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Criterion Collection: Diabolique [Blu-ray] (Version française) [Import]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Simone Signoret
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: May 17 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004NWPY1Q

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By peterfromkanata on Jan. 13 2004
Format: DVD
I don't have too much to say, except to echo the accolades that your other reviewers have given this masterpiece of suspense from France. The few people who found it too tame or dull are perhaps those enamoured of films with characters named "Jason" or "Freddy" !
For anyone who reveals the surprise ending, this would be a crime even more atrocious than the one depicted in the movie, and should be punishable by a re-instated guillotine !
Simone Signoret and Vera Clouzot are unforgettable in the leads, each character playing beautifully off the other. One other comment--this is a 50s film, yet schoolboys are portrayed with brutal accuracy--they swear, act rudely, are preocuupied with sex--these are real children, not those that are found in Disney films.
The DVD is nice--some wear is visible here and there, but does not detract from your experience. Of course, the film is in French, but the subtitles are smooth. The absence of music is another plus. In some Hollywood suspense films, you can tell that "something is about to happen" because of the music--not the case here.
If you collect Hitchcock films and other suspense thrillers, your library is not complete without this true classic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark Schuster on Oct. 7 2002
Format: DVD
It is no secret that this is a classic suspense film in every sense. It would seem only natural that Criterion would pick this film to be part of their revered collection. Most people who are willing to spend the kind of money that it takes to acquire a Criterion disc take comfort in the knowledge that they will experience the highest possible picture and sound quality possible for the particular film. Well, with the disc of Diabolique, that is just not the case. The film is loaded with dirt, grain, holes, tears, and even splices. At one point in viewing the disc I noticed a large circle flash by. I scanned back and paused on the frame to see that what appears to be a melted spot on the film had been circled, perhaps for removal later. It is still there, though. Also, the picture had a slight vibrating quality about it through the whole movie which was an annoyance. The picture is watchable, but for the price and the Criterion name, I expected much, much more. There are some serious issues with the sound as well. There is a constant low hiss on the soundtrack that can be distracting. The subtitles are pale and hard to read. I always enjoy watching the restoration demonstration on Criterion discs. I like seeing how huge picture defects can be erased just like magic. This movie obviously never recieved such treatment. I find it hard to believe that any restoration work at all was done to Diabolique before it was dumped on the market. Basically, the movie is definitely worth seeing, but do not assume anything simply because this is a Criterion disc. You could buy the same movie of the same quality on VHS for much less.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30 2004
Format: DVD
It's a pity that some reviewers are so numbed and stunned by today's in-your-face gore and horror that they can't appreciate the subtleties of character and relationship analysis displayed in a film like this. Although there's little doubt that it is at its most effective the first time round (provided you don't already know the ending) there is still a lot left to savour. I saw it when it was new, and the shock in the theatre towards the end was palpable. Not so today, of course. Nevertheless, the peculiarly French menage-a-trois with its vile central bully remains perennially interesting. The run-down school with its dilapidated staff and surroundings, the paternalistic and sadistic hierarchical structure, the completely realistic school-kids, the bleakly austere atmosphere of post-war France (it was exactly like this in England too), with people just about able to make ends meet, is all still extremely fascinating. Both the women's performances are exceptional: the frailty and piety of Vera Clouzot is balanced by just enough determination to commit the murder, and the slightly butch sensuality of Signoret allows her to get away with her fake concern as well as her ruthlessness. The beauty of each of them is a study in perfect contrast. The very final twist let's us know that it's all been a bit of a joke. Why Hitchcock's Vertigo is considered a masterpiece I'll never know.
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Feb. 23 2014
Format: DVD
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.

And such a scenario kicks off "Diabolique," a haunting thriller in the Hitchcock mold about a dead man who goes missing. Director Henri-Georges Clouzot gives the entire movie a murky, unromanticized air of dread, and he showed a mastery of the epic plot twist -- or rather, he showed mastery of SEVERAL epic plot twists, since the viewer won't know what's happening until the end.

Vicious Michel Delassalle (Meurisse) runs a boarding school for boys, but the school is actually owned by his frail, pious wife Christina (Véra Clouzot). Since he believes she will never divorce him because of her religious faith, he has an open affair with one of the teachers, Nicole (Simone Signoret), whom he treats almost as badly as his wife.

The women actually get along pretty well... and they've decided to kill him. Despite Christina's misgivings, Nicole concocts a seemingly foolproof plan to kill the man who is making both their lives miserable.

So using the threat of a divorce, they lure him to a distant hotel room, drug him, and drown him in the bathtub. When they return to the school, they immediately sink him in a disgusting algae-filled swimming pool, having given themselves a pretty decent alibi. But when the pool is drained, the corpse is missing -- and a terrified Christina becomes convinced that their ruse will be discovered.

Reportedly Hitchcock missed out on buying the rights to the original novel "Celle qui n'était plus" by only a few hours.
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