More Info to come
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…
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…
Little paper boat
Floating in a mud puddle—
Splash! Destroyed by truck.
Beautiful opening imagery that perfectly encapsulates the mood of the events that will follow. Wish there had been more of this in the rest of the film. The characters are all so well built (although the wife seems a bit obvious as the "bad actor"-type, unable to hide her emotions) and the plot is so well set up that I can understand why this became famous for being "that movie with the great twist" (and I'm sure the PSA post-script title card helped), but other than some minor hints at class consciousness (rich children, poor headmaster) I found little here to really chew on. It's a good story well told, which is all a movie needs in order to be successful, but it's so necessarily plot-driven that it's not something that particularly appeals to me.
Really amazing and strong old school thriller, the sense of atmosphere and tension throughout is always well maintained, the pace is good and the dark attempts at humor always work, and it not only explores the psychology of it characters but mixes really well elements of horror, plus it manages to also have a bit of a Hitchcock feel to it, which is a bit ironic when you take into account that Hitch wanted to adapt the original novel but Clouzot bought the rights first.
Mysterious, with great acting, interesting characters dynamics, and characters themselves, Diabolique is thrilling, has depth in a very honest and direct way and is directed with an attention to detail and patience that can only produce the best kind of thriller.
The one movie Hitchcock didn't make... and to be honest, i couldn't care less, beause this film is a truly shocking, frightening, intelligent, dark and intense MASTERPIECE!
Rewatching it today, now knowing the twist, it is still as brilliant and harrowing as the first time.
A truly haunting movie...
Clouzot haceme criatura.
While reading about Diabolique, I learned that it inspired Hitchcock to make Psycho. However, I find that director H. G. Clouzot must have been influenced heavily by Hitchcock's Rebecca.
Taking a substantial tonal shift from Clouzot's previous film, The Wages of Fear, Diabolique still utilizes several key aspects that trademark the director's style. He creates drama out of relatively little, physical scenes. The movie is divided into two acts again, the buildup and then the execution. During the buildup, the character motivations are introduced, establishing the antagonist and the stakes behind the characters motives. Once the official plot kicks into gear, the audience has already spent time with the main trio to know why such a horrific action has taken…
i watched this in public and i probably shouldn't have because i was really containing screams by the end. so so good!!!!!!
Good psychological horror, Interesting twist at the end
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Here’s a movie that is the perfect example of why I decided to do Foreign Movie Weekends this year. It’s one I’ve owned in DVD for a long, long time, yet never got around to watching. It’s one that I knew pretty much nothing about before pressing play, but just knew it was important and that I needed to see it eventually. It’s also one that totally paid off because of that. I guess I’m saying that if you haven’t seen Diabolique before, you should probably stop reading this review now. Because the less you know about it in any way, the better the payoff is.
Christina (Vera Clouzot) owns a boys’ boarding school. But being the owner doesn’t give…
Here is a film that boggles your mind until the last scene. Where is the principal's body? Why did his suit show up from the dry cleaners? Why do students report seeing him? The last scene is terrifying and perfect. One of my favorite horror films.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…