nothing at all?

A travel bag to room 210.

Nothing else.


And you?

Wasn't here last night.

Was off from 9 onward.

How come I know you, then?

How would I know?

I regret infinitely
not being able to help, madame.

I hope things will be cleared up soon.

Are you quite comfortable
at Hotel Pont Neuf?

How did you know where I'm staying?

Ahem, didn't you mention it earlier?

- No.
- Well.

Excuse me, madame.
I have to get back to work.

Permit me, ladies and gentlemen.

I have to see Dr Morot urgently.

Would you let me go in first?

I'm searching for my mother.

Something's happened to her.

- Dr Morot is the only one who-
- Next, please.

I thank you kindly.


How can I help, madame?

I'm looking for my mother, Fernand.

Is your mother in Paris?


What are you asking?

Are you claiming you don't know
my mother, either?

That you didn't take her
to Hotel de deux Palombes,

riding on the coach's running board?

That you didn't see her
sitting on her suitcase,

saying, "Here I am, here I stay"?

I do recall.

The lady was your mother?

But Fernand!

I told you so much about her.

Last night.

Well, last night.

So, what about your mother?

Make it brief, please.

My waiting room is full.

Perhaps it'd be better,

if you came back after office hours.

We could talk undisturbed
about everything, and...


You'll have calmed down somewhat, too.

I don't want to calm down.

I want my mother back.

Will you help or won't you?

- Seraphine, please.
- So you won't.

- No.
- Please listen.

Why do you avoid me?
Can't you see how scared I am?

Why don't you help me
find my mother?

But what could I do?

I don't know.
If I knew I wouldn't be here.

You know the city and the authorities.

You're the only person I know
in this city.

you don't want to help me.

You can't look in my eyes.

You're just like Dompierre.
And Maurice and Gaston and everybody.

You know where my mother is,

but won't tell me.

Seraphine, I...

That's it?


Come, miss. Sit with us.

I'll take Molly on my lap.

Thank you. Very kind of you.

Breakfast, madame?
Coffee, tea, chocolate?

- A mocha, please.
- Any food? Eggs, sandwich, ham, butter?

- Anything.
- Yes, madame.

Show the lady your paw.

Don't be afraid, he doesn't bite
He doesn't have any teeth left.

Do you like dogs, too?

- Yes. - Me, too.
He's such a good boy.

He eats a bit much.

He'll eat me out of house and home.

Mocha is coming.

You should eat, too, madame.

An empty stomach does not help
a heavy heart.

Did he stand you up?

Excuse me?

Was I...?
But, you're crying.

Don't you have a handkerchief?

Well, that's men for you.

He must be a hopeless idiot.

Such a cute girl.

Chin up.

Let him go.

Someone like you
could have ten on each finger.

- Excuse me?
- Mocha? You shouldn't drink mocha.

You're upset enough as it is.

What is it? What?

- Excuse me, I...
- Yes, madame?

I'd like to speak to the Consul.

Does madame have an appointment?

No, but...

Show him my card.

- Miss Lawrence?
- Yes?

- You wish to speak to the Consul?
- I have to.

The Consul regrets.
He's not in Paris at present.

I see.

Who stands in for him?

May I ask what this is concerning?

I'm from Canada and seek
help from my compatriots.

Help? Against who?

That I don't know.
My mother disappeared last night.

Help me to find her.

Of course, if it's really necessary.

Paris isn't a jungle
where people vanish.

Your mother will show up.

I think you misunderstand.

The Hotel de deux Palombes
where my mother stayed,

deny she ever arrived there.

Not only my mother vanished,

but her luggage, too.

You're making grave accusations.

Not just against the hotel's reputation
but against Paris and France.

And with good reason.

The French are a sensitive people.

If the consulate interfered
it'd be an official matter.

Perhaps a diplomatic complication.

You can't possibly want that, my lady.

I'm not accusing or suspecting

I just want my mother back.

I'm requesting your assistance.


I regret deeply,

but in the Consul's absence
I'm unable to make decisions.

When will he be back?

Impossible to say.

Could be a few days,

or 2, 3 weeks.


Poor thing.

Short trip through Paris, madame?

Do you know a coachman whose horse
is called 'Cocottechen'?

You have to excuse us, madame.

In Paris every third cap horse
is called Cocottechen.

We happen to have a weakness for Cocottes.

