Panic (1946) - full transcript

In the suburbs of Paris, an old maid has just been murdered. Every body talks about that, except the misanthrope Mr Hire. The same evening, Alice, just getting out of jail, arrives and meets up with her lover Alfred again. They act as they do not know each other, for Alice went to jail to spare Alfred. But Mr Hire falls in love with Alice, and he knows Alfred is the murderer...

Inspired by Georges Simenon's Novel

Mr. Hire's Engagement

Ask for Paris Soir!
One franc! All the latest news!

You can go and watch,
but don't get run over.

Evening, Monsieur Hire.

And don't bring any fleas home!

A carnival's all we need.

A ten-day nuisance.

What'll it be today?

One loin chop, thick and bloody.

One chop and you're done.

If you had eight children like me...

The missus still isn't over
the last one.

Mathilde, what's the doctor call it?

Lymphatism in the organs.

Ever hear of that?

Oh, that's right.

You don't have a wife either.

Some like to keep life simple.

Now there's a prime out!

You said that yesterday
about my steak.

Good, but not enough blood.

Not enough blood?

You'll like this one.

Mathilde, 6.25 for Monsieur Hire.

That carnival
will keep us up all night.

And folks will stuff themselves
with candy.

There oughta be a law.

- 6.25, you said?
- That's right, monsieur.

- Good evening.
- Glad to be of service!

Always so chatty.
Friendly, too.

Hey, boss...

there's a fancy pair of shoes!

Damn! With feet in them!

Don't touch a thing!

Kids, where's the police station?
- Dunno.

Where's the police station?

There's a corpse in the empty lot!

No! Man or woman?

- A woman.
- Who is it?

How do I know?
Imagine finding such a thing!

Some carnival!

- Where's the police station?
- Straight ahead.

Good evening, Monsieur Hire.

A Camembert, runny and ripe.

They're all quite ripe.
Choose one yourself.

Jéréme, switch the lights on
so we can see.

And for you, Madame Brochu?

There's a corpse in the vacant lot!

Yes, a dead body!
- Jesus and Mary!

Good Lord, I better go see!

Jéréme, go see what's happening.

Sure thing.

Hear that, Monsieur Hire?
In our neighborhood!

There's no morality
or religion anywhere.

Not ripe enough.
I wonder if the brie is better.

Look at that,
all of them hurrying over there.

Carrion always attracts flies,
dear madam.

Keep back, keep back.

The police will want
to examine the footprints.

We'll need to identify the victim
and notify the family.

Give me the lamp.

Stop shoving, kids!

The men should remove their hats.

It's a woman.

I'd say it really looks like -

It's Mademoiselle Noblet!
- Who?

Mademoiselle Noblet,
a kind-hearted lady.

Was she shot or stabbed?

The police will tell us.

Step back!

Move away.
It's not a sideshow.

I hope the police conduct
a forceful, diligent investigation.

I tried to keep them back.

You did well.

First, the doctor needs
to examine the body.

Permit me.

Let the doctor through
for the official examination!

Come on, let the doctor through!


Thank you.

At your service, sir.

This way, Doctor.

- Hello, little Lucienne.
- Hello, Monsieur Hire.

- Were you good at school?
- Yes, Monsieur Hire.

- Do you want an apple?
- Sure.

- What do you say?
- Thank you, Monsieur Hire.

Lucienne! Come here at once!

- Who gave you that?
- Monsieur Hire.

Take any more gifts from him
and I'll lock you in the closet!

Anybody here?

I saw one at my previous hotel.

A drowned person is awful,
but she looked like she was asleep.

Weird seeing
the edge of her petticoat.

If she'd only known that one day...

A generous lady.
She did a great deal for charity.

But no husband or kids.
And she ate like a bird.

Not even half a pound
of meat a week.

Still, a fine woman.

I'll have a glass of red.

She had no enemies.

It was some burn or sadist!

- Did they find her bag?
- She had no money.

Think about it.
She wasn't killed for money.

But a lady dressed in black...

well into her 40s,
found in a vacant lot -

strange, isn't it?

Very peculiar, indeed.

All these carnival folk,
where are they from?

Like I said,
carnivals are bad for business.

You don't know me.

Meet me behind the church
in a half hour.

Sensational developments!

The inspector needs the phone!

The booth's in back. A drink?

How'd she die?

- Strangled.
- Any prints?

- That's confidential.
- When did it happen?

The victim struggled.
Her wristwatch was broken.

A phone token, please.

Her watch stopped at 8:20.
- So this morning.

- I'd say last night.
- While we played cards.

Which reminds me,
you owe me 36 francs.

- You'll be questioning everyone.
- Don't worry.

Allow me to introduce myself.
Adrien Sauvage, tax collector.

I know everyone. Decent folk.

All terribly shaken.

I'm a thoughtful man of experience.

If you need information on any odd
individuals or likely suspects...


my darling Freddy.

It's you.

I'm with you at last.


My sweet Alice.

No, hold me in your arms...


- Listen...
- Don't say a word.

I've waited 233 days for this moment...

and 233 nights.

Were you waiting for me, darling?

Sure, but I didn't expect you so soon.

You haven't done anything silly?

No, I've behaved myself.

So much so, they released me early.

I don't get it.

Why so cautious?

You obviously don't know them.

Everything comes with a price.

They made me promise to help them.

I did, because
I so wanted to be with you.

They're watching me.
- I've got nothing to hide.

Really? You've got a job?

I'll tell you all about it.

I'd have been a heel
after everything you did.

It was nothing.

