Please feel free to participate in this Forum... Over fifteen years of earlier Forums can be read in the Archives, where you can find answers to many Maigret/Simenon questions. You can search the archives with the site search form at the top and bottom of this page.
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Les 13 coupables |
5/26/15 As a footnote to Oz Childs's recent comments [5/25/14], Picratt's (first mentioned in Maigret au Picratt's, 1951), is the setting of the ninth of the thirteen stories, or episodes, in Simenon's Les 13 coupables (1957), entitled Nicolas.
A footnote to John's footnote: The 1957 edition of Les 13 coupables is a later edition (1959 cover shown here). The first edition (Fayard) was in 1932, with the cover shown below. The story Nicolas was first published in two parts in Détective magazine, May 8 and 22, 1930, under the pseudonym George Sim. (source: Yves Martina's Simenon bibliographie).
Maigret au Picratt's [PIC]|
5/25/15 Rereading this on a quick trip to Portland. Just wanted to say that Picratt's appears in an otherwise forgettable volume of stories I picked up in Paris, Les 13 Coupables, where the hero of each story is a juge d'instruction. I can't tell you which story as I don't have the book with me.
Rereading Maigret au Picratt's, I think it is one of the best-crafted stories Simenon wrote in his Maigret series.
re: Maigret chez le coroner [CHE]|
5/23/15 I agree with Arlene Blade (5/14/15). Maigret at the Coroner’s is interesting for Maigret’s/Simenon’s observations about the American scene. The contrast of our system of justice with that of the French stands out.And this forum is always interesting,
re: Length of Maigret movies|
5/20/15 In a sense, I agree that the problem of the length of Maigret movies exists. However, I would set up the assessment completely differently.
Granada studio’s version [with Gambon] is the shortest; it fits in the 50-minute standard. But for this very reason, in my opinion, this adaptation of the novel "Maigret and the Minister" [MIN] has less Simenon spirit. I would prefer two 50-minute episodes. This is a very dynamic film with a distilled plot and largely evaporated psychology, while the main feature of Georges Simenon’s detective stories is, namely, psychology. I like Michael Gambon who played Maigret, but I do not see the development of the chemistry between him and the minister. I do not see the friendly mutual sympathy that Simenon wrote. These characters have little in common.
In the Bruno Cremer and Jean Richard movies, the friendly sympathy is shown convincingly, in my opinion. But it seemed to me, Jean Richard’s version in general does not have the necessary spark. Bruno Cremer's version is too much a thriller that negates Simenon’s plot.
The Soviet film adaptation has the pace of Simenon’s novel; the characters accurately convey their literary counterparts and the relationships between them are developed as in the original novel. Because of these things, the drama follows precisely the meaning and idea, the spirit and letter of the novel by Georges Simenon. And yet, even at a leisurely pace it is perceived, in my opinion, quite sharply.
Length of Maigret movies|
5/20/15 The big problem of Maigret movies with Armen D., as well all others I know about - except Gambon and Davies - is that they are too long to maintain viewers' excitement and interest. To avoid such a problem, Simenon limited his Maigret books to approximately 200 pages. So the reader will finish the book and want to buy another one before becoming bored, as is mentioned in his biography.
The Armen D. is nearly two and half hours, Cremer an hour and half, Gabin is two hours. To extend time, they are "fattened-up" with material that "waters-down" the main story line, including things like long walks and drives on city streets.
If I had a magic wand, I would turn the clock twenty years back and get Gambon to make another 12, or 20, episodes. Otherwise, if the Cremer movies are ever released in North America in English, I hope they will be re-edited and shortened to 50 minutes.
And, of course, new scenes can be shot with a female actress playing Madam Maigret and inserted into the re-edited episodes. With current technology, this is easily possible.
Russian TV adaptation of Maigret chez le ministre [MIN]|
If any colleague will send me the English version of the novel "Maigret and the Minister," I will try to make English subtitles for the 1987 film.
