Madelen of the month: Arsène Lupine plays and loses, what is this series with Jean-Claude Brialy? – News Series on TV

The INA madelen platform offers its subscribers the opportunity to (re) discover French-made gems, including “Arsène Lupine jeux et perd”, a tortuous and exciting adventure of the famous gentleman-burglar.


What is it about ?

Three corpses are found in a Parisian hotel, including that of billionaire Rudolf Kesselbach. Few clues are left behind: the number 813, five letters APOON, and two initials, LM, engraved on the assassin’s cigarette holder. Very quickly, Arsène Lupine was accused of the crime, but Lenormand, the police chief, said that it was a stunt because “Lupine does not kill”. His investigation will lead them to the highest political levels …

The series is available on madelen. For all information on the platform, follow this link.

Why is it cult?

Adapted from the novel 813 by Maurice Leblanc, this six-part series presents an atmosphere and an Arsène Lupine quite different from program with Georges Descrières (1971 to 1973). It must be said that the book is quite dark, and this is reflected in the tone of this Arsène Lupine plays and loses: the title itself is already an indication of the complications that will experience the famous gentleman-burglar, here played by Jean-Claude Brialy.

If Descrières offered a fairly charming Lupine, Brialy opts for exemplary sobriety. He puts all his talent at the service of the different characters he plays during the series. He is supported by a gallery of talented actors including Maurice Biraud and Jacques Duby, including Christiane Krüger (daughter of Hardy Krüger), who plays Kesselbach’s widow.


Jean-Claude Brialy (Lupine) grimaced to conduct his investigation

Arsène Lupine plays and loses faithfully adapts the novel 813, and after episode 3, takes on a strong political dimension, mixing the hero with a plot that sometimes goes beyond him. So we end up with a very human, very embodied burglar.

The staging of this more realistic Lupine involves the use of sequence shots which allow the actors to give the best of themselves. The six episodes are signed by director Alexandre Astruc, author of the concept of “camera-pen“, and which finds Brialy years after having turned with him Sentimental Education (1962).

More info

The cost of the reconstitution of France in the 1910s being high enough, to save money, the costumes of Arsène Lupine worn by Jean-Claude Brialy often came from previous productions. In particular, he will entrust TV 7 days in December 1980: “my wardrobe [dans la série] is a mixture of that of Helmut Berger in Louis II of Bavaria and that of Dirk Bogarde in Mort à venise “. In addition, Brialy had already played the burglar in 1962 in Arsène Lupine against Arsène Lupine, opposite Jean-Pierre Cassel, and had almost played him on television instead of Descrières, but had found this version of the character “too vaudevillesque, little faithful to the model”.

What may appeal to the youngest

The complexity of the plot increases, until the identity of the culprit is revealed only at the last moment, which will keep the younger spectators in suspense. And the charisma of Jean-Claude Brialy should end up winning their support.

To go further on madelen

  • The Adventures of Arsène Lupine (audio)
  • The documentary program “Territoire Polars”

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