What if I told you I liked my prison,
because I was there for you.

I even wished it was tougher.

I wanted the guards to be nastier.

I wanted to suffer more
to show how much I love you.

Understand, my little lost soldier boy?

I adore church music.

Like when I was a kid.

So tell me...

why are they still watching you?

They know I took the rap
for someone in that robbery,

so we must pretend to be strangers.

You can't leave me now!

Why risk getting caught now?

You know...

I need to be patient too.

Only until tomorrow.

At the cafe', in front of everyone,
we'll pretend to meet for the first time.

You'll call me “mademoiselle”...

and I'll play hard to get.

So who am I falling for?

A guy named Alfred.

He works in a garage with his pals.

Everybody likes him.
He's always ready to help.

Doesn't drink or gamble.

Never plays poker...

only belote.

No girlfriend?

Impossible. He loves a girl
who's been away for a year.

And who now has no place to live.

I'll get a room at the hotel.

I'll put in a word with the owner.

No, we haven't met yet!



see you tomorrow?

I think it's going to be
love at first sight.

My darling!

We better go.
I don't want to sleep outside.

Me neither.

What's going on?

It's going to the morgue.
Some old maid was knocked off.

Charming neighborhood!

Good-bye, honey.
See you tomorrow.

Good night!

Not much of a view, but it's quiet.

It'll be fine.

Good night, mademoiselle.

Good night.

I don't need anything else.

Very well, madame.


I've never approached a woman
like this, but last night -

Oh, it was you!

If you knew me better...

Right here, Inspector.

Yes, I see.

you didn't check in last night.

Sorry, it was late.

With this murder,
it's best to obey the law.

No matter when.

That's what I meant, Inspector.

You arrived yesterday?

Yes, sir.

- Where from?
- Rennes.

Do you have a job?

I came to Paris to find work.

Tell me, has anyone
checked in or out this week?

Our guests stay for months,
sometimes years.

Take him.
He's been here three years.

Lucky for him I had a vacancy.

A guest left suddenly?

I'll say...

Sudden heart attack.

Believe me, that guy's a cop.

I can spot one a mile off.

He's looking everywhere
for the murderer -

in drawers, in the garbage,
even in the inkwell!

Meanwhile, while the cop's searching
for his customer

under a chest of drawers
or behind a wall,

the murderers go to the races...

or play cards...

or dunk croissants in their coffee.

Keep it down.
The walls have ears.

I've got nothing to hide!

If people listened -
- Oh, they do.

And they understand.

May I add
that my unpardonable crime

is to be impervious to your charms.

İmpervious to my charms?

But look at yourself!

Monsieur Hire.

Do you have a moment?

Gladly, Monsieur Breteuil.

Insulting a woman minding
her own beeswax and they nab him!

Bet it was him.

Tell me, is your name Hire?

Would you mind leaving us?

All right.

Hire is short for my real name.

Désiré Alphonse Hirovitch.

You're French?

Born in Paris, 14th arrondissement.

Lived here for long?

Three years and two months.


I'm in business.

What kind of business?

I sell hope, like priests.
And cures, like doctors.

You see?

I'm asking the questions.

Did you know
this Mademoiselle Noblet?


Did you ever chat with her?

I never chat with anyone.

Where were you
at the time of the crime?

Pray tell the date and hour
this person was killed.

“Pray tell”!

Friday night,
between 7:00 and 8:00.

That's when I shop
for my dinner.

- Alone?
- I'm always alone.

The camera's yours?

- It's mine.
- What do you do with it?

I take photos.

What kind of photos?

Human documents.

Off the cuff.

Any police record?


Got any ID?

I'm French.
I was unaware that -

I mean, that I was obliged
to carry it on me.

I just want to check
the spelling of your name.

Voting card?

I don't vote.

Maybe some mail?

I never receive mail.

Not very sociable, are you?

Meaning what, exactly?

I was perfectly clear.
It appears you have no friends.

I don't like men,
and policemen even less.

Nor women either, so they say.

That depends.

What are you writing?

An interesting detail.

Enough dawdling!

Where were you Friday evening
between 7:00 and 8:00?

And you, Monsieur Michelet?

We're buying a wreath
for Mademoiselle Noblet.

It's bad enough being strangled,
but to be buried without flowers...

Care to kick in?
- Put me down for five francs.

Thank you very much.

The florist will give us a discount.

Cooking for yourself saves plenty.

I'll show you the best shops.

We girls gotta stick together.

You'll see.
I'm easy to get along with.

Oh, I get it!

Women are all the same.

Tell me, Monsieur Michelet...

do you know that young lady?

Not at all.

Pretty, no?

- You like him?
- Oh, come on.

Don't apologize, cutie.
I was like you when I first came here.

He got me with a smile.
I wrote him off.

Watch out, though.
He's got a technique all his own.

First, a bit of flattery.

Second, a drink.

Third, a bit of canoodling,

and before you know it,
you're hooked.

But next day, you're a stranger.

Thanks for the info.

How about something
for the wreath, Marcelle?

Business is slow these days.

I'll give you two francs.

- Thank you.
- Here.

And you, mademoiselle?

You're not from around here.
- She just got here yesterday.

I thought so,
or I'd have noticed you sooner.

Here we go with the flattery.

Introduce us.

Alfred, alias Fred, or Freddy.


No funny stuff.
She's an old friend.

What's your name again?
- Alice.

Raphaél, a glass of white
and two Picons with lemon.

Coming UP-

- isn't it strong?
- Smooth.

Trust me, Mademoiselle Alice.