Get out, Maurice.
Climb in, madame.

It's my Cocotte's pleasure
to drive you through Paris.

Go from hotel to hotel.

Giddy-up, Cocottechen!


- Madeleine Lawrence.
- No.


I see.

- Madeleine Lawrence.
- I regret, madame. Not here.

Madeline Lawrence from Quebec.

No, madame. Not registered here.

You have to help me, Armand.
I know you will help.

You have a mother, too, don't you?

- You see? Does she live here
in Paris? - Yes.

Imagine, you visit your mother.

You arrive home and she's gone.

The neighbours claim your mother
never lived there.

Her belongings have all vanished.

Even the door where
she used to wait for you.

How would you feel, Armand?

Wouldn't you run to your friends
and ask in God's name for help?

I have no friends here, Armand.

I have nobody to ask: what happened?
What did you do to my mother?

I only have you, Armand.

Everybody else mocks me
or lies to me.

You won't lie to me, Armand.

You'll tell me the truth.

You do know it.
I beg you.

I beg from the bottom of my heart.


Your... your mother...



I can understand that you
worry about your mother.

But I ask that you spare my hotel
any further visits.

Here nobody can help you
because nobody knows anything.

- And that's final.
- You're lying, Mr Dompierre.

Let's find out if you'll
lie to the police, too.

- Don't be angry, Mr Lafayer.
I'm in a hurry. - Yes, doctor.

- My next appointment?
- Thursday at 11. - Yes.

- Good bye.
- Good bye.

- How many people are waiting?
- Another 4.

- Important cases?
- Only Mr Lupain.

Tell him I'll visit him at 6, will you?

And please send the others away.

- I have to leave urgently.
- Dr Morot!

She came. She very nearly
made Armand speak.

She's going to the police now.

I see.

Come on.

You don't believe me, Magistrate?

Dear Miss Lawrence.
I do believe you.

Why wouldn't I?

All kinds of strange things happen
in this world.

But it's your word against that
of Mr Dompierre.

Currently, I have no reason
to suspect Mr Dompierre

of concealing a crime
as you claim.

But Magistrate. What other
explanation is there?

For what other reason
would Mr Dompierre

deny knowing my mother?

I know Mr Dompierre.

I don't know him to be a liar.

He couldn't have forgotten.

He hadn't forgotten meeting my mother
20 years ago.

Are you seriously suggesting Mr Dompierre
lost his memory overnight?

Miss Lawrence, you will agree
this conversation has become pointless.

I'll talk to Mr Dompierre.

But since you have no proof that
your mother arrived in Paris with you,

and since the statements of everybody
involved contradict you,

I urge you
to withdraw your accusations.

What proof do you need?

All proof, all luggage, all records -

all my mother's belongings
have vanished.

There must have been...

murder and robbery, Magistrate.
Something horrific.

Since you don't want to help
I'll go to the government.

I'll make enough noise
to cause a riot.

Dear Miss,
I advise you to do nothing,

that would force me
to have you arrested.

There're thousands and thousands
of visitors in Paris.

I'm responsible for their safety
and well-being.

This is serious business.

Don't forget: if you're arrested...

you're unable to search for your mother.

Heed my words.

What did the young lady ask you?

- The address of the North Atlantic Line.
- Thanks.

I asked for La Plata's passenger list
from New York to Le Havre.

This is it, madame.

It isn't.
Or it's incomplete.

We have no other list, madame.


Come, Seraphine.

- Welcome.
- Shall we sit there?

- What shall I order?
- It doesn't matter.

2 vermouth, please.

Don't be mute, Seraphine.


It'll ease your heart.

If you knew how you...

You don't want to talk to me?

So, listen.

I... I'm your friend.

If things weren't so serious,

I'd use very different words.


They showed me a passenger list
for La Plata.

My mother's name isn't on it.

Only my name.

So I came alone
from Canada to France.

All my life I've never spent one day
without my mother.

Do you think I could be insane?

For heaven's sake.


Let's talk about
the obvious, shall we?

Do you have a room for tonight?

I'm staying at the Pont Neuf.

Only for one night.

Really? It doesn't matter.

I took the liberty to rent a room
for you in a pension.

I'll take you there now.

It'd be better if you'd-

But I want my mother back.
You did see her.

- People are looking at us.
- Admit that you saw her.

I need to hear you say
just once

that one person in Paris
has seen my mother.

