Magnet of Doom
|Magnet of Doom|
|Directed by||Jean-Pierre Melville|
|Written by||Jean-Pierre Melville|
Georges Simenon (novel)
|Music by||Georges Delerue|
|Box office||1,484,948 admissions (France)|
In Paris the young ex-para and would-be boxer, Michel Maudet, loses his first big fight and is sacked by his manager. Needing a job, he answers an ad for a male secretary able to travel and is hired on the spot by Dieudonné Ferchaux, senior partner of a failing bank who has a criminal past. Without telling his girl friend Lina, whom he leaves penniless, that night he flies with Ferchaux to New York. Next morning, Ferchaux is able to collect millions of dollars from his safe-deposit box but cannot touch his US bank account because the French authorities are seeking his extradition. Hiring a car, he and Maudet drive by back roads to Louisiana, shadowed by FBI agents.
Renting an isolated house in New Orleans, Ferchaux falls sick and Maudet gets increasingly frustrated at the whims of an old man with no power left beyond his attaché case of dollars. Going to the neighbourhood bar for drink and company, Maudet mentions his boss's stash to the owner Jeff, a crook and murderer, and then picks up a dancer Lou in a night club. Deciding he would rather be with her, he takes Ferchaux's case of money but something makes him go back with it to the house, where Jeff and an accomplice are trying to rob Ferchaux, who fights back ferociously. Though Maudet routs the villains, Ferchaux has been knifed and dies in his arms. With his last breath he urges Maudet to take his keys, which will open another safe-deposit box full of dollars in Venezuela, but Maudet has had enough.
The outdoor scenes were shot on location in the U.S.. It was Melville's first feature film shot in color.