Hey, quit the playacting.
You got here too late.

Let's go to the carnival.
I love the carnival!

My first fella was a lion tamer.

His name was Théo.

What was yours called?

- Alfred.
- Like him? What'd he do?

- Nothing.
- Nothing?

That name's for losers.

Enough putting me down.

To you, Mademoiselle Alice.
- And to me.

Love, love

The beauty of the world

Where to now?

What's wrong?

I'd like to lose that guy.

Is he pestering you?

Last night he was peeking
in my window.

Lucky him.

This morning he came on to me.
Now he's following me.

Don't mind him. He's nuts.

“Madame Blanche
sees all, tells all...

past, present, tomorrow,
and the future.”

Shall we?
- You want to know the past?

No, “tomorrow and the future.”

She'll tell me
what horse to pick tomorrow.

- May I speak in front of the gent?
- Sure.

You've been in a sanatorium,
or a rest home.


In fact...

I don't make it up.
It's in the cards.

This gent with you...

it's true love.

But I see another man.

Educated, dark hair...

Any ideas?


Be careful.

I see trouble, complications...

over a small inheritance.

Will I get married?

The dark-haired gentleman again.
Tell me...

is anyone in your family ill?

I don't think so.

Someone dying.

Someone close to you.
Not him.

Someone older.

Take my advice.

Stay clear of boats.

As for marriage...

not for a while yet.

Show me your hand.

Your lucky number is eight.

And your stone is the ruby.

Beware of gossip...

and of October.

That'll be 20 francs.

- Go out.
- What?

Go on!

Thanks very much.

So who's this educated gent?

Ah, Well...

Him again!

I'll punch him out.

Don't make a scene.

All right.

Let's try the bumper cars.

If he follows us,
we'll have some fun.

Look at the old man, all alone!

Look, the bearded guy's
really getting it!

That guy over there!

Get him!

Ever been in a hunting party?

I shoot partridge in October
with my brother-in-law.

No, I mean a real hunt,
with hounds.

See, your bogeyman's gone.

Let's go watch the lady wrestlers.

No, not tonight.

- Leaving me again?
- Of course not!

- Shall we go back together?
- No, I'll go first.

Make sure no one sees you.
Scratch at my door.

Don't go to the wrong room.
It's number 12.

I'll wait five minutes.

But I'm already scratching
at your door.

I can already hear you.


You again!

Sorry for accosting you today,

and mumbling things
you couldn't comprehend,

but you must know -

- You're wasting your time.
- Perhaps when -

Stop or I'll call the police!

Even if it's about your friend Alfred?

Meaning what?

Youth pursues youth.

The world's full of stupid laws.

Water flows to the river, sand...

What's Alfred to you?

Nothing, but I know
you're interested in him.

When you see him tomorrow,

ask him where he hid
Mademoiselle Noblet's purse.

Mademoiselle Noblet's purse?

The one containing 7,000 francs.

You don't need a fortune teller
to know the future.

Try someone serious,
my good friend Dr. Varga.

Here's his address.

For if sand needs water,
youth needs advice.

Good night, mademoiselle.

Didn't you hear me?
I scratched several times.

- Don't show yourself.
- What's up?

- He's at his window.
- Draw the curtains.

- But he'll see your silhouette.
- So what?

You're free, at home.

Better to be careful.

Did he buttonhole you?

Tell me.

I left you full of passion.

Now you're cold as ice.

What did he say?
- Nothing...

So how come you didn't hear me
scratch three times?

- You'll be angry if I tell you.
- Go on.


I felt cold.

I only have a summer dress
and my raincoat.

I know it's silly
to bother you with this, but...

I know of a good buy.

A coat with a fur collar.

3,000 francs.
Can you lend it to me?

3,000 francs!

But Lili, I don't have it.

No savings?

I'm not the type
to stash money away.

But you said you got a good job.

Only a month ago.

Can't your friends lend it to you?

It frightens me to be so cold.

Poor Lili,
I feel really bad saying no, but -

If I'd known you were coming so soon,
I'd have made plans.

Know how much I've got?

300 francs.

That's all.

- I love you!
- What?

You wouldn't understand,
but I love you!


Why hide like rats?

Come here.

His lights are out,
but I feel his presence.

Take me in your arms.

Hold me tight!

Remember the dark-haired man
who wants to harm us?

It's him.

Believe me, he's a real bastard.

We've got nothing to hide.

I want him to see me in your arms.

You okay?

Never felt better.

Give me the cigarettes.

Don't move.

Know what I was thinking?

Go on.

I slept on a hard bed
with a straw mattress.

I heard the women guards
prowling the corridors.

The echo was blood-chilling.

But I wouldn't have
changed places with anybody,

knowing we'd be together.

- You never resented me?
- Never.

That coat with the fur collar...

you can buy it, understand?

I can't hold on to money
when you're shivering.

I've got 7,000 francs
sewn into my mattress.

It was Mademoiselle Noblet's.

I'm the one who killed her.

I wasn't expecting you.

When I saw you walk in,
I thought it was just bad timing.

Now I don't regret it.

You deserve a whole new wardrobe.

Mademoiselle Noblet was useless.

She just went to heaven early.
So what?

You'll be warm now.

Don't worry. No one knows.

I was seeing her on the sly.

Don't be jealous. She was ugly.

Prying 100 francs out of her
was tough work.

Night had fallen.

She wouldn't give me 1,000 francs,
so I shoved her into the lot.

She struggled a bit
and broke her watch when she fell.

I set the hands back 30 minutes
and went to play cards in the café.