- Pull yourself together.
- You're not saying it!

We're not alone here.

Yes, I...

I need to get out.

The Magistrate said...

I'd get arrested if I...

My God.

Seraphine. Listen to me,
I'm begging you.

Admit you saw my mother.

You mustn't talk like that.

Admit you saw my mother
in the cab yesterday.

- Seraphine, listen.
- I beg you,

Admit you saw my mother next to me
in the cab yesterday!

You did see her, didn't you?
You know it's true.

- People are looking.
- Admit you spoke to my mother,

that you told her she ran a fever.
Say it out loud!

I need to hear it at least once!

I can't say it.

Leave me alone.

Seraphine, you're being unfair.

I don't want to see you again.

It's all pointless, Seraphine.

Excuse me, sir. Protect me, please.
I'm being followed against...

against my will.

The lady is under my personal
protection. May I?

If you'd please.

- Coachman, go.
- Where to?

Straight ahead.

To the Police Magistrate.

You're in love with Miss Lawrence?


I didn't reckon with that
when I confided in you.

Oh, what a mess.

Magistrate, I'm asking again:
release me from my silence.

Impossible, Morot. Impossible.

We mustn't talk before
the end of the World Fair.

- What is it, Dubois?
- Message from Inspector Fragonard.

Compounded mess.

Henry Poquet snared her.

Who's Henry Poquet?

"Silenced Truths" by Henri Poquet
"Where is Madeline Lawrence?"

"A question
of conscience and honour."

"We have to keep our city's
reputation in tact."

"Citizens of Paris,
what crime has been committed?"

"Can you stand by as guests to our city
vanish without a trace"

"while the police do nothing?"

You've come to the right place.

Lucienne, copy it down again.

Your story's great. Invaluable.

Tomorrow you and your missing
mother will be a sensation.


I'm being tactless.
Part of the job. Don't be cross.

Sorry for your loss, I meant to say.
Terrible story.

Tragic. But exciting. Exciting!

Finally a big deal.

Right at the World Fair.

I'm telling you: this is a blockbuster!

You're right, this is explosive.

Without a doubt, interesting.

I regret, Mr Poquet.
The Figaro can't run your article.

Allow me, Editor in Chief.

Isn't the article good?

- Vintage Poquet.
- Isn't it? Short. Brilliant.

- Every punchline hits its target.
- Yes. But, still.

Do you realise the damage
you inflict on your paper?

That's my lot to bear.

There are other big papers in Paris
who'll fight for this.

Good luck, Mr Poquet.

Very strange, that.

Say, who’s paying you not to run
my article?

Mr Poquet, your question is impertinent.

Unless you're obeying executive orders.


Thank God you're here.

I sent your luggage to the pension.

Allow me to take your there?

Are you still angry with me?

I'm nothing now.

I'm not even sure I'm still alive.

Come on. Let's go.

It's great! It's great!

Give it here.

Stop the press! Clear the box!
Get the type setter!

Paris, where is Madeleine Lawrence?

That's a fanfare, a gun salve.
The edition will go into the...

Anyway, how much are you asking for?

Let's not argue. Let's say half. Deal.
Where's the setter?

Set it up at once.
Headline very bold!

Like yourself.

- Come again?
- Oh, nothing.

This'll kick off in 3 hours.
We'll flood the streets.

2 million people will hear the scream:

Where's Madeleine Lawrence?
Paris, where's Madeleine Lawrence?

- Then, will Miss Lawrence reappear?
- Nonsense.

It's irrelevant where she is.
Not our business.

Dear Magistrate. We're lighting
a torch under your seat.

You'll get scorched
in interesting places!

- Who's there?
- Police.

Oh, gee.

Are you Mr Pigeon?

Pigeon, editor-in-chief of 'The Torch'.

Where are you off to?

- Who are you?
- Henry Poquet.

You're familiar with the name.

Indeed. Nothing to be proud of.

I confiscate the article.

'The Torch' is banned until further notice.
The print shop is closed.

Cry, Seraphine.

Have a good cry.

I've dreaded your pain
all day.

Everything passes in life.

Even what sometimes passes
for eternal.

Do you mind the piano?

On the contrary.


Please tell me
if you'd rather be alone.


Anything I can do?

Would you get me the evening papers?

Think they wrote about your mother?

I hope so.
Poquet promised.


