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.
( Newest entries first )
Blvd Richard Lenoir - error in the caption|
8/26/15 I enjoyed Joe Richards' (2003) pictures in In Maigret's Footsteps in Montmartre. However, there's a misunderstanding about the ventilator on the picture below. Underneath the Blvd. Richard Lenoir is a canal that runs from the Seine to the Canal St. Martin. Absolutely not the Metropolitan. I've taken photos in which you can see the water, and boats passing. The ventilators, if you can call them that, bring light and air into the hidden canal.
Rupert Davies Maigret as seen in the '60s|
8/20/15 The persons in charge of the ZDF program certainly had some reasons in mind when presenting in Germany the Maigret episodes mixed up instead of chronologically (as in England). Episodes of plain settings and few outside scenes took turns with episodes of better outfits and numerous scenes in streets and backyards. Surely the overall impression of the series therewith was improved, right from the start.
Nevertheless, according to a comment of the ZDF, the first seven episodes hardly got any spectators' feedback. Not till then came up a certain enthrallment and enthusiasm, constantly increasing up to the end of the series. And after the end there was the exclamation: "We want our Maigret back! Start again!"
I believe scarcely anybody noticed the "not so good" episodes as such, because the "strong" films were already in mind to hold up the weaker ones like a steel framework. What's more to be mentioned is that at that time many spectators, perhaps most of them, actually regarded a film, not as a film, but as transmitted reality.
Concerning this matter, I once read in an English commentary that, to some extent, television viewers were convinced that events on screen were live broadcasts, and that the actors at times had to change their clothes very quickly between scenes and, furthermore, that they also had to run like lightning to the location of the next scene.
In this respect we must not forget that, at the beginning and in the midst of the sixties, television was relatively new - and something outstanding. The whole family gathered in front of the screen in order to watch the programme as if hypnotized. When the TV hero got hurt, the viewers were wounded, too (so to speak). Nowadays the TV perception is totally different. Blood in a film at most leads to the question: What sort of ketchup did they use?
At the beginning of the Maigret film "Death in Mind" a dead woman is being rolled out of her bed, falling into a pool of blood. I watched that scene as a 12-year-old child and will never forget it in all my life. Today, when I see in a modern crime thriller a man being shot with his brains splashing on the wall - of course shown as close-up view, in slow-motion and high-resolution - it's only everyday food, nothing extraordinary in a crime thriller of today. Even children will rather find it boring, because it's not a new idea, and they had already seen something like that at least a hundred times.
Neither can "Maigret" get by without effects. What distinguishes those films though (and the books as well) is rather the often hidden humanity which has to be revealed, including the strengths and the weaknesses of persons, who - perhaps due to only a slight cause in their surrounding field - were thrown off track and inwardly driven to commit a crime.
This demands a very special serendipity from the viewer, and from Maigret himself. Maybe the viewer can hardly cope with this. Anyway, within 50 to 55 minutes of one episode he hasn't got much time for thinking, with the usually rapid progress of the story line. What's left for him is to be orientated towards Maigret. For that reason the actor representing Maigret has got to be very, very particular. Never fear! Rupert Davies was born to be Maigret, among other things.
re: Penguin Maigret - The Carter of La Providence|
Maigret Rupert Davies as seen in Germany|
8/18/15 Maigret (Rupert Davies) was on German Television from 1965 until 1968, to begin with all of the 52 episodes (ZDF), followed by 24 repetitions (ZDF), followed by 9 repetitions out of these 24 ones on a different channel (ARD). I saw them all as a child. Almost 45 years later on, there came up the possibility of buying DVD or VHS copies of single episodes directly from ZDF. I bought a lot of them, but not all, because they were high priced. Now 10 episodes are available on DVDs (sadly with German soundtrack only), but at a more reasonable price.
I got used to seeing the episodes always mixed up, on German TV and on my ZDF DVDs. Now Pidax is presenting them exactly in chronological order according to the succession of the BBC production. This means to me a different kind of view. Now I can see the development of the series.