It's a watertight alibi.

The police are baffled.

When they don't find anything,
they'll close the case.

Then we can move on,
and you'll have whatever you want.

Sounds good, right?

You scared?

Like I said, no one knows.
No one!


Good. It speaks volumes.

And we didn't cut corners.

Monsieur Alfred,
straight from the heart.

- We owe it to her.
- We're out of pocket.

Not every day
we have a nice funeral.

Arthur, you'll miss the procession.

Just watching Monsieur Hire.

You'd think he'd act normal for once.

While everyone's at the funeral,
he's at the bus stop.

People say
he gives them the creeps.

Others aren't that charitable.
- No gossiping at work.

My black gloves?
- In your pocket.

I'll have it delivered.
- No need. I'll take care of it.

- We'll go together.
- Fine.

Now where are my calling cards?

Your other pocket.

He'd forget the coffin
at his own funeral.

You go first, Monsieur Alfred.

There you go, Raphaél!

Excuse me, mademoiselle.
I'm the assistant inspector.

I've got a summons
for you on my desk.

I arrived the day after the murder.

Yes, I know.

I also know where you came from.

And why you were there.
I've got your dossier.

What more can I tell you?

Who knows?

You were innocent in that robbery,
covering up for someone?

Ask the judge.

It doesn't matter now.
The case is closed.

So why the summons?

When you were released,
you promised to help us.

A pretty girl gets around.

So if you ever hear anything,
let us know.

You'll always be welcome.

Good-bye. Good luck.





Dr. Varga, please.

Dr. Varga, please!

Second floor on the left!

I should have known.

You're very welcome.

Come in.

Strange place you have.

And this ball, what's it for?

Are you here to see
Dr. Varga or Monsieur Hire?

I've never met Dr. Varga.

And I hardly know Monsieur Hire.

Dr. Varga can tell you curious things
about your past and future.

Could Monsieur Hire tell me where
he gets these stories he makes up?

Makes up?

To amuse young ladies
or to frighten them?

What was it you told me?

To be careful.

Of Alfred?


Do you know him?

Today you're speechless?

Sorry for being abrupt yesterday.

You were joking, right?

I've worked out your horoscope.

See these lines, these curves,
these intersections?

Those are the stages of your life,

a series of milestones
that reveal everything.

You know nothing about me.

Born August 8, 1912, in Paris.

That's no magic.
I saw the hotel register...

while a policeman bombarded me
with stupid questions.

What time were you born?

So you can make up more stories
about the guy I met two days ago?

Two days ago?

Your parents abandoned you, right?

A miserable childhood
with a poor relative, whom you left.

Now it gets interesting.
See this conjunction of stars?

It's very rare.

One man, only one, in your life
for the past three years.

So here we are.

And what kind of man?

A clerk? An artist?

A bad boy?

Maybe a criminal?

On that,
Dr. Varga can't enlighten you.

What about Monsieur Hire?

You're not interested
in Monsieur Hire.

Last night Monsieur Hire talked to me
about Mademoiselle N0blet's purse.

What was he getting at?

Why ask me about that affair?

Monsieur Alfred already told you
all the details.

Look at me, my child.

You know
as much as I do about that.

Yes, it's true.

For three years
he's taken advantage of me.

He's a thief, a cheat.

Yes, he's a murderer.

Because of him, I went to prison.

Because of him, I may go back.

I'm giving you terrible weapons
to use against me.

But I feel I can trust you.

Help me.

If you don't, I'm done for.
What should I do?

To lose Alfred or to save him?

No one ever cared about me.

It's true.
I had an awful childhood.

When I ran away,
the only one I found was Alfred.

I didn't know.

I've never met anyone
who was strong and kind.

It's easy to get rid of Alfred.

One letter to the police
and they'll lock him up.

But they'll need proof.

I have it.

Absolutely real proof?


What is it?

Trust me.

So, this letter...
- To the police?

No, don't do it.

Not me. How could I?

To get rid of a rival?

My child, my ideas
about the world and our society

prevent me
from taking such measures.

But you're being threatened.
You have a right to do it.

I can't.

He made me an accomplice
to have a hold on me.

You'd be turning me in as well.

Then you want to save him again.

No, I'm thinking of myself.

And that's to his advantage.

I don't want to see him anymore.
He's polite in public...

then for no reason at all,
he gets violent.



Look at the bruises on my shoulders.
- Dr. Varga takes your word for it.

And Monsieur Hire doesn't need
any proof of your beauty.

Yes, you're beautiful.

Last night at my window,
I suddenly felt unhappy.

Now something has happened
that fills me with great hope.

Hope's a strange word on my lips,
and yet it's true.

Now listen to me.

You're in danger!

That's all that matters.

Go back to your place.

Stay away from Alfred
as much as you can.

I wish I could take you away
from all this right now.

What would the police inspector think?

And the neighbors already accuse me
of so many transgressions.

I'm afraid for you!

I tremble for you.

Promise me you'll be alone tonight.

I'll keep an eye on you
from my window.

I promise.

Thank you so much.

- So he's Varga?
- Of course.

- He knows something?
- Everything.

What did he say?

He's trickier than we thought.

He has proof?


But who knows what?

I tried everything: charm, promises.

He wants to blackmail you.

I don't think so.

For now, he's generous,
full of noble sentiments.

But if he gets upset,
he might spill the beans.

What's his place like?

Across the courtyard,
second floor.

No concierge,
just a noisy carpentry shop.

Good-bye, Doctor.

If it's all right, Doctor,
I'll send some friends over.

