A highly inventive and original plot makes up for the lack of deep characterization in this movie that keeps audiences guessing. It's 1889 in Paris, where the Great Exhibition is taking place. (This was sort of a World's Fair, but since another one had been done in the US, they had to
call it something different.) The city is packed with people and enjoying good weather when Simmons and her brother, Tomlinson, arrive from England to partake of the pleasure of Paris. They have separate rooms, and when she wakes up one morning after a night on the town, she can't find him.
Further, there is no evidence of his having been there at all. His name doesn't appear on the hotel's register; even his room no longer exists! She appeals to all of the hotel's staff to no avail; everyone denies even seeing him. She goes to the British consul, Aylmer, and to the local police
chief, Trevor, but neither of them finds any merit in her story, especially since no one at the hotel will back it up. Simmons is beside herself with grief and anguish and doesn't know where to turn. Then she meets Bogarde, a British artist on a short trip to Paris, and he helps her unravel the
mystery of the missing Tomlinson. Their investigation leads them all around the city and they finally find Tomlinson in an isolation ward of a local hospital, where they ultimately learn the truth: Tomlinson had come down with the deadly bubonic plague. If word ever got out that the plague was in
Paris, the city would have emptied in an instant. The medical authorities thought that they had successfully isolated all the cases. But then Tomlinson complained of being ill to the hotel management and was whisked away. Rather than expose the truth, the hotel, with the nod of the city
authorities, concocted this plot to erase Tomlinson from existence until such time as he was cured or dead. Good suspense from start to finish, with Simmons and Bogarde making a fine pair of inadvertent sleuths set against the glories of the City of Light. In a small role, note the beauteous Honor
Blackman (about 24) before she achieved international fame in the role of "Pussy Galore" in GOLDFINGER.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A highly inventive and original plot makes up for the lack of deep characterization in this movie that keeps audiences guessing. It's 1889 in Paris, where the Great Exhibition is taking place. (This was sort of a World's Fair, but since another one had bee… (more)