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Legend has it that Henri-Georges Clouzot beat out Alfred Hitchcock to secure the rights to this novel, which proved to be a veritable blueprint for an icy masterpiece of murder, mystery, and suspense. Véra Clouzot plays the sickly wife of a callous headmaster of a provincial boarding school going to seed, and the commanding Simone Signoret is the headmaster's mistreated mistress. Together they plot and carry out his murder, a brutal drowning that director Clouzot documents in chilly detail, but the corpse disappears, and a nosy detective starts sniffing around the grounds as threatening notes taunt the women. Clouzot's thriller is as precise and accomplished a work as anything in Hitchcock's canon, a film of grueling suspense and startling shocks in an overcast, gray world of decay, but his icy manipulations lack the human dimension and emotional resonance of the master of suspense. The film has been accused of being misanthropic by many critics, and Clouzot's attitude toward his characters is bitter at best, contemptuous at worst. The viewer is left on the outside looking in, but the razor precision and terrifying twists deliver a sleek, bleak spectacle worthy of attention. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The French Suspense Shocker that forewarned Hitchcock's Psycho. A movie based on the novel "Celle qui n'était plus là"; whose authors had written another... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Omnes
A man has to be pretty terrible to inspire both his wife and mistress to kill him... especially if they decide to do it together. Read morePublished 18 months ago by EA Solinas
The story opens in a run-down French boys' school, where the cruel headmaster has made life unbearable for his fragile wife and his mistress (Simone Signoret), both of whom are... Read morePublished on Nov. 23 2010 by Kona
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
This film, directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot is one of the greatest French mystery films I have seen. Read more
DIABOLIQUE is a cautionary tale about the need to keep your swimming pool clean, or not, depending on the state of your marriage. Read morePublished on March 4 2004 by Mr. Joe
I kept thinking "hitchcock ripoff" the entire time. It's not really that scary, but if you're into these "non scary" types of horror films, then check it out. Read morePublished on June 23 2003 by Tom Servo
Based on the Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac novel CELLE QUI N'ETAIT PLUS, Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1955 DIABOLIQUE is easily among the most influential films of world cinema,... Read morePublished on June 1 2003 by Gary F. Taylor
When I first saw this film several years ago, I thought "Wow, what a great film! Very Hitchcock-like, and well paced.... Read morePublished on May 31 2003 by Dennis!
"Diabolique" was my first foray into foreign-made movies. Wow! What a movie! This is a movie that could have been made just this year. Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2003