Neglected, misunderstood women.
There are so many.

They don't dare come by,
but I'll encourage them.

Many thanks.

I thank you.


you didn't come here
just to stand outside my door.

Come in.

Did you beat her up
to get my address?

Threaten her with something?

Your explanation is welcome,
so let's have it.

I'm listening.
Tell me everything.

Nothing to say?

Perhaps you have something
to do with your hands?

Like with Mademoiselle Noblet?

With a knife?

With a revolver?

Careful. That'll be noisy.

And after I bleed on the carpet,
what about my corpse?

Did you bring a sack or a suitcase
to carry me away?

You lack foresight, young man!

And you're pale.

Deathly pale.

Care for a glass of water
with a sugar cube?

Or do you want some advice?

If you dispose of me,
in the stairwell or elsewhere,

I warn you:
I've taken some precautions.

The next day, a letter will reach
the necessary people.

It will spell capital trouble for you.


Get my little joke?

But you're in no joking mood.

You're hesitating.

Should I or shouldn't I?

Careful. Mademoiselle Noblet
was anemic and powerless.

But I'm as solid as an oak.

It would be easy to throw you

down the stairwell
by the scruff of your neck.

L Pit)' you.

Looking at you and wondering how
this finely dressed man

is adored by the woman I love,

I can't take you seriously.

No force, no vision, no guts.

You're sickening.

Has no one ever told you that?

Seeing you here is becoming
aesthetically unbearable.

I must ask you to clear out.

If you don't leave here immediately,

an unexpected tragedy
is going to happen.


You little punk!

You dared do it!

You're pathetic.
Go on, pick up the knife.

Should you harm a single hair
on her head, here's a warning!

For her! For me! For Noblet!

Now beat it!



- Three lagers.
- Coming.

Straighten your tie.


Nothing happened.
It was a mistake going there.

As soon as you left, I knew it.
I couldn't breathe.

Tell me -

What Will it be?

- I don't care.
- Neither do I.

A beer.


We had it out.

It was pointless.

He's clever
at not giving anything away.

He'll keep quiet if he thinks
he has a chance with you.

I can lead him on for a while,
but we need something else.

- Lager or brown ale?
- Lager.

What's he know?
Suppose he saw me and he talks.

Who's accusing us?
A guy nobody can stand.

We'll be patient.

I'll lie low
while you make a play for him.

Tongues will wag.
We'll help them along.

But he says
he has proof against you.

We need proof against him.

But what?

I took the cash
and hid the purse behind the fence.

Careful of the carnies.

Should be around here.

Lie down there.

Should be here somewhere.

Got it.

What should I do with it?

If I'm caught with it -

Give it to me.

I won't keep it long.
I'll plant it in his room.

Who is it?

It's me, Alice.

I need to speak to you right away.

Forgive me.

I wasn't expecting anyone.

Good evening.

May I come in?

Not now. The place is a mess.

I've got to talk to you.

Kick me out when you get sleepy.

Some other time.

I'd be embarrassed.

I came by to apologize.

He beat me to make me talk.

I had to tell him your address.

I thought as much.

I'm afraid to go to bed in my room.
I only feel safe in your place.

And you won't have me.

Don't say that.
But tonight's out of the question.

I'll take you back to your room

and spend the night on a chair
in front of your door.

No, forgive me.

I was nervous.
It isn't worth it.

If anything happens,
I'll call you through the window.

Nothing's going to happen.

Good night.


May I call you Alice?


I want tomorrow to be special.

I'll show you a place I want you to see.
Then you won't be scared anymore.

Will you come?

You're so sweet.

Tomorrow at 2100...

by the bookstalls
in front of the Institute?

All right.

Till tomorrow.

Am I late?

Forgive me.

I got here early
to enjoy waiting for you.

Shall we?
- Where are we going?

Just outside the city.

Shall we take a taxi?

- Like lovers do?
- Like lovers do.


Wait here.

- We're here?
- Yes, this is it.

It's known as Wolves Island.

- What's that creepy house?
- That's where I'm taking you.


So how do you know?

This is strictly between us.

The police don't care,
so I called on Dr. Varga myself.

Books everywhere...

with strange titles.

Some contraption to hypnotize you.

And machines...

They're probably used
for strange things.

I saw them.

So what's he up to?

For example, you bring him a photo
of someone you can't stand.

Like a creditor,
or your sweetheart's husband,

or a rich uncle.

Hire has these special pins.

He sticks them into the photo.

If it's the gut,
the guy gets cramps and vomits.

If it's his head, he gets migraines
a doctor can't cure.

Another pinprick,
the guy is bedridden.

But if it's stuck in his heart,
he kicks the bucket

before he even has time
to write home.

If it was true,
they'd use it in slaughterhouses.

It's no joke.

A doc can hypnotize a guy,

telling him to walk naked
down the Champs-Elysées at 6:00,

or to murder
his four kids with an ax.

The guy wakes up and has no clue.

At 5:55, he's normal,

and five minutes later,
he's naked,

or killing his kids with an ax.

My Lord!

That's what Hire does?

He's free as a bird.

No wonder the florist looks jaundiced,

or your wife suffers depression.

Why's he always got that camera
around his neck?

The guy's a public menace!

So the Noblet lady -
- I'm not accusing anyone.

It's just a hunch.

Don't get worked up.

If he can kill people long-distance,
why strangle them?

True, but people have strange ways.

Take Noblet...

Getting a woman like her
into a vacant lot

took special powers.

It's like the snake
hypnotizing the rabbit.

He has a funny look in his eye.