First of all, I miss Sergeant Torrence (Victor Lucas) in Maigret's team. Probably he will emerge for the first time in episode number 14, I suppose, as a fortification of the team. By the way, Sergeant Janvier will never appear on the whole of the series, he occasionally will only be mentioned by his colleagues: Maigret, Lucas (Ewen Solon), Lapointe (Neville Jason) and, of course, Torrence.
I notice that in the first episodes of the series, Maigret almost always wears a pinstriped suit. Later on, he will be dressed more casually and often wear a trenchcoat, when operating outside of his office. Scenes outside will be more and more a matter of course, and we will see a lot of the real Paris of the early sixties. Madame Maigret (Helen Shingler), highly present in the first episodes, will continue to be present later on, but not quite so often. She will appear in only about 30 episodes out of the 52. There had to remain enough space, of course, for all of the other famous actresses and actors of that time who would play a part in this ambitious series.
Penguin Maigret - The Carter of La Providence|
Neues vom Maigret – News about Rupert Davies Maigret|
8/16/15 Here are more of my thoughts about the Rupert Davies Maigret series, after having watched the other episodes in the coffret....
Returning to Vladimir’s question about the accuracy of the series, I’ve noticed some evolution since the first few episodes... little by little the writers have begun to risk a certain distance from the original text, no longer following the dialogues of the novel to the letter, and allowing themselves more significant changes to the plot. The basic outline of the police story still respects the essential points of the original, but some minor changes develop in the relationships between the characters and Maigret. Yet, once more, Simenon’s magic of the spirit of the story is respected, and we have to recognize that Rupert Davies, as the episodes progress, is more and more convincing in the role, both in his attitudes and his manner of dealing with the characters he encounters.
Furthermore — possibly aided by an increased production budget resulting from the success of the series — we start to find, in the later episodes, a greater number of settings which seem more "authentic" (less "cardboard cutout"), and more outdoor scenes, which add a certain credibility to it all.
I might mention an 'extra feature' of this series... the subtle, oh, so British humor introduced into the dialogues...
To conclude, I hope Pidax will continue to produce the other coffrets of the series, so that we can see its evolution develop, which will help us understand why it was such a great success at the time. And of course, it would be even better if BBC would decide to dig through its archives, and to offer to all Maigret fans DVDs of the original version of the series…
One last point... my information regarding the episode Maigret et la vieille dame, presented here in an earlier column, wasn’t exactly correct. After verification, that episode, which only exists in VHS format, of fairly poor quality (among other things, we see a continuous “time code” on the screen), is included as a bonus, as I said, but this bonus consists of the complete episode, not just an extract.
re: The Rupert Davies series and the Simenon texts|
8/14/15 Thanks to Murielle for her analysis of the accuracy of Davis series. In my question, 'accuracy' meant fidelity to Simenon's texts, which was the first definition she used in her reply. I am glad to know that Davis episodes are 'accurate' in this way.
The Gambon series say in credits "From novel by Georges Simenon", which is usually indication for being accurate to text, When film director takes too many 'artistic liberties', the credits would say something like "based on" or "adopted" or "influenced" .... The result may still be a fascinating movie, but it feels as Paris PJ had two detectives called "Maigret" - Simenon wrote about one ... the film is about the other...
The second meaning of 'accuracy - true to Maigret's spirit - is, of course, much more difficult to achieve and analyze.
Murielle, please tell us more after you finish watching all episodes.
The Rupert Davies series and the Simenon texts|
8/10/15 At this point I haven't had time to watch all the episodes on the DVDs, and since I've never seen the Gambon series, of course I can't compare them. However, I can offer my response to Vladimir's question with regard to the Davies episodes...
If, by "accuracy", we mean fidelity to Simenon's texts, I can say that the Davies series is true to the novels. The original plot is closely followed, and the dialogues as well, on the whole. As I mentioned earlier, these episodes place the emphases on the police story, and so they stay close to what the author wrote, with, of course, the necessary adjustments to make the whole fit into fifty-some minutes – shortening and simplification, elimination of certain secondary characters, etc.. The accent is placed strongly on the character Maigret, and above all his interactions with suspects and witnesses, with, as previously mentioned, numerous scenes of dialogues and interrogations.
