[phpbaysidebar title=”Related eBay Goods:” keywords=”Warren William,Arsene Lupin Returns,Virginia Bruce,Melvyn Douglas” num=”5″ siteid=”1″ category=”45100″ sort=”StartTimeNewest” minprice=”19″ maxprice=”500″ id=”2″]Arsene Lupin Returns (1938) is the sequel to Arsene Lupin (1932) which ironically starred John Barrymore of all people in the title role. Interesting here though is that Warren William’s Barrymoreness doesn’t get him cast in the lead, but as the private eye on the hunt for Lupin.
Of course, this story is all very European and polite, so WW and Melvyn Douglas, lead in Arsene Lupin Returns, are more competitors than enemies here. Besides competing against one another to solve the crime story at the heart of Arsene Lupin Returns, the two compete for the affections of co-star Virginia Bruce, who’s engaged to the Douglas character that WW suspects of being Lupin.
Based upon characters created by Maurice Leblanc in his 1907 book Arsene Lupin, this is the second talkie treatment of the character following numerous silent efforts. Released 6 years after the original, MGM hatched the sequel as early as 1936 when according to Hollywood Reporter plans called for William Powell to play the Douglas role and Spencer Tracy to take what would eventually become William’s part. Myrna Loy was later added to the planned cast. Of course none of that happened, nor did Powell’s chosen successor, Robert Montgomery, show up in the final version of the film, and I imagine that by ’36/’37 John Barrymore’s difficulties had taken him out of consideration.
I find it interesting that Warren William was not cast in the Lupin role himself, and wonder if a career spent being compared to Barrymore had anything to do with either MGM’s casting choice or if perhaps this was William’s own choice. That said, the WB hey day has past for Warren William by this point, and Melvyn Douglas was more of a lead for MGM during this period than WW was, so this just might be coincidence anyway. The parts play pretty even, but still, it’s worth imagining a flip flop in the roles while watching as well.
Besides Douglas, Bruce, and William, Arsene Lupin Returns features John Halliday as the Count de Grissac (the Bruce character’s Uncle), Monty Woolley as George Bouchet (her cousin), Nat Pendleton and E.E. Clive as two of Lupin’s old flunkies, and George Zucco as the Prefect of Police.
Not top of the line Warren William fare, nor does it match up the the earlier film starring the Barrymore brothers, but Arsene Lupin Returns is still entertaining for any classic film fan.
Arsene Lupin Returns (1938) airs on Turner Classic Movies at 3:30 am EST Wednesday, October 14 (technically Thursday the 15th), immediately after Arsene Lupin.
Shoot guys, it’s been a month since I posted, I’m sorry! I guess TCM needs to air some more Warren William movies, though with Arsene Lupin Returns airing 3:30 am EST late Wednesday night and even better, The Match King airing at a similarly ungodly hour, 3 am late into the evening of Thursday, October 29, we’re having one of our better months.
Sure, one Lone Wolf marathon tops two movies, but at the same time the Arsene Lupin movies seem to air about once per year and I believe it’s been much longer than that for The Match King — Do not forget to record!