It's not usually that fast, but
I'll get them.

- No, you're staying here.
- No.

I'll see you to the door.

Allow me to introduce myself.
Gustave Dubois Remont.

Do you mind my playing?

- No.
- Can I be of assistance?


- May I enter for a moment?
- Please do.

I don't mean to bother you.

But I can't leave you all alone.

Are you alone in Paris?



- Pardon. - You're quite in a hurry.
- Indeed.

But Dr Morot did see your mother.
And Dompierre, Gaston and Maurice.

Obviously they're all in it together.

- I can't believe it.
- It's logical. There's no other way.

Why do you believe me that
I arrived with my mother?

You never saw her.

Of course I believe you.
Why wouldn't I?

I'm starting to doubt myself.

I beg you, trust me.

- Evening papers, please.
- Figaro, Journal, L'Intransiegant.

- Torch?
- Won't come out today.

- Why not? - No idea.
- Banned? - Perhaps.

Perhaps there are objects
in your luggage or clothes

that could prove
your mother's existence.

- How do you mean?
- I'm not sure myself.

But I think you should...

a proof, a note, a dress
or a passport...

I don't know what, but you must have
something that belongs to your mother.

No, there's nothing.

I only have a case with my nightgown,
2 dresses and this bag.

The rest is gone.
Like my mother.

- May I look into the bag?
- Yes.

- Is this your mother?
- Yes.


Madame Marie Printemps,
36, Rue Napoleon, Le Havre.

There's people who're denying
she was ever on the boat.

- Impossible!
- Madame Printemps,

I demand a great favour.

You recall that Mother and I
came to Le Havre from New York?

Dear Miss Seraphine, why wouldn't
I recall?

I cherish the memory.

- Your mother was such a good woman.
- Yes, all right.

That's why you have to take the first
train to Paris tomorrow with me,

to testify to the police that
you served Mother and me on the boat.

Madame Printemps, did you keep
any invoices?

Or notes, or something,

that prove that Mrs Lawrence arrived
in Le Havre on La Plata?

Yes, of course.

I kept my passengers' list.

I looked after 24 parties.

"Mrs Madeleine Lawrence and daughter
Seraphine Lawrence, Cabin 23."

There's your proof.

- I'm worried you might lose the list.
- Yes.

I can't close the purse.

I'd better I take it. In Paris
we're going straight to the police.

Tunnel's approaching.

I'd better close the window.

- What do you want? - Help! Thieves!
- Let go of me!

- Police!
- Let go!

Stop him!

The gentlemen have left.

My wallet's gone.

The list was in your wallet.


I'm telling you I was assaulted.
On a French train.

I demand to speak to the Magistrate!

Madame, the Magistrate is unable
to attend to every case personally.

You can go in.
Besides, he isn't in.

Submit a written report.
It'll go through the proper channels.

Anyway, nothing can be done presently,
my child.

"Through the proper channels."

Oh, yes.

"Nothing can be done."

Oh, yes.

- Where is Mr Breck?
- At the closing ball of the World Fair.

At the ball.

Seraphine, be reasonable.

If you insist on talking
to the Magistrate stick to the facts.

- Don't do anything rash.
- Yes, yes...

...yes, yes, obviously.
Where does the Magistrate sit?

In the government box, surely.

She just arrived.
With Morot.

Attention, mesdames et messieurs.

About to commence,
Paris' most beautiful dancer.

She'll put a spell on you
with her greatest antics,

and her enchanting belly.

She'll cascade and jump for joy.
Sideways, too.

The lucky fairy of many a tale -
here she is!

Attention. Here comes
Mademoiselle Paris.

How do we get
to the government box?

- We have to wait for him to step out.
- Okay.

Let's wait near the door.

No entry here.

Come on.

See, from here you get
the best view of him.

Waiting is torture.

Morot. Morot! Look!

The woman in the yellow dress.

She's wearing my mother's jewels!

Seraphine. You're mistaken.
You have to be mistaken!

Let go of me.

Let me through!

Let me through.

Where did you get the jewels?
They're my mother's jewels!

What do you want?
Let go of me.

- Come with me?
- What do... - Come with me!

- Don't make a fuss.
- Let go of me.

- You've gone crazy!
- Come with me!

- Let go!
- For heaven's sake, Seraphine!

Excuse the scene, Your Excellence.