I'm not fanning the flames,

but you know what
he always says about the meat?

It isn't bloody enough!

Come in.

There's no one here.

But whose house is this?

It's mine.

Sit down.

You had it all planned out.

These cups have been waiting
for you for years.

I left here abruptly many years ago.

Please sit down.

It was autumn and getting cold,
like today.

The same logs
are still in the fireplace.

A fire will warm up the place.

I never came back.

A caretaker comes occasionally.

I was about to have tea.

With whom?

It was a long time ago.
Don't make me think about it.

Look at this while I make the tea.

I've always loved photography.

A charming but abominable art.

It explains many things though.


The kitchen's next door.
I'll be right back.

Take a look.

Sure you've lost your appetite.

It's not my fault.

You're tired, you get hot flashes.

The doctor is stumped.

- You know what he says.
- Your doctor's a jerk!

Quiet at the table!


He blames everything on lymphatism.

Your illness is inexplicable.

Whenever that guy comes
into the shop -

Mr. Hire's got nothing to do with it.

Can't you see that those pinpricks
are planned-out, scientific stuff?

You wouldn't argue about catechism.

Your health is your own affair.

But the kids are another matter!

From now on, not one steak or kidney
for Monsieur Hire, got it?

And if he insists...

out the door!

A customer's in the shop.

If it's him, you're in for a laugh!

Hello, Monsieur Capoulade.

Any scraps for my cat?

All ready.

Nice of you.

İsn't your wife well this morning?

- It's not that. I'm hot.
- Hm?

Under the collar.

Folks around here are scared
to put their foot down.

One crime
always leads to another.

If there's a black sheep in your flock,
you slaughter it!

Or you pass it off to your neighbor.

Talking about Monsieur Hire?

Can you put up with him?

Hello, Monsieur Capoulade.

Ask Mademoiselle Dubois
and Monsieur Sauvage.

What is it?

How often have I complained
about Monsieur Hire on the stairwell,

the way he treats Lucienne?

That's absolutely right.

It's true.

What's he want with the girl?

He's always giving her apples,
squeezing her into corners.

Well, let's see...

Come here, my dear.

Do you know Monsieur Hire well?

He gives me sweets.

Fancy that.

And does he speak to you?

He says hello.

- Anything else?
- He calls me “pretty little Lucienne.”

Come with me.

You love veal cutlets, don't you?

This is a beautiful one.

It's yours if you tell me the truth,
the whole truth.

Did he ever ask you into his room?

No cutlets for liars!

Did he ever say...

“Come up to my room
for some candy”?

Well, Madame Arnaud,
that was a close call.

The lawyer dressed in robes is me.

Years ago I practiced law.

I knew the law
and prepared my cases well.

Yet I wasn't a success.

My clients didn't find me
optimistic enough.

I worried them
instead of inspiring confidence.

There's my mother.

An excellent woman.

But she always preferred my brother.

He was better-looking.

People never liked me.
Not even my parents.

At school, in the army, and at college,
I was always excluded.

I didn't choose a life of solitude.

Others just avoided me.

And yet I got married.

Your wife?

She was lovely!

All these pictures have
the same caption:


Biarritz, Monte Carlo,
Brittany, Holland.

She's in all of them.

And always beautiful.

I'm not in this one. I took it.

That's how I brought her and him
together for the first time.

A friend of yours?

My first and only friend.

Is that it?

It all stops there abruptly.

Life wasn't meant to bring me
what's most precious:

a great love and a great friend.

I lost them both at once.

But there are other photos.

Quite different.
A museum of horrors.

A bum, frozen to death,
by the Arc de Triomphe.

A little laughing girl who went insane
after a poker struck her behind the ear.

A drunken woman.

Faces of misery, shame,
vice, and crime.

A charming set of snapshots I took,
printed, and mounted myself.

My family album.
- But why?

A reminder to never again
be moved by pity.

For ten years, I've lived in books

and consorted only with the dead.

They never betray you.

I thought I was safe,
out of reach, then...

Then I met you.

I don't know what happened.


would you like
this house to be yours?

Forgive me.

I misjudged you, like the others.

I have nothing against them.

I never tried to tell them who I am.

They rush to judgment
based on appearances.

It's different with you.

Don't feel sorry for me.

Think it over carefully
before you answer.

Don't hurt me unnecessarily.

You are gentle and kind.

And I've lived enough
to know what that means.

So tidy up your room this evening.

I'll bring you my answer.

I'll scratch at your door
like a little mouse.

Can you wait till tonight?

Suppose there's a problem
in a neighborhood:

gas pressure too low,

stinking fumes from a factory,
you name it.

The residents get together
and write a letter.

- A petition!
- Exactly.

We'll petition to get rid of this guy.

A private individual? No chance.

You're all cowards!

The owner should just throw him out.

I wish all my guests paid up
on time like him.


Was that aimed at me?

- Heart.
- Spade.

All you morons enjoy talking
about my reputation.

Sure, I have trouble
making ends meet.

But you know where my dough comes from.
Where does he get his?

From the empty lot.

A pack of Gauloises, please.

Monsieur Michelet,
how's the investigation going?

Are the police going to act?

I'm a respected storekeeper
with a large family,

and we all want to know -

Calm down.
Don't be unfair and ridiculous.

You're waiting for more victims?

Let's beat him up!

At last!


who's going to do it?

We need a man!

And men don't grow on trees,
believe me.


Oh, you'll chicken out.

First I'll say, “We're honest folk.

You don't belong here.”

Fine words!

Second, “I'm a man of experience
with good sense.

