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2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Henri-Georges Clouzot

Written By:
Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac

Simone Signoret, Charles Vanel, Michel Serrault, Georges Poujouly, Robert Dalban, Jean Lefebvre, Noël Roquevert, Paul Meurisse, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Jean Brochard, Pierre Larquey, Thérèse Dorny, Yves-Marie Maurin, Georges Chamarat, Jacques Varennes

Diabolique (1955)
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Movie Review by Movie Addict
June 7th, 2009

1001 Movies to see before you die

Favorite Movie Quote: "I may be reactionary, but this is absolutely astounding - the legal wife consoling the mistress! No, no, and no!"

One cannot imagine a wife (Vera Clouzot) and a mistress (Simone Signoret) knowing each other, much less plotting together to murder the husband (Paul Meurisse), who is abusive, but that is the plot of this thriller that reportedly was snatched from Hitchcock by just 30 minutes. One can imagine it might have been his greatest film, but Henri-Georges Clouzot gets that honor.

It's the common case of the wife who has the money, and the abusive husband that is living off her largess, but doing his own thing (think Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook). Nicole (Signoret) is the strong one, and you might even think there are subtle lesbian intentions here. Christina (Clouzot) wavers constantly in her intentions, but a visit from Michel (Meurisse) and more abuse, firms up her resolve.

They have a good plan, but something happens when they carry it out. They drown the husband in the bathtub and dump him in the school pool. When the pool is drained, no Michel! Then his suit appears from the dry cleaners. A body shows up in the river the next day.

She goes to the morgue to identify him, and meets Colombo. Actually, it is Alfred Finchet (Charles Vanel), but you would swear Peter Falk stole his character from this film. It was not Michel in the morgue!

How does this end? The Director requests that we not tell you. But, the last 15 minutes will astound you.

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