In addition, I am willing to share some information concerning the Russian filmography of Commissioner Maigret, and to answer any questions regarding these adaptations.
I cannot call myself an expert on Commissioner Maigret in Russia, but always interested in watching TV shows, and enjoy reading the novels by Georges Simenon. Sometimes I find interesting material in newspaper archives.
I would be particularly pleased to read a full review of the 1987 Russian version, to translate into Russian, and then publish in my blog for the Russian audience.
re: Rupert Davies DVD release - in German only|
5/16/15 Here's a comment that appeared on Archive Television Musings: Articles and thoughts on British archive television, that apparently confirms the German tv series explanation:
re: Rupert Davies DVD release - in German only|
5/16/15 In this Forum, on Jan. 5, 2001, Hans Kiesl wrote from Germany to correct an erroneous listing here of a German television series from 1964-1968 starring Heinz Rühmann. That listing had been based on an article in Peter Haining's book, "The Complete Maigret", which we discovered has numerous errors.
Here's part of what Hans wrote back on Jan. 18, 2001:
Though Haining's book is filled with errors, using his dates, alongside the information supplied by Hans, suggests that there was a German rebroadcast of the Davies Maigret series from 1964-68. If that's true, it may well explain this German-language-only DVD release by Pidax...
re: Rupert Davies DVD release - in German only|
5/16/15 I have had EMail contact with Pidax,the German company releasing the Rupert Davies Maigret DVDs in July, through their website and have had a reply that the release is only in German, and that advertising anywhere that it was in English too must have been erroneous.
Maigret chez le coroner [CHE]|
5/14/15 Perhaps the views of le Commissaire about foreigners, in this book Americans, are the views of M. Simenon, as well. They are interesting, anyway...
"Harry Cole n'était pas là comme il l'avait promis, et Maigret l'aperçut un peu plus tard qui descendait de sa voiture en face du County House. Il était aussi frais, aussi alerte que la veille, avec la même bonne humeur qui semblait jaillir de source. C'était une gaieté sereine d'homme qui n'a pas de cauchemars, qui se sent en paix avec lui-même et avec les autres.
"Harry Cole wasn't there as he'd promised, and Maigret saw him a little later getting out of his car across from the county courthouse. He was as fresh and alert-looking as the day before, with the same apparently inexhaustible good humor. It was the comfortable serenity of a man without bad dreams, who felt at peace with himself and others.
re: Rupert Davies DVD release|
5/13/15 I was delighted to see the news of the German release of these long-awaited dramatisations. However I have noticed today that the company website no longer shows the release as being in German and English, only German. Has there been a change of heart on their part, or has the BBC or its rights holder in the UK intervened in some way to frustrate this release with the original English soundtrack?
The company releasing the DVDs has other BBC releases in both German and English.
Are we to have to wait even longer to see Rupert Davies in his finest role.
The music in Crémer's "Maigret se trompe"? [TRO]|
5/9/15 “The episode ‘Maigret se trompe’ with Bruno Crémer starts with Louise ("Lulu") dancing. Does anyone know the name of the piece of music she's dancing to?”
Thanks in advance!
re: No Mme Maigret in the Bruno Crémer Series?
5/9/15 Jacques-Yves Depoix has added several interviews with Crémer to his Bruno Crémer site. Included is one with Charles Nemes, who asks the question, "Why doesn't Mme Maigret ever appear?"
Here's Crémer's response:
Estella van Straten
re: Rupert Davies DVD release|
5/3/15 Thanks for this update Ian. This is excellent news. I've just watched the Michael Gambon Maigret DVDs for the first time since they were shown on television and I must admit they were far better than I remembered, but the old Rupert Davies series I watched as a child still seem the best I have watched. Please let us have any information on further releases.
As ever, Steve, thanks for hosting this excellent website.
