The Mousetrap (film)

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German title The mousetrap
Original title Porte des Lilas
Country of production France
original language French
Publishing year 1957
length 95 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director René Clair
script René Clair
production René Clair
André Daven
music Georges Brassens
camera Robert Lefebvre
cut Louisette Hautecoeur
Arlette Lalande

Die Mausefalle (original title: Porte des Lilas , German: "Fliedertor") is a French-Italian fictional film in black and white by René Clair . He also wrote the script. It is based on the novel La Grande Ceinture by René Fallet and Jean Aurel . The leading roles are cast with Pierre Brasseur , Georges Brassens , Henri Vidal , Dany Carrel and Annette Poivre . In 1957 the film first came to the cinema in France.

The work described here has nothing in common with the play of the same name by Agatha Christie from 1952.


Almost everyone in the poor Parisian district of Porte des Lilas knows Juju . He is said to be a good-for-nothing, but he is still popular with many. Juju's best friend is only called "artist" by everyone. In contrast to Juju, you can see him working a little now and then, performing some chansons in the city's cafes and earning a few francs . Juju lives in a household with his mother and sister, artist, in a poor hut. One day a stranger suddenly turns up in this dwelling, who is wanted by the police for, among other things, murder, but the two friends have no idea about it yet. It wasn't until the next day that they read in the newspaper what a tough boy Pierre Barbier was. And they give hospitality to him of all people!

Little by little, barber settles in comfortably in the house. While Artist wants to get rid of the intruder as quickly as possible, Juju is happy that he can take care of a person and in this way gives his life meaning. Juju's friends notice that he has made a change, but they don't know why. Only the landlord's daughter, Maria, managed to elicit his secret from Juju. From now on Maria wants nothing more than to meet a barber. She also succeeds when he is just looking after the apartment by himself. Barbier doesn't know what to think of this visit. He decides to seduce the girl in order to silence her. The attempt succeeds.

Although the police are constantly looking for the criminal, his hiding place remains undiscovered. Artist manages to get his guest a false passport with which he could leave France, but he still lacks the necessary change. Fortunately, Barbier knows how to wrap women around their fingers. Maria even allowed himself to be persuaded by him to plunder her father's cash register and flee with Barber. When Juju found out about this, he was dismayed. When barber then openly tells him in his face that he is not even thinking of taking Maria with him, after all he has only faked her love in order to get some money, Juju's collar bursts; the two men clash. In combat, Juju can seize his opponent's pistol and shoot him.

Production notes

The buildings were created by the film architect Léon Barsacq . Rosine Delamare contributed the costumes. Georges Brassens , one of the two main actors, composed the music and sings some of his chansons in the film, including the theme song.


  • In 1957 the work was awarded the French Grand Film Prize.
  • In 1958 “Die Mausefalle” received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film.
  • The Protestant Film Work jury declared the work the best film of March 1958.
  • The Wiesbaden film evaluation agency awarded the work the rating “particularly valuable”.


The lexicon of international films draws the following conclusion: “René Clair has found his way back to 'his' Paris of the common people, which he knows how to paint and depict more lovingly than anyone else. The film is brilliantly played, touchingly told and full of - almost unfashionable - charm. "The TV magazine Prisma judges:" In 1957, this work by Réne Clair marked the director's return to black and white film. Clair explained that he wanted to use the depth of the picture to show more of the background. He made a beautiful and brilliantly played film about the life of the little people in the 'Porte des Lilas' district. Pierre Brasseur shows one of his best performances as a drunk bon vivant. "

The Reclam film guide is also full of praise: “The film lives entirely from the mood, from the atmosphere, from the milieu, and here Clair is completely in his element again. Sensitive camera work, good actors and the aggressive-melancholy chansons of Georges Brassens sound cleverly together. "


  • Program for the film: Das Neue Film-Programm , published by the publisher of the same name, Mannheim, without a number.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See
  2. Lexicon of international films , rororo-Taschenbuch No. 6322 from 1988, p. 2516.
  3. See
  4. See