If by "accuracy" we also mean fidelity to the spirit of texts, I can say that here too it's relatively close to Simenon, but the "psychological" side of the novels is obviously more difficult to put into images. This is the potential pitfall facing all adaptations of Simenon's novels, in which much takes place "inside the head" of the characters, whether the protagonists of his "hard novels" [romans durs], or the Chief Inspector in the Maigret saga. In the Maigrets, Simenon has designed his texts so that events are often seen through the eyes of the Chief Inspector, and the reader is often "listening to Maigret's thoughts", something obviously very difficult to render on the screen. The screenwriter and the director must attempt to capture the "essence" of Simenon's work, a real challenge...
Whether for television or cinéma, some directors have chosen to follow the text almost "to the letter", while others have opted for some sort of "rewriting" of the story. Surprisingly, both formulas can lead as well to failures and true successes, and it's not always very clear by what magic the harmony is created...
Considering only the adaptations of Maigret, I can think of two particularly telling examples... In the series with Jean Richard, there's an episode adapted from L'amie de Madame Maigret [MME], where the director has stuck extremely close to the text, and the result is very convincing. And in the series with Bruno Crémer, we can mention for example, an adaptation of La vente à la bougie [ven], where the scenario differs greatly from the framework of the story, and the episode is, however, a success... How to explain that? An adaptation the captures the spirit of the writing? An interpreter who has slipped successfully into the character's skin? It's hard to say...
Returning to Davies, I'll have to watch a few more episodes to refine my analysis, but I think that, to this point, I can say the the spirit of the text has been presented "accurately", with all the restrictions mentioned above. To the extent that Davies is convincing in the role, the rest can, so to speak, "flow naturally"... And then, I think we can't help watching this series without recognizing that it was made over fifty years ago... A series could no longer be made in the same fashion today, with such theatrical staging and in settings which feel, quite "tailor made". We have somewhat the same feeling when watching the Gino Cervi series. He too is very convincing in the role, but the settings feel just like movie sets. We can't blame the filmmakers, who had no other means available at that time.
In conclusion, I can say that Davies is as good a Maigret as the other actors who've taken on the role, and that it's the magic of the character, as I've said so often, which allows almost all the interpreters who've slipped into his skin to be successful in the role, as if the extraordinary "presence" of Maigret will always rub off on someone who attempts to portray him...
re: German Rupert Davies DVDs|
8/8/15 Murielle, how would you describe the accuracy of these "Davies" episodes on the Germans DVDs with regard to the original Simenon texts? Would you say they are more or less accurate than the "Gambon" series?
re: Tournants Dangereux|
Some publication information on this book can be found here.
8/6/15 Does anyone else know the 1953 publication, Tournants Dangereux? It is a wonderful book illustrated by Hans Alexander Mueller and edited by Otis Fellows. I came across it, bizarrely, in the give-away bin of a grocery in Tobago some years ago. I was reminded of the lonely evenings I had spent in West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer trying to improve my French by reading Georges Simenon and took advantage of the serendipitous occasion. Who else in Tobago could have appreciated it?
The real Maigret are pretty hard to come by out here. I am very happy to have all the information shared here.
German Rupert Davies DVDs|
8/6/15 I recently purchased the German DVDs of the Rupert Davies series, which I've had a chance to examine over the past three days. While Davies is convincing enough in the role of Maigret, the way the films portray the episodes seems to me somewhat dated (as you'd expect...)
The decision to condense the action to just under an hour (the episodes run appx. 52-54 minutes) places the accent strongly on the police drama, which I find somewhat to the detriment of the psychology... And further, the manner of filming the era, relatively "theatrical", using stage sets (with a few outside scenes, it's true, set in Paris, but essentially scenes of Maigret in one of the "little black cars of the P.J." on his to the scene of the crime or to interrogate suspects), doesn't really correspond to our current vision...
What's more "disturbing" (the word is perhaps a bit strong), is that most of the action takes place as dialogues between Maigret and a suspect or witness (which you may well say is what actually happens in the novels), but these are long dialogues, often verbose... and maybe this impression is accentuated by the fact that it's dubbed into German...