Rupert Davies DVD release!|
4/20/15 Nine episodes of the first BBC series starring Rupert Davies will be getting a DVD release in Germany, July 17, 2015...
(PidaxFilm: 3 DVDs, PAL format, in German and English, €22,90)
Old version of "Maigret sets a trap"|
4/20/15 I just watched an old "Maigret sets a trap" [TEN] version with Jean Gabin made in 1958, France/Italy production. It has been few years since I read the book, but as I remember, the criminal was discovered through identification of a button, just as in the Gambon series. There was no need to identify the murder weapon because the investigation immediately focused on the button.
But in this Gabin version, a good part of movie was spent identifying the knife and harassing an innocent butcher who just happened to be working late in his shop located near the scene of the crime.
And the criminal was discovered by an improbably lucky coincidence. One of Maigret's detectives noticed the criminal's wife in a restaurant with a lover, followed her to the phone booth and overheard her compromising conversation. As it happened, she'd left the booth door open... ??!! Can you believe that?
Le Charretier de la Providence|
1. Why does M. Simenon have le Commissaire address Lucas as 'vous' rather than 'tu' in Le Charretier de la Providence [PRO]?
2. Is it possible to see a copy of the Guide officiel de la navigation intérieure which the lock-keeper gave to him [Ch. 1]? It would be helpful to the readers as well as to le Commissaire.
Isn't this just right?
Le commissaire avait faillit monter sur son vélo et suivre le canal, afin de rejoindre les péniches qui avaient passé la nuit du dimanche au lundi à Dizy. La vue du chemin détrempé, du ciel noir l'avait découragé.
The Chief Inspector had considered getting on his bike and following the canal, to catch up with the barges that had passed Sunday and Monday nights at Dizy. The view of the sodden path and the black sky had discouraged him.
re: No Mme Maigret in the Bruno Cremer Series?|
4/12/15 David, unless Atkinson is also the executive producer and casting director, he will have little say about which actress is cast as Madame Maigret.
re: No Mme Maigret in the Bruno Cremer Series?
4/7/15 The few times I saw Mme Maigret were disappointing because I couldn’t get beyond the fact that she was so thin. I hope Rowan Atkinson doesn’t make the same mistake in his attempt to reincarnate Maigret.
No Mme Maigret in the Bruno Cremer Series?
3/29/15 Could someone please tell me why Madame Maigret does not appear in the Bruno Cremer series of Maigret, which I have watched but can only partially enjoy due to her absence. Unfortunatety my French is not good enough to understand the interview in the extras so I am in the dark. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Mme Maigret, played by Anne Bellec, appears in only seven episodes of the Bruno Crémer series:
3/28/15 Could you tell me if Teresa Sburelin, Simenon's last companion, is still alive?
I thank you in advance.
According to Assouline's biography, Teresa was 23 years younger than Simenon, so she would have been born ca. 1926. If she's still alive, she's about 89 now.
Simenon online broadcasts
3/28/15 There's a French language internet radio broadcast about Simenon online at www.franceinter.fr, a 54-minute dramatization entitled "Georges Simenon, l'homme aux 10 000 femmes". Originally broadcast March 6, 2015, it's available (online) through 11/29/2017.
Also at the site is a 2-minute 1989 French TV broadcast of the news of Simenon's death, including segments of Simenon interviews, and a brief bio page on Pierre Assouline with links to related online broadcasts.
re: Bars, bistros, cafes and hotels...
3/19/15 If we travel even further outside Paris to London to eat and drink with le commissaire Maigret, we are not quite so pleased,
Le Revolver de Maigret [REV]
Voilà! C'était aussi simple que ça. Il ne lui était pas venu à l'idée qu'il pouvait se faire servir dans le hall.
