Diabolique

Diabolique

4.5 8
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Cast: Henri-Georges Clouzot, Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse

     
 

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The greatest film that Alfred Hitchcock never made, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Diabolique is set in a provincial boarding school run by headmaster Michel Delasalle (Paul Meurisse). A ruthless lothario, he becomes the target of a murder plot concocted by his long-suffering invalid wife Christina (Vera Clouzot, the director's own spouse) and his latest mistress, an

Overview

The greatest film that Alfred Hitchcock never made, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Diabolique is set in a provincial boarding school run by headmaster Michel Delasalle (Paul Meurisse). A ruthless lothario, he becomes the target of a murder plot concocted by his long-suffering invalid wife Christina (Vera Clouzot, the director's own spouse) and his latest mistress, an icy teacher played by Simone Signoret. A dark, dank thriller with a much-imitated "shock" ending, Diabolique is a masterpiece of Grand Guignol suspense. The simple murder plot goes haywire, and Michel's corpse disappears, prompting strange rumors of his reappearance which grow more and more substantial as the film careens wildly towards its breathless conclusion. Later remade as a greatly inferior 1996 Hollywood feature with Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
French filmmaker Henri-Georges Clouzot created enough pulse-racing suspense in just two movies to take his place in history next to Alfred Hitchcock as one of the finest thriller directors ever. Clouzot followed up his remarkable 1953 action film The Wages of Fear with the dark and mysterious Diabolique (Les Diaboliques). Wages has moments of almost preternatural tension and is arguably the more interesting film, but Diabolique most captured the popular imagination. That's probably due to the film's familiar yet strikingly fresh combination of chilling atmospherics, sexual intrigue, macabre pacing, and influential "horror" plot construction. Typical of many French films of the 1950s, Clouzot's style was influenced by American film noir; unlike the French New Wave films which followed it, Diabolique also revealed the German expressionist roots of noir. The film has been remade three times, as Reflections of Murder, House of Secrets and the pitiful 1996 Diabolique, and many of its plot twists have been recycled in countless other thrillers.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/17/2011
UPC:
0715515070812
Original Release:
1954
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:57:00
Sales rank:
801

Special Features

Selected-Scene Commentary by French-Film Scholar Kelley Conway; New Video Introduction by Serge Bromberg, CoDirector of Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Inferno"; ; New Video Interview with Novelist and Film Critic Kim Newman; ; Original Theatrical Trailer; PLUS: A Booklet featuring an Essay by Film Critic Terrence Rafferty

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Simone Signoret Nicole Horner
Véra Clouzot Christina Delasalle
Paul Meurisse Michel Delasalle
Charles Vanel Inspector Fichet
Pierre Larquey Drain
Noël Roquevert Herboux
Michel Serrault Raymond
Jean Brochard Plantiveau
Roberto Rodrigo Jose
Therese Dorny Mme. Herboux
Georges Chamarat Dr. Loisy
Robert Dalban Actor
Camille Guerini Actor
Jacques Hilling Actor
Jean Lefebvre Actor
Jean Temerson Hotel Valet
Jacques Varennes Prof. Bridoux
Georges Poujouly Soudieu
Henri Humbert Patard
Yves-Marie Maurin Moinet, a schoolboy

Technical Credits
Henri-Georges Clouzot Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Léon Barsacq Art Director
Jerome Geronimi Screenwriter
Frederic Grendel Screenwriter
Madeleine Gug Editor
René Masson Screenwriter
Armand Thirard Cinematographer
Georges Van Parys Score Composer

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Diabolique 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Firannion More than 1 year ago
After Polanski's 'Repulsion,' the second-scariest movie that I've ever seen. A true classic with one of the all-time great plot twists.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
heard of this film thanks to that bravo's scariest movie moments. this is the story where you have the wife AND mistress plotting the kill of the wife's cruel husband. when the twist came i was like damn and sort of guessed it i. anyway check out the film from the beginning.