I still find a number of positive points, like the touches of humor which appear in the relationships between Maigret and Lucas and Lapointe, and the fact that Davies and Helen Singler form a very credible Maigret-Mme Maigret couple.
Additionally, here is some of the information from the booklet accompanying the DVDs...
8/3/15 a text by Murielle, originally written for a blog by Maurizio Testa...
by Murielle Wenger
The novelist provides us a sketch of Maigret from the very beginning of the corpus, with a brief description in the first few pages of Pietr le Letton [LET], establishing his character like an anthropometric photograph freezes its representation... a plebeian frame, muscular, the whole forming a large and heavy mass. Maigret's silhouette, as sketched by Simenon, is not expanded, except for a few small points, with the progression of the series, and these are not only minimal, but hardly change over time. Almost nowhere in the texts are we told clearly about specific physical aspects of this character, nothing of what would be called in police language his "particulars", the shape of his nose, his ears, his face, or any "distinguishing features". But what can we find in the texts about Maigret's hair?
In Pietr le Letton [LET], Simenon tells us clearly that the Chief Inspector has no mustache. Certainly, no one imagines Maigret with a beard. That much, at least, is clear, for there are numerous scenes in the corpus where we see him shaving. He did, however, in his younger years, have a goatee, as was fashionable at the beginning of the past century (see Les caves du Majestic [MAJ]...: "a photo of a group of gentlemen in frock coats and top hats, wearing improbable mustaches and pointed beards... the association of police secretaries, when Maigret was 24!" and in La maison du juge... "at the time of the Bonnot affair, when he was thin, and had a long, pointed mustache and a goatee..."). As for the mustache, if when we see him in Pietr le Letton [LET], the author makes it clear that he's clean-shaven, that wasn't always the case... In La première enquête de Maigret [PRE], we learn that the young Maigret had a reddish mustache ending in points, and in Les mémoires de Maigret [MEM], that his mahogany mustache was quite long, also ending in sharp points, following men's fashion in vogue at the time, where a man had to have a mustache so as not to appear "a flunky". And we recall that Simenon was inspired, to some extent, in the creation of his character, by two true policemen, the Chief Inspectors Massu and Guillaume, who both had mustaches. But when the fashion changed, Maigret gave up his mustache, which "had shortened to little more than toothbrush length before disappearing completely" (Les mémoires de Maigret [MEM]). Curiously, in Félicie est là [FEL] (and this is the unique case in the corpus), Maigret is described as having a "short mustache"... was it an attempt to please Jules Lapie's young maid?!...
Does Maigret wear a mustache?|
"If in his youth Maigret wore a mustache... reddish [PRE] or mahogany [MEM] and which he formed into points [MEM] with a hot iron [PRE], it 'was reduced to no more than a toothbrush, before disappearing completely.'"However, in Félicie est là [FEL] , Maigret Omnibus III, p.820, we read:
Dans la rue, il [Maigret] contemple une fois de plus cette terrasse où les gens n'ont qu'à se laisser vivre et à humer le printemps. Allons! Encore un demi, en vitesse. Ses courtes moustaches trempées de mousse, il s'affale sur la banquette d'un taxi.
In the street, he [Maigret] considered once more this this terrace where people had simply to live and breathe in the spring air. Why not! One more demi, a quick one. His short mustache soaked with foam, he slumps into the seat of a taxi.I like to think he has a mustache. He just seems to me to be a mustache guy.
Rowan Atkinson filming Maigret in Hungary|
7/30/15 Hungary Today
Mr. Bean To Arrive In Hungary For Movie Shooting To Star As Legendary French Detective Maigret
Rowan Atkinson, the British actor known for his role as Mr. Bean, will be in Hungary from September during the shooting of two Maigret movies he will be protagonist in.
The Mr. Bean actor, who celebrated his fiftieth birthday this year, will play the fictional French detective Maigret at undisclosed shooting locations in Hungary which will be meant to resemble 1950s Paris. According to the movie production database KFTV, the major new two-part television adaptation of French writer Georges Simenon's Maigret novels, commissioned by the British broadcaster ITV, is heading to shoot in Hungary with Mr. Atkinson in the title role from September. The episodes will be produced by UK-based Ealing Studios and Maigret Productions, according to the article.