There! It was as simple as that. It had never occurred to him that he could be served in the hall.And later,
Il semblait lui dire, par-dessus le va-et-vient des voyageurs anonymes: « Nous sommes tous les deux victimes du devoir professionnel. Ne puis-je rien faire pour vous? »
He seemed to be saying, above the coming and going of the anonymous travellers: "We are both victims of professional duty. Can't I do anything for you?"
re: Maigret's Favorite Places
3/16/15 Hats off to Murielle Wenger—once again!
To go even farther from Paris, across the Atlantic to the United States, specific places with their characteristic drinks and food punctuate these stories, too. Both Maigret à New York and Maigret chez le coroner reveal how a lot of plot goes down in such “necessary stops on the route of an investigation.”
Maigret's Favorite Places
In his indispensable book – almost a bible! – entitled Paris chez Simenon (Éditions Encrage, 2000), Michel Lemoine has catalogued all the Parisian places mentioned in Simenon's works, including those written under synonyms and autobigraphical texts. Therein we find the names of all the streets, avenues, and districts mentioned by Simenon, as well as buildings from hotels, cafés and restaurants, to shops, museums, ministries, hospitals and so on and on. We can make a tour of the capital, seen through the eyes of the novelist, and have a complete panorama of references.
It was with the assistance of this book that I was able to check my own research in the Maigret corpus, on the theme I've decided to treat at this time, to discover the cafés, restaurants, bistros and other bars frequented by the Chief Inspector in his long Parisian wanderings.
And indeed, when Maigret is looking for something to eat or drink, he goes into one of these public places, a bar, a bistro, a café or a restaurant. And while the latter may be exclusively reserved for culinary feasts, the others serve principally as thirst quenchers. Though if they happen to serve food as well, Maigret can't be blamed for giving it a taste.
To begin, I've done a little statistical analysis concerning these places, and here are my results.
I worked with about 350 references to these establisments in my Maigret corpus, and the first thing we note is that the percentage of bars is the highest (about a third of the citations). Then bistros and restaurants (a fifth each). And finally, cafés (about 15%). However, sometimes these designations are interchangeable, the author referring to the same spot, sometimes as a bistro, sometimes as a café or a bar. And we can also cite brasseries (about 10%), which could be added in with restaurants, but which I've kept separate, since the author himself marks the difference by reserving the more precise term for them. And I've counted references to the Brasserie Dauphine separately, since rather than simply a place for Maigret to eat, it has become a kind of annex, an extension of his office...
New Penguin Translations
3/14/15 I've now read a few of the new Penguin translations and I'm wondering what are others' opinions of them. Some work for me but others seem wrong. Unfortunately my French isn't up to reading them in the original but those translations I have grown up with seem right somehow.
I see that the new editions have different translators, so maybe that's why some seem "right" and others don't. I don't like the "Pietr the Latvian" [LET] translation at all, where is the Maigret I've got to know all these years? Or is my dissatisfaction because it's such an early story. I don't think I've read it before in an older translation. "The Carter of La Providence" [PRO] was another that disappointed me. However, in "The Misty Harbour" [POR] the translator has captured that essence of Maigret that I've come to recognise in the stories that I've read over the years.
I'd be interested to hear others' views about these new translations.
Thank you for continuing to provide such a super repository for Maigret aficionados.
On my list of best Maigrets, Maigret et le client du samedi [Maigret and Saturday caller] is near the top. In many other cases, Maigret was basically doing his job as he was required; other competent detectives would similarly solve those cases as well. But with the Saturday-night caller, Maigret went far and beyond his routine job description; anyone else - less sensitive and less dedicated - would probably dismiss that case without even starting, and let the crime go unsolved.
New Maigrets in >Polish
3/4/15 Three new Maigrets were published by C&T from Toruń last year:
Maigret of the Month - 2012
Maigret of the Month - 2011
Maigret of the Month - 2010
Maigret of the Month - 2009
Maigret of the Month - 2008
Maigret of the Month - 2007
Maigret of the Month - 2006
Maigret of the Month - 2005
Maigret of the Month - 2004
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