Murders in the Rue Morgue
PARIS 1899. The quiet of the still, misty night is pierced by a series of screams coming from a four-story house on the corner of the rue Morgue. Inside, two women are found dead, and the Prefect of Police is baffled. There is no apparent motive for the crimes, and only two obvious clues: judging from the state of the victims, the murders were committed by someone of immense power; and the killer is seemingly capable of disappearing into thin air, for the only possible means of escape is through a fourth-story window. Claire (Rebecca De Mornay) hopes that the case will pique her father’s interest, for Auguste Dupin (George C. Scott), once France’s finest detective, has lost his sense of purpose since his enforced retirement from the police force. But though the mysterious killings would have intrigued him in the old days, Dupin is at first indifferent to the case. He is galvanized into action, however, when Claire’s fiancé, Dolph, is arrested for the murders on the grounds that he was the last person to see the two women alive. All of Dupin’s old instincts resurface as he determines to solve the mystery of the murders in the rue Morgue. Perceiving that this is indeed an unusual case, Dupin uses his extraordinary powers of observation to piece the evidence together. Acting on an improbable hunch, he places an ad in the “lost and found” section of the newspaper, and waits for the killer to come to him. Dupin’s hunch proves correct in a remarkable and surprising climax. Delighted that his powers of perception haven’t failed him, Dupin has identified the extraordinary killer, and captured him. The Prefect of Police has no choice but to reinstate him, and a grateful Dupin is delighted to accept the offer.
Starring George C. Scott, Rebecca De Mornay, Ian McShane
Director Jeannot Szwarc