Pack up your gadgets and potions
and clear out.”

Hear! Hear!

Third, I'd say -

Monsieur Breteuil...

Sorry to disturb you.

No problem, Monsieur Hire.

Do you have a bottle of champagne?

- Champagne?
- A good brand, if possible.

Yes, but it's rather expensive.

- It doesn't matter.
- Right away, Monsieur Hire.

So what about
your “first” and “second”?

Monsieur Hire...


Monsieur Hire...

I'm listening.

Everyone is listening.

Careful, the counter is wet.
You might stain your sleeve.

That's 80 francs.

Thank you, Monsieur Hire.

- Give the change to Raphael.
- Thank you.

Thank you, Monsieur Hire.

Good-bye, Monsieur Breteuil.

My regards, monsieur.

Monsieur Breteuil, a chamomile tea
for the heroic tax man!

The terror of the block!

His stare threw me off.

What else can I say?
You're a disgrace to my clients!

May I come in tonight?

Of course.

You got flowers?

For you.

So this is where you watch me.

A good vantage point.

You promised me an answer.

Yes? No?

I showed up, didn't I?

You're kind, you're unhappy.

It was an easy decision.

Let's celebrate
our engagement solemnly.


I've got some champagne on ice.

Take off your coat. Sit down.

Does it bother you that I shared
the house with someone else?

We could redecorate it to your taste,

or sell it.

My only ambition is to see you smile.

You look happy for the first time.

But I am.

- Allow me.
- Thank you.

Goodness! I forgot the ring.

It doesn't matter.
We have time.

All our lives.

I don't even know your first name.

I was unlucky with that too.


Désiré? But it's charming!

And so to your desires,
to your good fortune, Désiré.

- Good morning, Monsieur Michelet.
- Hello, gentlemen.

Who is it?

The assistant inspector.

I'd have come later
if I knew you slept till noon.

It's noon already?

My apologies, Monsieur Michelet.

Come in, please.

Last night we had a party,

and I got home very late.

- Aren't you needed at the garage?
- That's just it.

I was out with my bosses.

They really like me.

A nice, quiet job that pays enough
to party now and then.


And yesterday
I had a hot tip for the track.

Razibus, a 12-to-1 long shot.

- You play the horses a lot?
- No, can't afford it.

Of course.

Tell me, do you recall what you
were doing the day of the murder?

I was at the garage till 8:00.

Lucky for you
you were working that day.


Ask my bosses.

- They like you, right?
- What are you getting at?

Everybody saw me
playing cards after that.

I know.
Just wanted to make sure.

When did you say
Razibus won at the track?

Yesterday, third race.

Thank you.
See you, Monsieur Alfred.

Any time, Monsieur Michelet.

Bye, Monsieur Michelet.

Going to see your friend?


I'm looking for work,
and he knows lots of people.

Yesterday he said he had a lead.

Him too?
Well, good luck, mademoiselle.


- I looked for you last night.
- I was out with the boys.

It's all set up.
The handbags behind his radiator.

You're great!

- It was quite a job.
- I bet.

But time's running out.

Seems so.
Did you run into Michelet?


We thought his head
was in the clouds,

but he's a hound
sniffing everywhere.

We need to act.

But we stick to the plan.

Let the others get worked up.

They're already hot.
One spark and they'll explode.

It's going to get nasty.

Don't tell me...

You feel sorry for him?


I love you.
That's my answer to everything.

Now listen:
I'll tell Fernand and Marco.

While we watch the fights,
they'll get to work.

On my left, Olga the Romanian
versus Vali the Belgian.

On my left, Olga the Romanian
versus Vali the Belgian.

185 pounds against 210 pounds!

Jenny the Redhead
against Rachel, Arms of Steel!

The real deal!
No fake boobs, no false calves!

Not afraid of a slap to the face!
No holds barred!

In addition to a man's strength,
these international champions

bring a woman's wiles,

not to mention the cunning
of the inferior sex...

Get going...

and remember, behind the radiator.

Keep us posted.

Step up, ladies and gentlemen!

We don't want any trouble.

We're just looking out for everyone.

In that case, I'm in.


mind the store!

So long, Monsieur Sauvage.
See you soon.

Monsieur Sauvage, we're closing out
Monsieur Hire's account.

- Are you in?
- Yes, but aren't there enough of you?

We need an eloquent,
authoritative spokesman.

Then I'm in! Let's go!

Coming, Monsieur Fortin?
- Sure!

I'll be right back.

What about you, Monsieur Brochu?

- Where to?

To serve justice.

Sure, I've got nothing better to do.

So let's go.

- Is Simon Breteuil here?
- On the stairs.

This way, gentlemen.

There he is.

Monsieur Breteuil.

Yes? What is it?

There's plenty of you.

What's going on?

On behalf of the neighborhood,

for the last time,
we urge the management -

I already told you,
there's no reason.


You think so?

If you refuse to comply
with our legitimate request -

- Then what?
- Then...

I don't know.

The committee didn't think of that.

- What now?
- Don't let him stand in our way.

You're right!

We refuse to accept this!

We're going to evict Monsieur Hire!

He's at work.

Let's go. When he returns,
his stuff will be on the sidewalk.

No one's going into his room!

Give us the key or -

Don't try it!

Here it is!

If you touch his things,
I'll call the police!

The police!

Get lost!
For once we're having some fun!

What the hell!

Come on, let's empty the dresser!

Pass me that stuff.

Ah, a suitcase.

Come on.

Pass me that stuff.

- Here.
- Thanks.

