If you’ve enjoyed the recent “re-imagining” of Arsène Lupin starring Omar Sy, then get ready for a completely different take on the legendary French gentleman thief!

Now available!

Check out our new 1971 camp-fest, Arsène Lupin, based on the classic novels by Maurice Leblanc. The iconic gentleman burglar/master of disguise, here played by Georges Descrières, is an elegant nemesis to white collar criminals and those undeserving of getting away with their crimes – even as he himself manages to elude suspicion and capture. It has everything you want in a 1970s TV show – crazy graphics, over-the-top story lines, over-the-top acting, non-PC dialogue and no subtlety. In short, perfection.

The 26-episode Arsène Lupin (Seasons 1 and 2) was a joint venture between France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands and Canada, with France taking the lead with scripts and direction. The episodes we’re releasing on MHz Choice are newly remastered by the French and look better than when they appeared on TV sets 50 years ago!

Most delicious of all is the performance of Georges Descrières as the gentleman thief. He’d already had a distinguished theater and film career before taking this series on at the age of 40. He’s pitch-perfect in his broad portrayal of Lupin. The twinkle in his eye indicates he knows it’s only fun – and as the ladies in the clip above exclaim, “So tall, so thin, so handsome!” You might remember Descrières as Audrey Hepburn’s French fling in the Stanley Donen 1967 classic Two for the Road. In that movie, he’s so cool and smug you want to slap him!

Well, there is one thing about Arsène Lupin that may be a bit jarring to the modern eye – the lip sync. Like many ‘70s European shows, the audio for Arsène Lupin was dubbed in after shooting – so the sync isn’t always spot on. In fact, rarely spot on. We’re used to the opposite these days, so it can be disconcerting at first. But let the opening graphics, crazy makeup, wigs and costumes, on-scene locations and zippy music ease the pain on this one.

For you literary types: Maurice Leblanc’s Lupin novels first came out in 1905. Leblanc intended him as a refined criminal answer to Sherlock Holmes – bad guys and the exploiters of the poor had met their match, and people without might get a little surprise gift. The books took off into international popularity, catching the attention of comic mystery lovers in each subsequent decade.

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