Les Diaboliques details
|Formats:||12 DVD, Blu-ray|
|Starring:||Jean Brochard, Simone Signoret, Charles Vanel, Michel Serrault, Vera Clouzot|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema|
|Run time:||1 hour 56 minutes|
|Rental release:||25 Feb 2002|
Most helpful review
Clouzot's Best?By a customer from Leamington Spa , 26 Feb 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]The wife and mistress of a bullying headmaster of a private school plot together to murder their tormentor by drowning him in a bath. They hide the body where they think it can be found but then........
I first saw this film in a cinema in Birmingham in '55 or '56 and at the crucial point in the film the entire audience gasped and jerked forward in their seats. I doubt this would happen with a more sophisticated modern audience and certainly not on the small screen in the comfort of your own home but it still remains one of the best thrillers ever made, rivalling even Hitchcock. The screen play, the acting, especially Simone Signoret, the photography and the editing which keeps the action going whilst at the same time screwing up the suspense all combine to make this a superb film. Not to be missed.
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BrilliantBy a customer from Pimlico , 12 Jul 2011I loved this movie. It's rich in detail and character and the story is more Hitchcockian than Hitchcock but sexier.
Darker than HitchcockBy Electricvic (88 reviews) from London , 03 Jul 2011Set in a seedy boy's boarding school outside Paris in the 1950s, les Diaboliques ('The Fiends') is a thriller with a truly shocking finale. Even though I'd seen it before and remembered the plot, I still found this just as scary when I watched it last night.
Imagine what sort of parent you would be if you sent your darling son to this school: the head (Paul Meurisse) is a bullying chauvinist who is only running a school as a business, and having used his heiress wife's money to start the school is openly having an affair with one of the teachers (played by Simone Signoret). The swimming pool is filthy and coated in weed.
Just to underline what a nasty piece of work he is (bearing in mind this is a French film after all) he serves cheap fish for dinner and dilutes the wine...
When it emerges that Signoret and the maltreated, 'cardiaque' wife (Vera Clouzot) have hatched an ingenious plan to do away with him, you feel no sympathy for him. You don't really feel sympathy for anyone (except the poor pupils and perhaps the pathetic wife). And is it just me or is there something a bit butch about la Signoret?
If you're put off by subtitles and black and white, avoid... if not, you're in for a treat (but don't watch on your own at night...).
Definitely worth seeingBy a customer from Nottingham , 02 Mar 2011
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideThis may be nearly 60 years old but it is a top suspense movie. Most modern films have guessable endings but this one keeps you in suspenders til the end. Well worth sticking with since it is a bit slow at the beginning.
Original DiaboliqueBy ShaunOShaun (3 reviews) from London , 17 Jan 2011Seemed to start slowly with what I felt wasn't the best acting but gradually snowballed into a dark thriller with great acting and characterisations supporting a really good plot. A very good ending which was worth the wait. Remember it is French and Black & White so if that is a turn-off, beware. However, it can be great to overcome prejudices!
Wicked french in the mid 20thCBy rabbit1969 (42 reviews) from Cambridge, England , 12 Jan 2011Enjoyed the twist, always love a good twist that I havent seen coming.
Acting from this era always seems a bit melodramatic or overdone, but the wife really does go overboard. Loved the coolly hardnosed mistress. There is genuine suspense, although not many moments of outright horror.