When you hear the phrase a Gentleman Burglar what is the first image that comes to mind, for me it is the character John Robie (Cary Grant) in To Catch a Thief, a handsome, charming, educated, and well-mannered man who captivates and then ever so artfully draws you in. Robie is a retired Cat Burglar aka Jewel Thief, it is not just his immense charm or attractiveness there is just something about him that you just cannot put your finger on, and that is exactly the illusion that he wants to create, to enchant to disarm and then before you know what has happened you suddenly trust him.
This brings me to an impressive new series developed by Netflix titled Lupin. Based on the books The Gentleman Burglar, a collection of 17 French thrillers written by Maurice Leblanc which recount the mysterious adventures of Arsène Lupin? The first in the series was published in 1905 as a magazine article. From there the series took off and over the years became a French television series in 1971 there have also been 11 films, a board game and today numerous video games.
Premiering in January 2021 the thriller series begins with an adult Lupin devising a plot to steal The Queens Necklace from the Louvre in Paris. We quickly learn that Lupin wants justice for his father who he believes was framed and jailed for stealing that same necklace. Lupin believes it was the wealthy family who owned the necklace and his father worked for set up the fake theft only to frame his father and get the insurance money. When the necklace goes up for auction by the same family who claimed it was stolen 25 years earlier only confirms Lupin’s desire to continue his quest to avenge his father and clear his name.
As a child his father read to him constantly and always encouraged Arsene to read, one of his dad’s favorite books was The Gentleman Burglar. Arsene was 14 when his father went to prison and was put into social services. One day shortly after his arrival into foster care he learned that he had an anonymous benefactor who was going to pay for a very fancy private education. The ensuing years were hard for Lupin, but he grew into a very handsome, charming well-educated man who became the perfect Cat Burglar aka The Gentleman Burglar.
In addition to avenging his father Lupin also must navigate parenting his son Raoul, an ex-wife and keeping his secret of being a master thief. Lupin is a master of disguise and cleverly keeps both of his lives separate and a secret from everyone but his childhood friend. Netflix has hit the jackpot with this thrilling wild ride, and I will leave you to discover it on your own. Part 2 of Lupin comes out in the summer 2021.