A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
See it, be amazed at it, but... BE QUIET ABOUT IT!
The cruel and abusive headmaster of a boarding school, Michel Delassalle (Paul Meurisse), becomes the target of a murder plot hatched by an unlikely duo -- his meek wife (Vera Clouzot) and the mistress he brazenly flaunts (Simone Signoret). The women, brought together by their mutual hatred for the man, pull off the crime but become increasingly unhinged by a series of odd occurrences after Delassalle's corpse mysteriously disappears.
Blending together the elements of horror & mystery in a seamless manner, cleverly using its available resources to provide a sense of dread & uncertainty, and efficiently sustaining its tense atmosphere from start to finish, Diabolique (also known as Les Diaboliques) is one of the finest examples of its genre(s) that simply refuses to age despite being nearly 60 years old.
The story concerns the wife of a cruel headmaster who, along with the help of her husband's mistress, devises a plan to murder him, and after careful arrangement manages to successfully execute it without leaving behind any traces. However, things are ultimately set in motion when the body mysteriously disappears from site after which a number of strange occurrences ensue.
The cold sweat, the uncontrollable trembling, the heavy breathing, the pressure on the chest, the burdensome weight felt by the knees, the inability to move, the faintness of the voice, the paralyzed mind. It’s fear, taking over. The artistry with which Henri-Georges Clouzot produces fear, sustains it and shows its crushing effects in Les Diaboliques elevate not only the film but the horror genre altogether. It is one of those rare occasions when the destabilizing nature of uncertainty, the sheer sense of dread and the spine-chilling force of fear are not taken for granted, but skillfully and vividly conveyed. Les Diaboliques is a film so effectively shrouded in mystery and delusion that it becomes a psychological assault of mind-boggling conviction.…
I finished this film just moments ago, and I immediately want to go tell the world what I just saw. But I cant. Because at the end, a little message scrolled past that told me not to ruin the surprise. Diabolique is very interesting in the fact that a movie released in 1955, 58 years ago, is still making its audiences keep quiet about the ending. I have to thank the fans of the movie who didnt spoil this for me, and I will become one of those people who will carry the secret of this film to my grave.
Well, thats a little extreme, but I feel its justified in this context. The twist is simple, but planned…
Don't you believe in Hell?
My first film from director Henri-Georges Clouzot and with this one film he already rivals Alfred Hitchcock as a master film maker and master of suspense. For me to admit that, it's kinda huge. Hitchcock is my favorite director of that era hands down.
Diabolique is just that brilliant. Not just because of it's ending, plotting or execution, but it's brilliant as a whole. It manages to keep you glued to the screen and make you witness something for almost 2 hours without knowing you're witnessing it.
Part of my 2012-1932 project
If there has ever been a movie equipped with the ability to have the viewer(s) glued to the screen while chewing on their arms as they have no nails nor fingers left, it must be Les diaboliques.
I had no doubts about Clouzot's claim to the throne of French master of suspence, after having seen La salaire de la peur, but Les diaboliques is a step up in my book.
It takes its time, meticulously building up to the crime, and establishing motives. And although it's nowhere near boring, the true perfection is the second half, when the suspence is turned up to 11. Incredible tension, and here we're also treated to some great direction from Clouzot as well, especially in the build up to the penultimate scene. Masterful!
Part of Hoop Tober
Highly influenced by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, but still easily finding a heart of its own, this taut psychological thriller of the classical era is a perfectly apt example of why the horror films of the past are much more effective in their attempt to create suspense and torment the audience (even though they had basically no gore and all the other elements and tools that give name to the horror genre today). Being significantly more minimalist (and clever) by using wide angle, long(er) take and practically no music (allowing the silences to fill the frame and conduct the scene), director Henri-Georges Clouzot (as well as the other big names of suspense of the…
The most Hitchcockian, non-Hitchcock film. It's very slow but the last half-hour was amazing. Especially the last sequence and reveal, which I honestly didn't see coming at all. I loved the suspense and the acting only heightened it.
Loved the spoiler alert at the end of it
Atmospheric, slow, well worth the watch.
Massively influential on everyone from Kubrick to Castle, Henri-Georges Clouzot's thriller features one of the greatest climactic scenes ever. It's superbly photographed by Armand Thirard with a nicely restrained score by Georges Van Parys and a surprisingly strong performance by Véra Clouzot who more than holds her own with Simone Signoret.
Wasn't as unsettling as I hoped but the story was nonetheless gripping from start to finish. That ending was superbly unexpected.
excellent french thriller plot twister from the 50's.
The best Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never made.
Christina Delassalle: I'd like to die and not see him anymore.
Nicole Horner: I won't have any regrets.
This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…