No nudies?

Pass me the clothes.

At last!

Bravo, gentlemen!

There's something back there.

Oh great, a handbag!
Mine's falling apart.

Let me see.

Look at the initials: “A. N.”

“A. N-u?

That's Aurore Noblet!
It's her handbag!

Then he's the murderer!

I found the murderer?

I found the murderer!

I found the murderer!
- Hire?

- Yes!
- I knew it.

I found Noblet's handbag!

Hire's the murderer!

- I thought so!
- What?

She found the bag!

Hire's the murderer! It's him!
It's Hire!

Hire's the murderer!

Can you believe it?
I found the murderer!




They found Noblet's murderer!

What's he saying?

He says they found Noblet's murderer.

Someone just got killed!

- What is it? A fire?
- What?

- What's going on?
- Why are they leaving?

Let' S gm!

Fire! Run for your life!

- What's going on?
- The murderer!

- Where?
- Not here, the hotel!

Which hotel?

You know, the guy with the beard,
who never says hello.

He killed that little girl, Lucienne.
It's dreadful!

He's holed up in the hotel!

The police refuse to act.

Let's take care of him ourselves!

What's going on?

Noblet's murderer has been arrested!

Oh my God!

- What's happening?
- A crime at the hotel!

It's time to get him here.


They'll cool off by tonight.

Know how to reach him?
- I've got his emergency number.

Come on, you gotta do it.


Do you love me?

Let's go.

Dr. Varga!

What is it?

Your fiancée, on the phone.


Quit shaking.

What are they shouting?


“Kill him.”


Is that you, Désiré?


something awful has happened.

I told Alfred it was over.

He's acting crazy.

You must come right away.

Right away, you hear?

It's better if you come here.

You'll be safe here, my darling.


I'll explain later.

Come now.


The métro?

No, no.

No, not the métro. Take a taxi.

Yes, I'll wait for you in the square.

See you soon.

Come on, it's over.

That's the last thing
I'll ask you to do.


- He'll be here in five minutes.
- Here?

- Corning by Rue de Paris.
- Rue de Paris!

What's going on over there?

They found
Mademoiselle Noblet's handbag.

- Where?
- In Hire's room.

That creep at the hotel.

Move out. Disperse the crowd.

Get me Quai des Orfévres.

- Hello, Fortin!
- Hello.

Is it true he's barricaded himself in?

We're looking for him.
There's gonna be trouble!

Who'd have thought it?
Such a quiet man.

I cleaned his room every day!

How exciting!
It's giving me goose bumps.

Move along!

Monsieur Michelet!

He's not in right now.
Probably at his office.

Move along! Ladies and gentlemen,
please cooperate!

Ladies, go home.

Let the police do their job!

We just want to see.

Go home, please, madam.

Come on, kids, go home.

Move along, everyone.

As a civil servant...

may I add my encouragements
to those of Monsieur Michelet?

We must remain calm
and let justice take its course.

Oh, shut up, mustache!
Mind your own business!

That's the guy
who sends me a tax form!

And he talks about justice!

Now, Mademoiselle Marcelle,
you're usually so understanding.

But you're different.
I could never refuse you.

Now please go home calmly,

Clear the square.
This is a dangerous man.

He may be armed.

What? He's armed?

Better go, Madame Capoulade.
There's no point taking any risks.

You think so?
Come on, go home, children!

Arthur, we might get shot,
and you're working the market tomorrow.

But Amélie...

A free show.
That's unfair competition.

Better close down.

No point giving them free music.

Please, Doctor, set a good example.

- Where can we go?
- Behind the rides.

- What a mess, Monsieur Michelet.
- Yeah.

Did you find the bag?
- No such luck.

We were at the matinee.

Go on home now.

Get going.

Hey boss, we're not leaving yet.

But we've got customers.

I don't want to miss the action.

UP here!

We've got a great view!

Corning, Madame Sauvage?

- He'll be coming that way.
- So?


Hey, there's a taxi coming!

How much?

- Fourteen francs.
- There you are.

What's all this?
What do they want?

Monsieur Michelet,
I demand the protection of the law.

You're coming with us.

Fine, but why are my bags
on the sidewalk?

Move along.

I can't handle three of you.

But I'll take you on one at a time!



Kill the murderer!

Kill the murderer!

Watch out!
He's going to shoot!

I haven't done anything!

I don't know what they want!

What happened?

Hire had the handbag in his room.
He fled up into that building.

We'll search the building.
You guys, come with me.

What is it?

Are you the pharmacist?
We need to get up there.

Take the back stairs.
It's more direct.

Where is he?

They can't do it.

Call the firemen to bring their ladder.

It's the police!
On the square, now!

The big ladder! And hurry!

Is the doctor here?


Dr. Philippon!

Hold on for five more minutes.

He's dead.

Get the van.

Move along, everybody.

Move along! It's all over.

Go home.

Understand, madam?
Move along!

Go home.
It's all over, monsieur!

Start the music!
You're losing money.

Start it up, Charles!

Move along, folks!

Let's get going-

Careful! We're being watched!

To the roller coaster!

Well, that's settled.

What's that?

- Monsieur Hire's testament.
- What?

“Photo of Mademoiselle Noblet's murder
by Alfred Chartier.

Taken September 5 at dusk
in a vacant lot south of the square,

where I had wandered
to answer a call of nature.”


Come on, let's get him.

Oh, let him finish his last ride.

...such a profound joy

One day, all around the world

One day, maybe all of mankind

Shall walk united, hand in hand

Love, love

The beauty of the world