Diabolique

( 8 )

Overview

Emulated but never equaled is Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1954 suspense-filled Diabolique. Criterion has done a decent job on this 1.33:1 full frame transfer (the film's original aspect ratio). Shot in black-and-white and culled from an original 35 mm fine grain composite master, the image looks very bright and dark with only a few instances of grain, dirt, or scratches showing up in the picture. The audio is presented in Dolby Mono in French. This soundtrack lacks any true surround sounds, though on the plus side ...
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Overview

Emulated but never equaled is Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1954 suspense-filled Diabolique. Criterion has done a decent job on this 1.33:1 full frame transfer (the film's original aspect ratio). Shot in black-and-white and culled from an original 35 mm fine grain composite master, the image looks very bright and dark with only a few instances of grain, dirt, or scratches showing up in the picture. The audio is presented in Dolby Mono in French. This soundtrack lacks any true surround sounds, though on the plus side the bulk of the dialogue, effects, and music are all clear of any nasty distortion or hiss. No alternate audio tracks are included, though there are some English titles for the majority of Americans that don't speak a lick of French. Sadly, there isn't one single extra feature to be found on this disc. Maybe someday this classic thriller will see a better DVD edition; until then viewers will have to be content with this bare-bones Criterion disc.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/26/1999
  • UPC: 037429135020
  • Original Release: 1954
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White / Pan & Scan / Dolby 5.1 / Mono
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, monaural
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 1:56:00
  • Format: DVD

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
Camille Guerini
Jacques Hilling
Jean Lefebvre
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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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. Logos/Opening Credits [2:17]
2. I Won't Have Any Regrets [7:43]
3. Fish Again? [5:03]
4. Early Departure [4:08]
5. Road Revelations [:30]
6. Taking The Bait [1:02]
7. Booze And A Tablecloth [4:27]
8. Insane Eyes [5:29]
9. He's So Ugly [5:53]
10. Leaky Basket [10:29]
11. Midnight Swim [3:10]
12. Teacherly Duties [2:45]
13. Chocolate Soup [4:07]
14. Not Natural [4:27]
15. A Life Elsewhere [5:12]
16. Catfight [4:15]
17. The Morgue [3:34]
18. Meet Alfred Fichet [2:09]
19. Questions And Clues [:00]
20. Slingshot [5:15]
21. School Photo [2:12]
22. A Confession [7:11]
23. Things That Go Bump In The Night [4:22]
24. I Know That I Saw Her [1:48]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play The Movie
   Subtitles
   Color Bars
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 6, 2012

    After Polanski's 'Repulsion,' the second-scariest movie that I'v

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    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.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews