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…
El final es demasiado perfecto.
Somewhat similar to Picnic At Hanging Rock, which I recently watched, in that it's another weird mystery concerning the inhabitants of a boarding school. Likewise, a gently building level of unease permeates the entire film. But in the last fifteen minutes, it throws away mere suspense to become REALLY BLOODY SCARY. I'm not quite sure if the final reveal makes sense, but it's so powerfully and shockingly presented that I don't really care. I'd say more, but I don't want to ruin Les Diaboliques' surprises. Watch it, and watch it soon.
This movie is pure genius.
Seriously, what a darn genius and well thought out movie.
But just because its insanely well made doesn't mean it isn't entertaining (like some movies can't do, looking at you Solaris).
The performances are so great throughout the entire film. A character similar to the lead one in this would eventually get repetitive and would end up just doing the same shtick, but the lad actress is able to do the opposite of that.
I thought that the other lead was flat at first, but with some of the stuff that happens at the end, you realize she was intentionally like that and it only makes the film better.
Speaking of things that make the…
I have only seen but two of Clouzot's films (this and the equally brilliant 'The Wages of Fear'), but I understand immediately what connoisseurs mean when they say he's the French Alfred Hitchcock. He has an innate and unbelievably vivid and accurate take on human nature. I can't wait to check out the rest of his oeuvre.
A tense and twisted thriller that really had me guessing up until the very end. Very well crafted with some serious dread and tension.
iMDB Top 250 #226
What. The. F.
That story. That mystery. That build up. That. conclusion.....Ah I must keep quiet!!
That end text really should just be shown for every movie ever.
Gran película, es cine negro, es suspenso, es terror, es policíaco, misterio, tiene tantas aristas estas película que sería difícil encasillarla en una sola.
Entretenida desde el principio hasta el fin, no tiene ningún momento flojo, todo esta ahí para que lo vayamos descubriendo y al final esa vuelta de tuerca que hace que todo tenga sentido y no sea una película fantasiosa.
Diabolique makes some pretty great horror set pieces, like the disappearing body from the pool and the scenes that involve bathtubs. What I consider the "Old French Extremity" style works pretty well in not being afraid to show violence and horror, providing cinema with a type of shock that feels fresh because its goal was not so much to shock but rather to show that cinema could shock.
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.
This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
Movies that are slightly off.