Arsène Lupin (1932): Mystery Melodrama, Starring Siblings John and Lionel Barrymore

All talk and little action or drama, Arsene Lupin, directed by contract craftsman Jack Conway, is John Barrymore’s first film at MGM after leaving Warner.

This pre-Code mystery, based on a popular 1909 French play by Maurice Leblanc and Francis de Croisset, is mostly known for teaming siblings John and Lionel Barrymore (the latter also directed movies).

John gets to display his famously handsome profile and commanding voice, especially in scenes with brother Lionel, who looks and performs as a supporting actor, even though both are cast in sizable roles.

Both brothers made stronger impression in a better movie made in 1932, Grand Hotel, which won the Best Picture Oscar.


John Barrymore- Duke of Charmerace

Lionel Barrymore- Detective Guerchard

Karen Morley – Sonia

John Miljan – Prefect of Police

Tully Marshall – Gourney-Martin



I am grateful to TCM for showing the film on July 21, 2018.