Arsene Lupin is a master thief that the Paris police just can’t catch. The character was created in 1907 by Maurice LeBlanc. He wrote novels and short stories about him from 1907-1933. This movie is based on a stage play and is a lot of fun with the Barrymore brothers as thief and police detective.
An unsuccessful robbery takes place at the home of millionaire Gaston Gourney-Martin. Lupin left a footprint. Detective Guerchard (Lionel Barrymore) chases a car only to discover a man tied up in the back seat. He’s the Duke of Charmerace (John Barrymore). Guerchard is sure he’s really Lupin. Gourney-Martin’s money and jewels are safe at his country house.
Gourney-Martin tells Guerchard that the man really is the Duke. To make matters worse the footprint outside the house came from Guechard’s shoes. The Duke is throwing himself a birthday party and a note from Lupin says he’ll be there too to take what he wants. Guechard says he’ll also attend.
The Duke is surprised that two bailiffs show up. They’re there to take possession of the house and its contents. He asks them for more time and invites them to stay. They’ll come in handy to give the Duke payback for Guechard arresting him. The Duke goes to a bedroom and finds a woman named Sonia (Karen Morley). She says she’s waiting fro her dress to be repaired. She says she’s a Russian Countess.
Later on downstairs a huge birthday cake is brought out. To get the full effect the lights are turned off. It’s not long before the women start screaming they’ve been robbed of rings, bracelets etc. All the guests are going to be searched. Sonia goes to another room to see Guerchard. She’s actually named Sophie Krellberg, a swindler released from jail on parole to help him catch Lupin.
Gourney-Martin invites the Duke and Sonia to his country estate. He has a special electrical security device to guard his safe and he shows the Duke how it works. The next day Gourney-Martin gets a note from Lupin promising to steal his money and paintings at midnight because he’s a war profiteer and doesn’t deserve anything. The cops that are supposed to be guarding the estate end up stealing the paintings.
Guerchard isn’t that dumb and they’re all arrested the next morning. The fake cops aren’t talking and Sonia says the Duke spent the night in her room. A note is tossed through the window. It’s from Lupin saying he’s going to steal the Mona Lisa.
The movie is a lot of fun and is well worth watching. Even though it takes place in France no one attempts a French accent. That wouldn’t have worked.