Keep playing! Keep playing!

- You're making a scene!
- I really don't care.

I'll take the other door.

Why was the burning of the objects left
to some hotel employee?

When I was called to the hotel
an anxious Mr Dompierre

had all Mrs Lawrence's belongings burned.

Best laid plans of mice and men...


The Magistrate awaits you.
Go right in.

It's unheard of!
The gall! How dare you-

Be quiet. It'll be cleared up.

This woman's wearing
my mother's jewels.

Dr Morot, please testify.
You recognise the jewels on this woman

as my mother's.

I haven't done anything.

Arrest the girl.

A moment. The jewels are mine.
A gift from Maurice.

Who's Maurice?

A friend.

- What Maurice?
- The house servant from Deux Palombes.

- Get him at once.
- You promised to help Ms Lawrence.

Not a single line's been printed.

Even a Poquet isn't all mighty.

Don't you get what's going on?

The state doesn't want the disappearance
of the English woman resolved.

On whose behalf
I still don't know.

Probably to do with espionage.

Or some high-society person is involved.

A case like that,
Joe Public doesn't get told.

A pity. Would have caused a stir.

Never mind. There'll be others.

You have access to the printers'.

So? What good is it?

They'd ban the paper at once,
as before.

Not a paper. Hand bills.

Let's print a few thousand fliers.

Hand bills.

Can't make money with them.

I'm not interested
in educating the public.

I'm a journalist, not a charity.

How much for 5.000 hand bills?

You want to pay for them?

I'm offering 500 francs.

- 1.000.
- All right, 1.000.

- Come on. - What do you want with me?
- Wait for it.

He's my mother's killer.

You murdered my mother.

Damn womenfolk. How dare you
wear the jewels?

Didn't I forbid it?

You gave me the jewels.

- Remove your cap!
- I said nobody must see the jewels,

Don't show them anyone.

- You stupid bimbo go straight...
- Don't hit me!

- Maurice!
- to a ball to show off with a fellow.


- What's this?
- She's my fiancee.

- Think I become a nun for you?
- Don't you understand

you make them suspect I killed
Madame Lawrence?

She was dead already!

My God.

My mother, dead?


- Murdered?
- Yes.

Don't you answer the lady?

Was my mother murdered?


Where is she?

Magistrate, I'm asking
where my mother is?


been cremated.

Why was my mother cremated?

Will you not answer?

I'm not authorised to answer.


Dr Morot. Why was
my mother cremated?

For heaven's sake.
Don't leave her alone.

"Paris! Where is Madeleine Lawrence?"

"Paris! This is about your reputation."

"Your visitors risk their lives. They
fall prey to thieves and murderers"

"and the police protects the culprits.
Madeleine Lawrence from Canada,"

"born in Paris, came home with
her daughter for the World Fair

and disappeared without a trace."

Let's have a look.

"The late daughter, martyred to death
by our police, rests"

"at Mme Chaumette's pension.
Go and convince yourselves."

"We're spreading handbills because
the truth is forbidden in Paris."

I've run out of ideas.

Only one person can help us:

Seraphine Lawrence.

The plague.

My mother.

The plague.


Sheer horror evoked by one word,

hovering over Paris and it's
2 million souls.

If the world had learned,

one careless word from you
would have sufficed,

that the plague was among
our visitors,

ships on open sea would have returned.

Music in gardens would have stopped.

Shops and cafés
would have been deserted.

It was too late to save your mother
but Paris...

What am I to do?

Let the same strength of emotion,

that we witnessed in you,
came to the fore once again.

You're to sign here,

despite everything we did to you.

"I declare herewith
voluntarily, free of any pressures,"

"that I"

"arrived without my mother"

"in Paris."

"I've come from Canada to show
Paris to my daughter."

"I'm French, born in Paris."

"Built to glorify Napoleon!"

"The victorious, great, unvanquished,"

"and to glorify his magnificent army."

"God, I can't bear
this ruckus any longer."

"She only ever spoke about Paris.
And when she didn't she yearned for it."

...for her Paris.

It's your mother's native country
that you're serving.

Do you have a pen?

- I really don't know how to...
- Don't say anything.

Leave me alone.

Dr Morot?

Sit by my side.

- Gustave?
- Uh-huh.

Do you love him?

- But he's a good fellow.
- Uh-huh.



Subtitles: Tim Cooper for KG