Maigret Sets a Trap, adapted from Maigret tend un piège, and Maigret's Dead Man, from Maigret et son mort, are set in 1950s, with Mr. Atkinson playing the legendary and laconic detective with the trademark pipe. Both movies are planned to be whole-night films 120 minutes in length.
The role was confirmed by the actor himself in March, who added that he has long been waiting to play “the greatest French detective of his day”, as the fictional character has been described.
Penguin Maigret - Pietr the Latvian|
In his Crime and Mystery: The Hundred Best Books, H. R. F. Keating calls Georges Simenon the “inventor of the story in which the detective is seen as a writer”. I would suggest, however, that the detective is every bit as much a reader in the Maigret novels, as is made immediately clear in Pietr the Latvian, newly translated by David Bellos.
The first of the Maigrets opens with a number of evocations of reading, decoding, decryption. Opening telegram after telegram – the first comes in IPC, the “secret international police code” – Inspector Maigret tracks Pietr the Latvian on paper, from Krakow to Bremen to Amsterdam to Brussels. The physical description of Pietr arrives in a numeric code, and the description itself is also a kind of cipher, allowing someone who is properly trained (like Maigret) to visualize the face as if he had seen it. A more familiar example of this phenomenon is the “huge map” that lets the Inspector predict the precise position and destination of the Étoile du Nord, Pietr's train. Everything is symbolic, and translation is the only constant.
Such a density of semiotic detail can make Pietr the Latvian seem oddly prophetic, a harbinger of certain aspects of French philosophy and 20th-century avant-garde literature. A remarkable early scene, for instance, should resonate with anyone who has read Paul Auster's City of Glass, often described as a “postmodern detective novel.” In both works, a detective waits in a train station for the arrival of a man named Peter, only to find two eerily similar candidates, one prosperous and the other shabby. Surely Auster – a Francophonic minimalist who wrote a pseudonymous mystery called Squeeze Play – would have known this crucial moment in a landmark Maigret. Could it have shaped not just his plot, but also his thinking about the mysteries of identity and the uncertainty of knowledge?...
7/18/15 I've been reading all these new Penguin translations and enjoying them - some more than others. roughly 20 books into the 75 novels, I've read Maigret's final police case followed by his return from retirement to save his nephew and I begin to wonder about internal chronology. I'd like to chart an idea of Maigret's age over the course of the series. I found the age comparison - David Drake vs. Simenon - and the Maigret Biography but there are a lot of novels that are not mentioned in either of these. Do you know of a comprehensive attempt to order the novels in this way?
re: 36 (or 38 ?) Quai des Orfèvres...
According to the web site, Paris Révolutionnaire, #38 was a specific address at least up into the 1940s:
36 (or 38 ?) Quai des Orfèvres...
7/4/15 Excellent observation by Arlene. My Google map search shows that the correct address is '36', and '38' is non-existent. In this case, I presume Simenon used the '38' on purpose: in case a reader sends a letter to Maigret, the letter will be returned without causing any trouble at the real police department at '36'.
36 is certainly the correct address. But Simenon used both in the Maigrets...
38 (?) Quai des Orfèvres...
7/2/15 I have only been to Paris once, many years ago. I do not know the Quai des Orfèvres...
In Maigret et le marchand de vin [VIN], I recently read:
L'addresse, sur une des enveloppes, était tracée en caractères bâtonnets. Dans le coin du haut, à gauche, le mot Personnel était souligné trois fois.
The address on one of the envelopes was written in block capitals. In the upper left corner, the word Personal was underlined three times.
Yet, at the beginning of this wonderful Forum, the address is 36, Quai dès Orfevres. Is it perhaps a very big building?
re: à la Place Dauphine... |
6/28/15 A good way to approach Arlene Blade's question is Steve's mammoth Maigret Encyclopedia. It contains references to 52 Maigret stories that mention La Brasserie Dauphine.
