Arsène Lupin returns to clear his name in Arsène Lupin: 813 on MHz Choice!

Premiering December 7, 2021 on MHz Choice!

For those wanting to take a deeper dive into the world of Arsène Lupin, your ship has come in! Arsène Lupin: 813, the six-part 1980 television adaption of Maurice Leblanc’s novel “813” was an attempt to do justice to one of Leblanc’s most popular works. Like everything regarding Lupin, the story of 813 is complicated: lots of settings, disguises, secret codes, shifting alliances, love affairs, betrayals… it even involves the Emperor of Germany, Wilhem ll!

Maurice Leblanc’s gentleman thief/master of disguise caught the world’s attention when the first Lupin story came out in magazine serial format in 1905. Who wouldn’t be mesmerized by this dashing, modern Robin Hood? An elegant man, smarter than everyone else, who lives on the dark side of the law for mostly good purposes – to get money in the hands of the downtrodden and exploited. And, of course, to get money into his own hands – because Arsène Lupin lives well! Those he steals from are the unethical, the exploiters and the greedy – and he is repulsed by murder. What’s not to like about this guy? After his initial story, Leblanc went on to write short stories and novels, creating a Lupin universe with a deep backstory involving European royalty, hidden treasure, murder and the supernatural. Creative types rushed to adapt Leblanc’s stories to different mediums almost as soon as the stories came out – in silent films, “talkies,” comic books, television series.

Lupin in the 1980 Arsène Lupin: 813 (played by Jean-Claude Brialy) seems more manic than the one played by Georges Descrières in the 1971 television series. Or perhaps it’s the writing and the plot lines that seem manic, because they hew more closely to the book. Brialy is dashing and elegant, but less focused on chasing the ladies than in the 1971 version. But he’s got verve and audacity as he corners the unethical South African diamond dealer, Rudolf Kesselbach (Jacques Dacqmine) in this clip. Note: along the lines of “haven’t we seen him before?” – MHz viewers familiar with The Octopus will recognize Dacqmine as the notorious, slimy white-collar villain from Season 2, Professor Cannito!

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