à la Place Dauphine... |
6/25/15 How perfect that the Place Dauphine photo has appeared. Just the other day I read:
"Un peu plus tard, Maigret et Lapointe pénétraient à la Brasserie Dauphine. Il y avait deux avocats en robe ainsi que trois ou quatre inspecteurs qui n'appartenaient pas à la brigade de Maigret mais qui le saluèrent. Ils passèrent dans la salle à manger."
"A little later, Maigret and Lapointe entered the Brasserie Dauphine. There were two barristers in their robes, as well as three or four inspectors who werenʻt from Maigretʻs squad, but greeted him. They went into the dining room."
Thank you for the photo and do you know the very, very good novel I was reading?
Place Dauphine |
Speaking of Maigret... in Alan Furst... |
6/16/15 In Alan Furst's 2008 novel The Spies of Warsaw, page 169, the main protagonist, Mercier, puts down Stendahl's The Red and the Black and picks up "what he really wanted to read, a Simenon roman policier, The bar on the Seine". [La Guinguette à Deux Sous GUI] Both books are mentioned again on page 177, "But, finally, it was Simenon - all to soon finished - and, indubitably, Stendahl..."
6/22/15 This is the second reference to Maigret I've noticed in a Furst novel. The other was in Spies of the Balkans . On page 196, "He tried to return to Inspector Maigret, waiting on his night table, but memories of the real Paris intruded... On 197, "While he'd slept, Maigret had disappeard. No, there we was, under the blanket." And on p. 216, "A restless reader, he'd put Inspector Maigret aside in favor of a novel by the Greek writer Kostykas..." Furst is obviously a Simenon fan!
There's another reference to a Maigret in a Furst novel, his 1996 The World at Night, noted by Jérôme here in 2009. See "Speaking of Maigret...", references to Maigret and Simenon in literature. (I have to admit I'd forgotten about this page until Jim's mail came in... There's a link to it now on the Bibliography page...)
"A real person"? |
6/6/15 Dear Friends,
I am enjoying L'Ombre Chinoise at the moment and thus, when I read the phrase, "...if he'd been a real person," I cannot understand what it could possibly mean...
Maigret's "place of work" |
6/6/15 Nice picture of the place where Maigret would have worked if he'd been a real person. Thanks, Jerome. Notice the people-friendly design of the river embankment. It is high enough to prevent floods, but has a lower level so people can enjoy to sit or walk closer to water.
The "new" Quai des Orfèvres |
A few more Russian language Maigret films online |
Maigret Actors (by country) |
Maigret actors by country of production
New Maigret in Polish
The latest Maigret from C&T Publishers, Toruń, is scheduled to appear next week:
Still more Maigrets!
Radovan Lukavský [1909-2008] starred as Maigret in the 1983 Czechoslovakian TV-film “Vzpurní svědkové” (Maigret et les témoins récalcitrants [TEM]), viewable here, on YouTube (in Czech, no subtitles). No sign of a pipe!
Mattias also provided the following links to YouTube presentations of three Boris Tenin Maigret films in Russian, with the caveat that "there are no subtitles and the beginnings seem to be missing": Мегрэ и человек на скамейке - Maigret and the Man on the Bench (1973), Мегрэ и старая дама - Maigret and the Old Lady (1974), Мегрэ колеблется - Maigret hesitates (1982).
Another TV Maigret!
This film can be viewed via YouTube here (in Russian).
(And if Danilov somehow reminds you of the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, he also starred in that role in 1985 for the same production company, viewable here with English subtitles!)
Alexander also provided additional TV information, including the discovery of a previously unknown Boris Tenin film, a 1969 or 1970 Russian version of Cécile est morte [CEC]... however, no copy has yet been located.
Info on a Maigret bd... |
5/30/15 Although recognition of the existence of this bande dessinée was posted here in June, 2004, there was no indication of a date of publication in the volume. There was, however, a notation on the title page that it had been "pre-published in the magazine le Nouveau Détective".
(click on the cover at left for a sample page)
Iʻve now been able to locate the editions of the magazine in which it first appeared, allowing us to assign 1983 as the year of publication:
Another rendition of Maigret... |
5/30/15 I wonder if anyone has come across other Maigret illustrations by this artist...
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)
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